To provide insight into the experience of TDV for Latin@ youth, Casa de Esperanza reviewed 10 years (2008-2017) of academic research that examines TDV with exclusively Latin@ samples. The following review includes research published about Latin@ adolescents in the United States between the ages of 13-17 years old and middle or high school students.
Our review of the literature revealed a wide range of rates on the prevalence of TDV among Latin@ youth and identified a growing body of research that examines several potential individual and family level risk and protective factors. There continues to be a large gap in strengths-based research and research that centers the experiences of Latin@ youth.
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. In addition, their experience of domestic violence creates an additional layer of complication when seeking housing; barriers such as the social stigma of domestic violence, misunderstandings of protective laws, and the need for safety.
In an effort to gather information, and identify promising practices and successful advocacy strategies that serve Latin@ survivors, the National Latin@ Network research team conducted a series of listening sessions across the country with community-based advocates who work with Latin@ immigrant survivors.
The National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities (NLN) conducted the study, A Scan of the Field: Learning About Serving Survivors of Human Trafficking, to fill the gap in understanding service provision at the intersections of human trafficking and domestic and sexual violence. Researchers collected information for this study through a web-based survey and case studies with five selected organizations.
This report accomplishes two goals. First, it documents the study’s findings in an effort to increase understanding about how human trafficking survivors receive services from domestic and sexual violence organizations. Second, it documents lessons learned for organizations that are looking to expand into this area of service.
The authors address systemic limitations on understanding the state of the field by using an interdisciplinary and comprehensive approach to identify community-based solutions with Latino men and boys that may not be included in academic literature. They review mainstream academic knowledge, as well as knowledge from community-based initiatives with Latino boys and men in the area of healthy masculinity.
Self-Empowerment of Immigrant Latina Survivors of Domestic Violence: A Promotora Model of Community Leadership
This article presents the results of a self-empowerment leadership intervention program for Latina immigrant survivors of domestic violence in Atlanta, Georgia. It builds on the literature base of the Promotora model, a public health model using peer information sharing as a tool for health promotion. This study used an embedded mixed-methods design with quantitative and qualitative components to evaluate the impact of a peer community leadership program called Líderes. Results of single-subject analyses show that the participants experienced change in three components of self-empowerment: intrapersonal, interactional, and behavioral. The qualitative findings revealed that they overcame fear and gained knowledge as well as a sense that they could promote change in their community. These findings add support to a growing literature base that demonstrates how peer model programs can not only positively influence the well-being of the communities they serve but also have transformative effects on peer leaders themselves. Study findings can also inform future efforts to empower survivors through promotora approaches specifically in the context of domestic violence prevention.
In this special issue of the Latina/o Psychology Today, a publication of the National Latina/o Psychological Association, you will find two articles written by the NLN research team. On page 12 you can read about the work of the Latin@ youth researchers at Caminar Latino. On page 17 you will find a community capacity framework developed by Casa de Esperanza and the NLN.
Realidades Latinas: A National Survey on the Impact of Immigration and Language Access on Latina Survivors
As the immigration debate wages on in the United States, researchers, advocates, community organizers, policy makers, and community members alike have taken note of the direct impact that increased immigration enforcement policies have had on the Latin@ community. This is especially evident in the area of domestic violence (DV), where for the past few years advocates in various states have reported stories of families being negatively impacted by these policies, at times in life-threatening ways.
Addendum to Realidades Latinas 2015: A National Survey on the Impact of Immigration and Language Access on Latina Survivors
Immigrant Latin@ youth affected by domestic violence are in a unique position to provide researchers insight to the needs of their communities. This study engaged youth in participatory action research. Youth at Caminar Latino, a comprehensive, community-based program for Latin@s affected by domestic violence, conducted a study exploring the effects of current immigration laws on Latin@ families in which violence had occurred. We present qualitative narratives by Latin@ adults and youth on how immigration has threatened Latin@ family’s well-being and physical safety.
Research Summary: An Evidence-Based Leadership Intervention for Latina Survivors of Domestic Violence
The Líderes program was created in 2003 in response to Latinas in the Twin Cities of MN asking for leadership opportunities in their communities. In 2006, Casa de Esperanza developed a curriculum for the Líderes and in 2011 it was adopted by Caminar Latino in Atlanta, GA and adapted for women survivors of domestic violence. The Líderes program is a peer model that aims to tap into the abilities of community individuals to share critical information and resources, as well as build community and promote healthy relationships with
other community members.
Women Who Stay: Perspectives of Latina Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence on Staying With or Leaving Abusive Partners
Many women, regardless of race or ethnicity, choose to continue to live with partners who have been (or continue to be) abusive. Traditional domestic violence intervention approaches have emphasized women leaving abusive relationships, but the applicability and acceptability of this approach for women from culturally diverse backgrounds, including immigrant and Latina survivors of IPV, is not well understood.
The Latin@ Youth Letters study does that, serving as a window into the complex reality of Latin@ youth’s lives. The topics of pride, forgiveness, admiration, and true connection with their mothers are mixed with the realities of racism, violence, fear, and acculturation stress.