About the National Latin@ Victim Advocate Awards
Since Arte Sana's founding in 2001, we have witnessed the loss of many key rape crisis center and coalition level Latina victim advocates. Often over-taxed with additional and uncompensated translation and interpreter duties, many Latina advocates also suffer both overt and covert tokenism, while attempting to fill some incredible access gaps on their own. These advocates are key to Latino community outreach and engagement and they will be needed even more as our communities grow.
In 2005 Arte Sana and the Alianza Latina en contra la Agresión Sexual (ALAS) created the National Latin@ Victim Advocate Awards to honor those who have helped eliminate access barriers for Latin@ victims of sexual and intimate partner violence and/or have implemented culturally competent strategies to engage and empower underserved Latin@ communities.
The categories were originally developed in direct response to the precarious state of Latin@ victim advocacy, the growing needs, and the working conditions that many bilingual /bicultural advocates face. The current anti-immigrant and English only climate makes Latin@ victim advocacy especially challenging in certain regions of the nation that have experienced a rapid growth of Spanish-speaking communities.
Peers and supervisors nominate victim advocates or prevention specialists, promotoras / Community Health Workers, artists, allied professionals, and community leaders, and a national awards selection committee comprised of Arte Sana staff and ALAS members, utilizes a numeric rating system of attributes to determine the nominee that best fits the nominating criteria.
Categories, Eligibility, Criteria:
SIN Fronteras - Community Empowerment
Eligibility: Rape crisis center, domestic violence shelter, and social service agency.
Criteria: Generated awareness and contributed to bridging the gap among diverse, under-served immigrant and Spanish monolingual populations through bilingual risk reduction, cross training, etc.
Artista Activista - Empowerment through the Arts
Eligibility: Individuals (artists, musicians, poets, survivors, victim advocates) or advocacy groups.
Criteria: Used the arts as a vehicle for victim advocacy, building awareness, and/or promoting healing.
Comadre en la Lucha - Latina Leadership
Eligibility: Executive directors, supervisors, victim advocates from local, state, or national entities.
Criteria: Demonstrated a measurable commitment to develop and promote Latina victim advocacy leadership through innovative positions, training opportunities, board representation, and/or budget allocations.
Lucha - Social Change
Eligibility: Individuals (survivors, allied professionals, politicians, etc.) and non-VAWA/VOCA-funded agencies and programs, businesses, and universities.
Criteria: Actions have created a long-lasting impact.
Página Web - Bilingual Web Access
Eligibility: Rape crisis center and domestic violence shelter websites.
Criteria: Websites that are user friendly with easy to find Español tabs that include
at least 1,500 (non-machine translated) words regarding victim rights, available services, and agency information in Spanish.
The Milagros of Latin@ Victim Advocacy
Milagro is a Spanish word for miracle. In the traditional context milagros are small religious folk charms offered to a saint for the purpose of prayer for health and healing. A folk custom in parts of North, Central, and South America, the use of milagros can be traced to ancient communities in Spain. Milagros of the southwest come in many shapes, and they have a traditional and a literal meaning as they can symbolize the wearer’s health needs and intentions. The National Latin@ Victim Advocate Award includes the following milagros.