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National Community Outreach Project Latinas and Sexual Violence


National Community Outreach Project Latinas and Sexual Violence Part 1 Non-Latina victim advocates who are bilingual and have gained cultural competency through ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: National Community Outreach Project Latinas and Sexual Violence

National Community Outreach ProjectLatinas
and Sexual Violence
  • Part 1

Population Overview and Projections
  • By 2050, nearly one in three U.S. residents will
    be Hispanic (U.S. Census Bureau, 2008).
  • According to a 2004 survey, one in six females
    age 13 and older will suffer some form of sexual
    violence (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2004).
  • The number of Hispanic females who have
    experienced some form of sexual violence could
    reach 10.8 million by 2050.

  • A snapshot of Hispanics in the United States in
    2008 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010)
  • 66 were of Mexican background.
  • 9 were of Puerto Rican background.
  • 3.4 were of Cuban background.
  • 3.4 were of Salvadoran background.
  • 2.8 were of Dominican background.
  • 15.4 were of some other Central American, South
    American, or other Hispanic or Latin American

Alternative Terms
  • Hispanic and Latino are not identical terms.
  • Hispanic Used most often in government
  • Latino Generally used by grassroots
    organizations and community-based initiatives.

Alternative Terms (cont.)
  • Existe Ayuda materials use Latina/o.

Immigrant References
  • The phrases illegal immigrant and illegal
    alien both include politically charged words
    that many victim advocates see as dehumanizing
  • The phrase undocumented immigrant is often

Immigrant Assumptions
  • It is important that victim advocates do not make
    assumptions about the immigration status of those
    they assist.
  • Most Latina/o youth are not immigrants
    two-thirds were born in the United States (Pew
    Hispanic Center, 2009).

  • Challenge 1. Lack of bilingual and bicultural
    direct service staff and volunteers.

Challenges (cont.)
  • Challenge 2. Lack of bilingual and bicultural

Challenges (cont.)
  • Challenge 3. Lack of bilingual and bicultural

Latinas and Sexual Violence
  • Latina girls reported that they were more likely
    to avoid further harassment than to seek help and
    or report (American Association of University
    Women, 2000).
  • Married Latinas were less likely to immediately
    define their experiences of forced sex as "rape"
    and terminate their relationships some viewed
    sex as a marital obligation (Bergen, 1996).

Latinas and Sexual Violence (cont.)
  • Female farmworkers (or Campesinas) are 10 times
    more vulnerable than others to sexual assault and
    harassment at work (Lopez-Treviño, 1995).
  • According to a 2009 report, 77 percent of Latinas
    said that sexual harassment was a major problem
    in the workplace (Southern Poverty Law Center,

Cultural Considerations
  • Addressing cultural considerations is necessary
    for the development of protocols that eliminate
    access barriers and enhance outreach.
  • Generalizations should also be avoided,
    especially when working with Latinas/os who are
    third-generation and longer residents of the
    United States.

Cultural Considerations (cont.)
  • When developing outreach strategies and
    materials, consider
  • Language.
  • Gender.
  • Level of acculturation.
  • Education.

Gender Expectations
  • Ongoing struggle between Latinos (who are
    encouraged to be sexually active) and Latinas
    (who are socialized to avoid the advances of
  • Amarra tu perra porque mis perros andan
    sueltos. (Tie your female dog because my male
    dogs are loose.)

Good Girls and el Respeto
  • Good girls are expected to know how to make
    oneself be respected (hacerse respetar) to
    avoid being raped.
  • In some Latina/o communities le faltó el
    respeto (he disrespected her) is another way
    of referring to a sexual assault.
  • Tengo suerte que me ha durado. (I am lucky that
    she has lasted.)

Emphasis on Virginity
  • "Me siento sucia y dañada." (I feel damaged and
  • "He avergonzado a mi familia." (I have shamed my
  • Ningún hombre querrá casarse conmigo." (No man
    will ever want to marry me.)

Emphasis on Virginity (cont.)
  • The loss of control over a precious rite of
    passage does not need to define a survivor.
  • Being raped as a virgin does not automatically
    imply the loss of virginity to rape.

Understanding Culpa (Blame)
  • Por algo me pasó. (This happened to me for a

Language and Confianza (Trust)
  • Trust may improve the survivors comfort level
    when addressing very difficult and often taboo
  •  An advocate can build trust by
  • Speaking the same language.
  • Having a similar cultural heritage.
  • Demonstrating awareness of pertinent cultural

Impact Through a Cultural Lens
  • Survivors often fear how the assault may affect
  • Standing in the community.
  • Feelings of self-worth.
  • Reproductive options.
  • Future marriage prospects.
  • Future intimate partners/relationships.

Addressing Shame
  • Latina/o victims can benefit from shame-releasing
    exercises that allow them to assign
    responsibility for sexual violence to the
    offender(s) (Fontes, 2007).
  •  For example, a Testimonio is a written or oral
    recounting of the victim's story that may allow
    others to bear witness to the trauma suffered by
    the survivor (Aron, 1992).

Diversity of the Spanish Language
  • The United States
  • Has the third largest Spanish-speaking population
    after Spain and Mexico.
  • Is home to residents with Spanish dialects from
    South America, Central America, the Caribbean,
    North America, and other Spanish-speaking regions
    of the world.

Language Considerations
  • The most frequently reported barrier keeping
    Latinas from needed services was languageeither
    not being able to speak English or not having an
    interpreter (Murdaugh et al., 2004).

Language Terms
  • Limited English Proficiency or Proficient (LEP).
  • English Language Learner (ELL).

Language Access Laws and
  • Executive Order 13166 requires federal agencies
    and state and local agencies receiving federal
    assistance to develop guidelines guaranteeing
    accessibility to their programs by persons with
  • U.S. Department of Justice LEP Guidance
  • LEP Web site from the Federal Interagency Working
    Group on Limited English Proficiency

Victim Service Access
  • English Language Learners require service access
  • A crisis line at the moment of need.
  • Information regarding the rape exam.
  • The various levels of supportive services and
    legal advocacy that an agency may offer.

Victim Service Access (cont.)
  • Bilingual personnel are crucial for eliminating
    access barriers at every stage of the
    help-seeking process (ALAS, 2004).

Use of Interpreters
  • All staff must know how to use an interpreter
    properly, whether the interpreter is a
    professional (such as an agency employee) or a
    non-professional (such as a friend of the
  • Being a fluent Spanish speaker is not enough.
    Interpreters should also be familiar with and
    respectful of Spanish language regional

Professional Interpreters
  • When working with professional interpreters
  • Verify the interpreters experience with, or
    knowledge of, different Latin American dialects.
  • Meet with the interpreter 15 to 30 minutes before
    the appointment.
  • When meeting with the client, pause every three
    sentences or less.
  • Look at and talk directly to the Spanish-speaking
    client, not the interpreter.

Non-Professional Interpreters
  • When working with non-professional or
    acquaintance interpreters, consider
  • Competence.
  • Confidentiality.
  • Appropriateness.
  • Possible conflicts of interest.

Non-Professional Interpreters Risks
  • Confidentiality may be compromised.
  • Feelings of embarrassment or shame may be made
  • The survivor may be less willing to share details
    when discussing his/her assault.

Non-Professional Interpreters Ethical Issues
  • Never use children as interpreters.
  • Using family, friends, or other survivors can
    cause secondary victimization. This can create
    additional problems for the agency and victim.

Downside of Using Interpreters
  • Communicating the trauma of sexual violence
    through an interpreter can make the help-seeking
    process even more difficult.
  • Interpretation disrupts the smooth communication
    of events and sentiments.
  • Outside professional interpreter services can be

Specialized Lay Interpreters
  • Band with other victim service agencies to train
    lay interpreters.
  • Recruit Spanish-speaking college students as
    volunteers who are fluent or at least familiar
    with your target areas dialects.

  • To reach an audience that is more comfortable
    reading Spanish
  • Translate English language materials.
  • Adapt materials already available in Spanish.
  • Develop original materials in Spanish.

Downside of Translations
  • Myth If the English language version works, then
    you can simply translate it into Spanish.
  • Facts
  • The ideas and concepts of the original version
    may not translate culturally.
  • The translation may be too formal or at a reading
    level too advanced for the target population.
  • If the material was not originally written with
    translation in mind, it requires careful editing
    and revision to be useful for the target

Machine Translation
  • It may be tempting to rely on Web sites that
    translate text into various languages because
    its quick and often free.
  • This can be problematic when dealing with the
    specialized terminology of sexual assault and
    domestic violence advocacy.

Machine Translation Risks
  • Not accurately translating There are some
    idioms, culture-specific phrases, and grammatical
    forms that only a native speaker can understand.
  • Not adjusting for the English-to-Spanish
    translation expansion rate (16 increase in word
  • Not using special Spanish characters that are
    often required in a translated document (such as
    the accent mark).

Machine Translation Errors
  • Sexual Assault Awareness Month was translated
    to meses conciencia asalto sexual (or months
    awareness sexual assault).
  • The specific sexual assault context of the term
    grooming was absent in the literal hygiene
    reference translation aseo.
  • Acquaintance rape was literally translated to
    conocido violación (or known rape).

Machine Translation Possible Consequences
  • Agencies that use machine translation services
    often cannot understand the output and therefore
    cannot verify that it is correct.
  • Agencies may suffer credibility issues because of
    incorrect or incoherent text.

Original Materials
  • Original Spanish-language and bilingual
  • Convey information in a manner that is culturally
    relevant and fluid.
  • Ensure that agencies transmit the intended
    messages and information effectively.
  • Convey respect for cultural diversity and ethnic
    identity, even to bilingual speakers who may be
    proficient in English.

Original Materials (cont.)
  • Considerations for developing original materials
    in Spanish include
  • Economic and education level.
  • Gender.
  • Immigration status.
  • Country of origin/dialect.
  • Acculturation level.
  • Attitude/awareness differences.

  • All agency materials and online content should
    describe in Spanish the bilingual services
  • Services offered in Spanish servicios que se
    ofrecen en español.
  • 24-hour hotline línea de ayuda disponible las
    24 horas del día.
  • Crisis counseling asesoría o consejería para
    personas en crisis.
  • Support groups grupos de apoyo.
  • Hospital accompaniment acompañamiento al
  • Legal advocacy asesoramiento legal.

A Glossary Resource
  • Existe Ayudas Sexual Assault Glossary
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