Nuestras voces/Our Voices: Wise Latinas en la lucha


Nuestras Voces 2011
 

 

The Official Data

  • The estimated number of Hispanics in the U.S. as of 2010 is 50 million.

  • The United States has the fifth largest Hispanic population worldwide after Mexico and Colombia, barely trailing Spain and Argentina.

  • Approximately half of U.S. immigrants are from Latin America.

  • Seven-in-ten (70%) Hispanic students speak a language other than English at home.

  • Nearly half (44%) of first-generation students speak English with difficulty, compared with 20% of second-generation students and 5% of the third-and-higher generations.

  • By 2050, the number of Hispanics in the U.S is projected to grow exponentially to over 100 million people, which at that point, will be approximately one quarter of the total U.S. population.

(Sources: The U.S. Census Bureau and the Pew Hispanic Research Center)

The Current State of Latin@ Victim Advocacy

The confluence of ethnicity, race, language, class, gender, and immigration status place countless Latinas among the most vulnerable targets of multiple forms of violence.

According to the Sexual Assault Among Latinas (SALAS) Study, Latina victims of sexual assault suffer revictimization or multiple forms of abuse, yet only 3.3 percent utilize victim services.

The economic crisis is forcing millions of Latinas to endure abusive working conditions for a paycheck. Equal Rights Advocates, the San Francisco-based national women's rights advocacy organization has seen a 100% increase in calls from complainants of sexual harassment and violence in the workplace.

Many Latin@ victims of sexual harassment, child sexual abuse, rape, human trafficking, and intimate partner violence are not aware of existing services or cannot access them.

Most rape crisis centers and domestic violence shelters do not have adequate numbers of Spanish-speaking staff to meet the needs.

A review of over 497 websites by Arte Sana and ALAS in 2010, revealed that 80% of victim assistance websites do not include vital information for survivors in Spanish.

Many Latina victim advocates leave victim services because of burnout due to overload and overextension with additional uncompensated interpreter and translation duties, ongoing lack of tangible support, and/or tokenism.

The loss of an agency's single bilingual staff oftentimes implies starting from scratch on multiple levels, and reestablishing critical links and confianza or trust with Latin@ communities.

Reasons to Send Staff

You might want to send staff to attend the Nuestras Voces Conference if you:

  • Are a center director with a new (and possibly first) Latina victim advocate who is performing multiple access duties as your agency's main liaison with a growing Spanish-speaking community.

  • Would like your staff to learn program and outreach strategies from nationally recognized Latina victim advocacy leaders.

  • Would like your staff to network with advocates from different regions that have developed successful Latin@ outreach and prevention programs.

  • Would like to improve staff morale:

    "Wonderful conference–in all the conferences I have attended in my 9 years in victim services this one made me feel positive, hopeful, supported–to believe 'yes we can.' Thank you!"

    "It is important to be validated & empowered, educated on what Latinos are thinking, feeling, believing."

Reasons to Attend

You might want to attend the Nuestras Voces Conference if you:

  • Are new to the field and are feeling a bit overwhelmed by the great challenges your county, state, or region is facing with Latin@ victim outreach.

  • Would like to spend two days learning from your peers in a Latina-focused environment.

    "As an advocate who works directly with the Spanish speaking population, and particularly as a white woman, I was honored to participate and share in the movement for Latinas–I learned a lot about the women I serve and the difficulties Latina women I work with face in the work place."

  • Would like to upgrade your Spanish-language presentation skills and learn how others are addressing SA and IPV issues en español.
  • "Realmente quedé impresionada con el trabajo que hicieron, especialmente el hecho de poner programas en español, porque habemos algunas personas que aunque somos bilingües aun nos sentimos más cómodas en nuestro propio idioma. Me sentí otra vez como en CASA... esta conferencia me ayudó a sentir más confidencia."

  • Would like to network with advocates from different regions and share your experience con tus herman@s who do not currently have the support they need.

  • Want to hear about successful grassroots engagement of the Latin@ population.

  • Want to be a part of a national movement for culturally competent service delivery in the growing Latin@ community.

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