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The National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities is a network of individuals and organizations committed to improving the health and well-being of Latin@ communities. Led by Casa de Esperanza, the network aims to build bridges and connections among research, practice and policy to advance effective responses to eliminate violence and promote healthy relationships. In order to effectively pursue this goal we have created a number of resources targeting both the individuals affected by domestic violence as well as the organizations dedicated to serving them.
Evidence suggests that Central American women’s motivations to migrate and experiences during migration are often tied to violence, and yet their experiences after arriving in the U.S. do not always support their rights, recovery, safety, or healing. In fact, Central American women and children apprehended and detained in detention centers in the United States are often fleeing from domestic violence, sexual violence, and the highest rates of femicide in the world. Many women present themselves at the U.S.-Mexico border, seeking safety for themselves and their children, yet may be detained and possibly separated from their children. Those who travel alone or who have been separated from their children may remain detained for months, or in some cases indefinitely, as they pursue their asylum claims. While any period of time in detention is considered harmful, the longer women are in detention, the greater the risk of re-traumatization for them and their children.
Finding a Way: Innovative housing solutions of Latin@ survivors of domestic violence and successful practices of culturally specific community-based organizations
For many survivors of domestic violence, access to safe, affordable and stable housing constitutes one of the most important resources to live free from violence. Yes, housing remains a scant resource, and despite the federal and state governments’ efforts to provide a variety of housing programs, domestic violence survivors still face major difficulties in accessing and obtaining support from these housing programs. In the case of Latina immigrant survivors, many find themselves dealing with a system that is new to them and difficult to navigate.
Policy makers, researchers, funders and social service organizations across many sectors have given increasing attention to the issue of human trafficking. Many organizations that work at the intersections of human trafficking and other forms of violence such as domestic violence and sexual assault have worked to combat the issue of human trafficking for decades.
Fuerza Unida is a community engagement process developed by Casa de Esperanza. This manual will give you both the philosophy and the “nuts and bolts” to implement a similar process in your community.
Developed by the National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities, a project of Casa de Esperanza
The content of this resource is primarily intended for community-based organizations and seeks to provide practitioners with accessible language to describe the trauma-informed/culturally specific overlap of their work.
Developed by Mujeres Latinas en Acción and the National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities, a project of Casa de Esperanza
This publication highlights the history and importance of VAWA legislation for Latina and immigrant victims, provides an assessment of recent VAWA reauthorization efforts, and makes recommendations for moving forward.
Culture as a Resource for Organizational Development
Developed by the National Latin@ Network, a project of Casa de Esperanza, in collaboration with the Cultural Wellness Center, Minneapolis, MN. This resource also includes a Self-Reflection Handout.
An Advocate's Guide to Help Prepare Survivors for Public Speaking
A Survivor's Guide to Public Speaking
The National Latin@ Network collaborated with the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence on the translation of the Speaker's Guide, a guide for survivors that are considering sharing their stories publicly.The National Latin@ Network provided feedback and additional resources to make this guide more culturally relevant to Latin@ communities.
Working with Latin@ Communities
In 2010 Casa de Esperanza referred 9 community-based, domestic violence programs for a study aiming to identify program characteristics, understand racial/ethnic group differences, develop recommendations for the field, establish what services domestic violence survivors want and determine if these services were being provided. The following summary of results gives Casa de Esperanza a more accurate picture of the demographic we serve and how we can better serve them in the future.
Of the 192 survivor participants, 96.6% were immigrants, and almost 90% responded in Spanish. Linguistic and cultural barriers represent one of the most difficult challenges for many victims to overcome (see Limited English Proficiency), and can lead to isolation from the community, discrimination and a general lack of knowledge or misinformation regarding the U.S. legal system and its available resources. Those that participated in the study expressed a desire to learn English and receive interpretation when necessary. As a Latina organization, in both staffing and approach, Casa has risen to not only meet the language needs of those we serve but also to create a culturally familiar environment that facilitates a number of other services.
The overwhelming majority of participants were relatively young, between the ages of 21 and 30 with more than half indicating they had not received their high-school diploma. A similar number expressed that they struggled to pay their bills and almost 40% has a financial status that was worse than only two years before. Given this information it is clear that the need for services catering to young adults and providing financial aid is higher than ever.
By incorporating the voice of participants through the use of questionnaires, advisory groups and informal conversations Casa de Esperanza has been able to better target services for the victims we serve.
In addition the study reflected a number of key things that will help Casa de Esperanza continue providing the best service possible:
Programs and services need to continue being supported: Of those aware of the program more than a third visited over 20 times.
Non-residential services and supports provided to domestic violence survivors are varied and complex, responding to the needs of very diverse survivors: Every population is different and each organization needs to assess its unique demographic when deciding what services to provide.
Training about diversity and the presence of diverse staff are essential for survivors who require culturally-specific responses to their needs. Language and cultural barriers can often lead to avoidance of programs and services that may be of assistance. It is important to maintain a staff that can relate and identify with the needs of the individuals served.
Child and youth witnesses’ needs must be considered as a prime goal of interventions: Children who witness domestic violence are more likely to become victims or perpetrators later in life. It is important to prioritize the needs of families with children exposed to domestic violence.
The voices of survivors must continue to be invited so they can guide the work we do in community: In order to continually combat domestic violence organizations should receive feedback using it to direct the nature of their work.