|Existe Ayuda National Outreach Project||
The Need for the Existe Ayuda Project
By July 2050, the projected Hispanic population of the United States is expected to be 132.8 million, or 30% of the total population by that date. Nearly one in three US residents will be Hispanic. (U.S. Census Bureau. "An Older and More Diverse Nation by Midcentury" 2008).
According to the National Crime Victimization Survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2004, one in six females age 13 and older are victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assaults. Based on the U.S. Census, Hispanic female population projections, and the one-in-six victimization estimate, by the year 2050, the number of females of Hispanic origin who have experienced some form of sexual violence could reach 10.8 million.
Considering the levels of underreporting, the various types of crimes committed against Latinos and Latinas as people of color and immigrants in particular, the current trends of violence will continue, and with the anticipated Latino population growth there will logically be more victims of (all kinds of) crime. There are a rapidly increasing number of underserved Latina/o victims of sexual and domestic violence in the United States. This is due in part to limited funds, the lack of bilingual staff, Spanish language resources, and effective outreach programs.
While the Latino population grows across the nation, many communities lack the resources and bilingual victim advocates who can address the needs of Spanish-speaking victims. Limited funds have kept many victim service agencies in a state of overextension, with the demand exceeding limited service capabilities. The majority of staff and volunteers do their best with what resources are available to meet the immediate service and needs of victims. For example, many rape crisis centers and domestic violence shelters do not have the resources and/or funding to have a part-time or full time bilingual advocate staff member.
Without a consolidated national effort to support and upgrade the bilingual human resource and program effectiveness of sexual assault agencies, many more individuals, families, and communities across the nation will continue to suffer the devastating impact of ongoing sexual violence, and sexual assault trauma and re-victimization.
The original Existe Ayuda Goal was to produce replicable Spanish-language outreach tools and training resources to improve the cultural competence of service providers and improve the accessibility of services for Spanish-speaking victims of sexual violence.
Thirty-six agencies including state sexual assault coalitions, rape crisis centers and shelters for homeless immigrants have been involved in the Existe Ayuda project.
The Role of Online Work
Twenty-nine agencies across the nation collaborated to help pilot test the Existe Ayuda project products during conferences, agency meetings and local community gatherings. The products were tested in California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.
Both the value of the materials created and the impact of the project experience are best reflected in the following sample process survey quotes. These quotes come from the online creative group members who participated in the pilot-testing phase:
"I see this project as a third hand for those Latinas that are translating existing materials that are not culturally appropriate for their communities. Pretty soon they are going to have access to high quality materials that will make their lives easier and possible and help them achieve longevity in the movement."
Existe Ayuda Purpose/Audience
While we encourage only those who are fluent in the Spanish-language - speak, read, and write in Spanish - to present or train in Spanish, the Existe Ayuda outreach products may be used by non-Spanish speaking victim advocates and allied professionals. Existe Ayuda's ultimate goals are to be a source of information for Spanish-speaking victims of sexual assault and Spanish-speaking communities, to promote awareness about sexual violence in the Latino communities, and to assist victim advocates in communicating with Spanish monolinguals about where to find help in their language of preference.
A Victim Advocate training presentation on effective Latina outreach in (English)
Public Service Announcement on Sexual Harassment in the workplace (Spanish)
Public Service Announcement on Intimate Partner Sexual Violence (Spanish)
Answering Machine Script for rape crisis centers and state sexual assault coalitions (Spanish)
The purpose of the Answering Machine script is to provide non Spanish-speaking staff a communication tool to offer potential Spanish monolingual callers the necessary information in order to access help.
Fact sheet on Latinas and sexual violence (English)
Fact sheet on sexual assault (Spanish)
The purpose of this language fact sheet is to promote greater awareness of sexual assault within English as a Second Language (ESL) and English Language Learner (ELL) communities.
Glossary on sexual assault terms (Bilingual)
Glossary of human trafficking terms (Bilingual)
The purpose of this glossary is to offer internationally recognized Spanish language translations of human trafficking terms and share well "street language" terms used by those who traffic in persons.
A Palm card on victim rights (Spanish)
A handout on sexual harassment (Spanish)
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