enhancing access for individuals with limited english profiency toolkit


Alerta de seguridad: si cree que sus actividades en la computadora están siendo monitoreadas, por favor accese este sitio web desde una computadora más segura. Para salir inmediatamente de este sitio, haga clic en la tecla “esc”. Si está corriendo peligro en este momento, llame al 911, a la línea de crisis local, o a la Línea Nacional Directa contra Violencia Doméstica al  1-800-799-7233 o TTY 1-800-787-3224.

Alerta de seguridad: si cree que sus actividades en la computadora están siendo monitoreadas, por favor accese este sitio web desde una computadora más segura. Para salir inmediatamente de este sitio, haga clic en la tecla “esc”. Si está corriendo peligro en este momento, llame al 911, a la línea de crisis local, o a la Línea Nacional Directa contra Violencia Doméstica al  1-800-799-7233 o TTY 1-800-787-3224.


  1. Aldarondo, E., Kantor, G. K., & Jasinski, J.L. (2002). A risk marker analysis of wife assault in Latino families. Violence Against Women, 8(4), 429-454.
  2. Brabeck, K. M. & Guzman M.R. (2008). Frequency and perceived effectiveness of strategies to survive abuse employed by battered Mexican-origin women.Violence Against Women, 14(11), 1274-1294.
  3. Casa de Esperanza (2012). Results from the National Domestic Violence Hotline Focused Survey: Latinas & IPV. Unpublished report.
  4. Cho, H. (2012). Racial Differences in the Prevalence of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women and Associated Factors. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 27(2), 344-363. doi: 10.1177/0886260511416469
  5. Cuevas, C. A., Sabina, C., & Picard, E. H. (2010). Interpersonal Victimization Patterns and Psychopathology Among Latino Women: Results From the SALAS Study. Psychological Trauma-Theory Research Practice and Policy, 2(4), 296-306. doi: 10.1037/a0020099
  6. Dutton, M, Orloff, L., & Hass, G. A.  (2000). Characteristics of help-seeking behaviors, resources, and services needs of battered immigrant Latinas: Legal and policy implications. Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy, 7(2), 245-306.
  7. Flicker, S. M., Cerulli, C., Zhao, X., Tang, W., Watts, A., Xia, Y. L., & Talbot, N. L. (2011). Concomitant Forms of Abuse and Help-Seeking Behavior Among White, African American, and Latina Women Who Experience Intimate Partner Violence. Violence against Women, 17(8), 1067-1085. doi: 10.1177/1077801211414846
  8. Heise, L. L., Raikes, A., Watts, C. H., & Zwi, A. B., (1994). Violence against women: A neglected public health issue in less developed countries. Social Science and Medicine, 39, 1165-1179.
  9. Ingram, E. M. (2007). A comparison of help seeking between Latino and non-Latino victims of intimate partner violence. Violence Against Women 13(2), 159-171
  10. Kelly, U. (2009). I'm a mother first: The influence of mothering in the decision-making processes of battered immigrant Latino women. Research in Nursing & Health, 32, 286-297.
  11. Lipsky, S., & Caetano, R Field, C., & Larkin, G. (2006). The role of intimate partner violence, race, and ethnicity in help-seeking behaviors. Ethnicity and Health, 11(1), 19.
  12. Lyon, E., Lane, S., & Menard, A. (2009). Meeting Survivors' Needs: A Multi-State Study of Domestic Violence Shelter Experience, Summary of Findings (No. 225046). Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice.
  13. Mankowski, E. S., Galvez, G., & Glass, N. (2011). Interdisciplinary Linkage of Community Psychology and Cross-Cultural Psychology: History, Values, and an Illustrative Research and Action Project on Intimate Partner Violence. American Journal of Community Psychology, 47(1-2), 127-143. doi: 10.1007/s10464-010-9377-
  14. Martin, K. R., & Garcia, L. (2011). Unintended Pregnancy and Intimate Partner Violence Before and During Pregnancy Among Latina Women in Los Angeles, California. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 26(6), 1157-1175. doi: 10.1177/0886260510368154
  15. McFarlane, J.M., Groff, J.Y., O'Brien, J.A., & Watson, K. (2005). Prevalence of partner violence against 7,443 African American women, White, and Hispanic women receiving care at urban public primary care clinics. Public Health Nursing, 22(2), 98-107.
  16. Moracco, K. E., Hilton, A., Hodges, K.G., & Frasier, P. Y. (2005). Knowledge and attitudes about intimate partner violence among immigrant Latinos in rural North Carolina. Violence Against Women, 11(3), 337-352.
  17. Murdaugh, C.,  Hunt, S., Sowell, R., Santana, I.  (2004). Domestic violence in Hispanics in the Southeastern United States: A survey and needs analysis. Journal of Family Violence, 19(2), 14.
  18. Ojeda, V.D., Patterson, T.L., & Strathdee, S.A. (2008). The influence of perceived risk to health and immigration-realted characteristics on substance use among Latino and other immigrants. American Journal of Public Health, 98(5), 862-868.
  19. Pan, A., S. Daley, Rivera, L.M., Williams, K., Lingle, D., & Reznik, V. (2006). Understanding the role of culture in domestic violence: The Ahimsa Project for Safe Families. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 8(1), 35-43.
  20. Perilla, J.L. (2009). Religious teachings and domestic violence: From roadblock to resource. Retrieved November 30, 2009, from www.faithtrustinstitute.org
  21. Perilla, J. L. (1999). Domestic violence as a human rights issue: The case of immigrant Latinos. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 21, 107-133.
  22. Perilla, J.L., Lavizzo, E., & Ibañez, G. (2007). Towards a community psychology of liberation. In E. Aldarondo (Ed.). Promoting Social Justice Through Mental Health Practice. Mahwah, NJ : Lawrence Erlbaum.
  23. Perilla, J. L., C. Lippy, Rosales, A. & Serrata, J. (2009). Domestic violence prevalence: Philosophical, methodological, and cultural considerations. In J. White & M. Koss (Eds.). Violence Against Women and Children: Consensus, Critical Analyses, and Emergent Priorities. Washington, DC: APA.
  24. Perilla, J.L., Ramírez González, M.G. & Alvarez, A. (2003). El uso de violencia en mujeres latinas que han sido maltratadas. Unpublished manuscript.
  25. Rivera, J. (1994). Domestic violence against Latinas by Latino males: An analysis of race, national origin, and gender differentials. Third World Law Journal, 14, 189-231.
  26. Rodriguez, Serrata, Rosales & Perilla (2012). Exploring the Intersection of Immigration and Domestic Violence in Latino families: A Participatory Action Research Approach. Manuscript submitted for publication.
  27. Sabina, C., Cuevas, C. A., & Schally, J. L. (2012a). The Cultural Influences on Help-seeking Among a National Sample of Victimized Latino Women. American Journal of Community Psychology, 49(3-4), 347-363. doi: 10.1007/s10464-011-9462-x
  28. Sabina, C., Cuevas, C. A., & Schally, J. L. (2012b). Help-Seeking in a National Sample of Victimized Latino Women: The Influence of Victimization Types. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 27(1), 40-61. doi: 10.1177/0886260511416460
  29. Suárez-Orozco, C. & Suárez-Orozco, M. (2001). Children of Immigration. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  30. Tjaden, P., & Thoennes, N. (2000). Extent, Nature and Causes of Intimate Partner Violence (No. NCJ 181867). Washington, D.C.: National Institute of Justice.
  31. Vega, W. A., Sribney, W. M., Aguilar-Gaxiola, S., & Kolody, B. (2004). 12-month prevalence of DSM-III-R psychiatric disorders among Mexican Americans: Nativity, social assimilation, and age determinants. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 192, 532–541. ;
  32. Vidales, G. T. (2010). Arrested Justice: The Multifaceted Plight of Immigrant Latinas who Faced Domestic Violence. Journal of Family Violence, 25(6), 533-544. doi: 10.1007/s10896-010-9309-5
  33. Wright, E. M., & Benson, M. L. (2010). Immigration and Intimate Partner Violence: Exploring the Immigrant Paradox. Social Problems, 57(3), 480-503. doi: 10.1525/sp.2010.57.3.480
  34. Zarza, M. J. and Adler, R.G. (2008). Latina immigrant victims of interpersonal violence in New Jersey: A needs assessment study. Journal of Aggresion, Maltreatment, & Trauma, 16(1),

Updated References

  1. Cuevas, C. A., Bell, K. A., Sabina, C. (2014) Victimization, psychological distress, and help-seeking: Disentangling the relationship for Latina victims. Psychology of Violence, 4(2) 196-209. doi:10.1037/a0035819
  2. Golden, S. D., Perreira, K. M., & Durrance, C., (2013). Troubled times, troubled relationships: How economic resources, gender beliefs, and neighborhood disadvantage influence intimate partner violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 28(10), 2134-2155. doi:10.1177/08886260512471083
  3. Gonzalez-Guarda, R. M., Vermeesch, A. L., Florom-Smith, A. L., McCabe, B. E., & Peragallo, N. P. (2013). Birthplace, culture, self-esteem, and intimate partner violence among community-dwelling Hispanic women. Violence Against Women, 19(1), 6-23. doi:10.1177/1077801212475336
  4. Gonzalez-Guarda, R. M., Cummings, A. M., Becerra, M. M., Fernandez, M. C., & Mesa, I. I. (2013). Needs and preferences for the prevention of intimate partner violence among Hispanics: A community’s perspective. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 34(4), 221-235. doi:10.1007/s10935-013-0312-5
  5. Reina, A. S., Lohman, B. J., & Maldonado, M. M. (2014) “He said they’d deport me”: Factors influencing domestic violence help-seeking practices among Latina immigrants. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 29(4), 593-615. doi:1.1177/0886260513505214
  6. Sabina, C., Cuevas, C. A., & Schally, J. L. (2013). The effect of immigration and acculturation on victimization among a national sample of Latino women. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 19(1), 13-26. doi:10.1037/a0030500

Updated References 2017

  1. Zadnik, E., Sabina, C., & Cuevas, C.A. (2016). Violence against Latinas: The effects of undocumented status on rates of victimization and help-seeking. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 31, 1141-1153.
  2. Sabina, C., Cuevas, C.A., & Zadnik, E. (2015). Intimate partner violence among Latino women: Rates and cultural correlates. Journal of Family Violence, 30, 35-47.
  3. Sabina, C., Cuevas, C.A., & Schally, J.L. (2014). Interpersonal violence among Latino women: The influence of ethnic group. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 21, 19-30.
  4. Hernández-Martinez, M., & Serrata, J.V., & Huitron, K. (2017). Finding a Way: Innovative housing solutions of Latin@ survivors of domestic violence and successful practices of culturally specific community-based organizations (CBOs). (Research Report No. 2017.6). Retrieved from National Latin@ Network: http://www.nationallatinonetwork.org/research/nln-research
  5. Cuevas, C. A., Sabina, C., & Milloshi, R. (2012). Interpersonal victimization patterns in a national sample of Latino women. Violence Against Women, 18, 377-403.
  6. Cuevas, C.A., Sabina, C., & Picard, E.H. (2015). Posttraumatic stress among victimized Latino women: Evaluating the role of cultural factors. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 28, 531-538.
  7. Tahirih Justice Center. (2017). 2017 Advocate and legal service survey regarding immigrant survivors. Retrieved from https://www.tahirih.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/2017-Advocate-and-Legal-Service-Survey-Key-Findings.pdf
  8. Sabina, C., Cuevas, C.A., Lannen, E. (2014). The likelihood of Latino women to seek help in response to interpersonal victimization: An examination of individual, interpersonal and sociocultural influences. Psychosocial Intervention, 23, 95-103.
  9. Smith, S.G., Chen, J., Basile, K.C., Gilbert, L.K., Merrick, M.T., Patel, N., Walling, M., & Jain, A. (2017). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010-2012 State Report. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Although many prevention programs documented in the literature are limited in their inclusion of Latino men, a growing number of publications are beginning to document information for developing approaches relevant to Latino men.

  • An evaluation of 309 participants indicates that Hombres Unidos Contra la Violencia Familiar has shown promising results with Latino migrant men on changing their attitudes, behavior and willingness to intervene and prevent DV.
  • Preliminary results of a qualitative study of the Men's Story Project conducted by the University of California–San Francisco indicates that live productions can stimulate attitude and behavioral changes towards gender norms and develop healthier relationships.
  • The results of eight quasi-experimental studies on Instituto Promundo Program H  in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and the Balkans found evidence of positive changes in attitudes and behavior toward greater gender-equity.
  • A randomized-controlled trial following 2,000 athletes for one year in 16 high schools in Sacramento, California showed that Coaching Boys Into Men (CBIM) increases intentions to intervene and recognition of abusive behavior. These findings were confirmed by a subsequent evaluation one year after the end of the trial period.

Commentary: These programs were developed as alternative approaches for working with diverse populations. Evaluation results confirmed that they’ve changed attitudes and behavior towards women and prevented DV. Despite positive results, these programs represent small gains; a great deal still needs to be done to work with Latino men. 

Working with Latino men to End Violence against Women: A Qualitative Exploration 

As part of the development of this toolkit, Casa de Esperanza conducted a small study consisting of two separate focus groups and interviews conducted with members of the Latin@ community from St. Paul and Minneapolis in November, 2012. Results demonstrate that culture and education should dictate the direction of further efforts to change power dynamics. Participants agreed that men and women can learn to see and understand gender roles in a different manner; therefore, changing violent behavior towards women. They also agreed on the following directions: strategies to engage men in working to end violence should involve the whole family; men prefer to receive information from other men; and efforts need to be led by leaders from the community. Finally, there is a need to provide greater services for men. (Hernandez-Martinez, 2013).

National statistics about the experience of DV in the U.S. represent estimates that vary by different methods of data collection. Therefore, you will notice quite a bit of statistical variability. Nevertheless, we have presented some of the most recent prevalence information published on Latin@ populations. It is important to remember that these findings must be considered within the context of the limitations outlined previously and may be limited in their representations.

  • Approximately 1 in 3 Latinas (Breiding,Chen & Black, 2014) have experienced intimate partner violence during her lifetime and 1 in 12 in the previous 12 months.(Breiding, Smith, Basile, Walters, Chen, & Merrick, 2014)
  • This rate is approximately the same as for women from other racial/ethnic groups.  In fact, a recent study found no significant difference across racial groups once socioeconomic status was taken into consideration.(Cho, 2012)
  • Reported rates of DV were lower for Mexican immigrants (13.4%) than for persons of Mexican descent born in the United States (16.7%) (Aldarondo, Kantor, & Jasinski, 2002).
  • These differences are consistent with other studies examining physical and mental health outcomes (Vega, Sribney, Aguilar-Gaxiola, & Kolody, 2004), school achievement (Brabeck, & Guzman, 2008), and substance abuse (Ojeda, Patterson, & Strathdee, 2008). This surprising strength of immigrant groups—despite the social and economic challenges they often face—has been labeled the immigrant paradox (Wright & Benson, 2010). Latin@s also show differences based on their country of origin and level of acculturation; a greater number of years in the U.S. predicts poorer health outcomes.  The apparent protective nature of being an immigrant is the subject of several current studies (Suárez-Orozco, & Suárez-Orozco, 2001; Vega, Sribney, Aguilar-Gaxiola, & Kolody, 2004).
  • A study that included 2,000 Latinas found that 63.1% of women who identified as being victimized in their lifetime (i.e., interpersonal victimization such as, stalking, physical assaults, weapon assaults, physical assaults in childhood, threats, sexual assault, attempted sexual assault, etc.) reported having experienced more than one victimization, with an average of 2.56 victimizations (Cuevas, Sabina, & Picard, 2010).
  • Immigrant women (including Latinas) who are married are more likely to experience DV than unmarried women (Dutton, Orloff, & Hass, 2000).
  • In a sample of over 300 pregnant Latinas, DV during pregnancy was reported at 10% for physical abuse and 19% for emotional abuse (Martin & Garcia, 2011).
  • Research is beginning to document work-related DV among  Latin@s. One study reported abusive strategies, such as on-the-job surveillance or harrassment and work disruption tactics. However, this study also found strategies that were unique in a Latin@ sample, such as denying access to driver’s license, lying about childcare arrangements, and sending the partner temporarily to their country of origin (Mankowski, Galvez, & Glass, 2011).

Commentary: As noted in the research findings above, Latin@s experience DV at similar rates to other ethnic groups; however, when one examines rates within sub-populations of Latin@s, interesting findings arise, such as those related to immigrant married vs. unmarried Latinas. These findings highlight the continued need to understand the extreme variability within the Latin@ community. 

For all works cited and references, please visit the References page.

Most of the published literature on DV interventions with men is from intervention programs run by social service organizations, individual therapists, or criminal justice agencies (Saunders, 2008). In very few cases, these programs are delivered by Latin@ community-based organizations. Few existing studies evaluate the effectiveness of programs for Latino men. Nevertheless, the literature base does offer important knowledge of various programs that have been utilized with Latino men, reviewed below.

  • A qualitative study conducted in Michigan with 21 Latino immigrant men who participated in a culturally informed batterers’ intervention indicates that the Spanish version of the Duluth curriculum can be beneficial for Latino immigrant batterers. The results suggested an increase in the participants’ willingness to change and satisfaction with the intervention (Parra-Cardona, Escobar-Chew, Holtrop, Carpenter, Guzman, Hernandez, Zamudio, & Gonzalez-Ramirez, 2013).
  • In another study conducted on the Duluth model in North Carolina, Hancock & Siu (2009) followed almost 100 Latino men for a period of two years. After a few months, the intervention facilitators found that the Duluth model was ineffective and decided to create a more culturally-sensitive model that would take into account the needs and aspirations of the men involved.
  • Another study took place in Southern California with 159 Latino men who received a court order to attend a batterers’ intervention program (Welland, & Ribner, 2010, 802). Findings included the lack of clarity in the language used by the clinicians to work with the Spanish-speaking participants, which helped explain the high dropout rate after one year.
  • Perilla & Perez (2002) published an article based on their work with Caminar Latino, a comprehensive DV program in Atlanta, which offers a culturally sensitive intervention for court-mandated Latino men. Anecdotal information gathered over twenty years from male participants and their partners has provided promising evidence for this approach with Latino men.

Commentary: The first two studies included in this section parallel in a small scale the state of research on batterers’ intervention, with contradicting results and confusion about the efficacy of programs. The last study also echoes another mainstream reality: a significant gap between what some researchers and practitioners think about the success of the interventions.

Whether a program is culturally informed or not (and the great majority are not), the truth is that most programs for men who batter are grossly underfunded. As our colleague Dr. Etiony Aldarondo has pointed out: “It is almost hypocritical to expect positive results from a field that receives practically no funding from public or private sources.”