AUSTIN, Texas -- Recently, violence against Latina women in Central Texas have become more evident as cases of sexual assault by persons impersonating law enforcement or INS personnel, sexual assault abductions at bus stops, attempted abductions of Latina women downtown, and the murder of Latina women by former boyfriends or husbands have made the local news.
According to a report released in 2003 by the Texas Council on Family Violence, one in five Latinas in Texas reported being forced to have sex against their will. Furthermore, while 77 percent of Latinas have experienced some form of domestic violence, they are significantly less familiar with the resources available to help victims of domestic violence. Unfortunately for those monolingual victims who are able to seek help, they are often faced with an unequal access to victim services and the fact that there is only a one in five chance that a victim of domestic violence who speaks Spanish will be assisted by a staff that is bilingual.
Arte Sana (art heals), a national Latina victim rights training and advocacy agency based here in Austin, hopes to draw further attention to this issue by holding a press conference on Monday, March 8, at 10 am, which also happens to be International Women’s Day. Members of the newly formed, Latina/o Anti-violence Task Force, which includes members from various victim services agencies in around the Austin area, will be present to discuss how this problem is impacting all of our communities. On this day, Arte Sana will also celebrate its third anniversary of collaborative work SIN FRONTERAS.
About Arte Sana
Arte Sana (art heals) is a nationwide organization dedicated to helping underserved survivors of racial and gender-based violence. As a 501(c)3 non-profit group based in Austin, TX, Arte Sana promotes healing and empowerment through the arts and community education. Founded in 2001, Arte Sana believes that violence risk reduction programs and services must be culturally competent and linguistically appropriate and are committed to the value of indigenous leadership and collaboration sin fronteras (without borders).
Arte Sana is also a member of the Alianza Latina en Contra la Agresión Sexual or ALAS, (Latina Alliance Against Sexual Aggression), a national Latina advocate resource-sharing group united in a major goal: to help make risk reduction and victim service information more accessible to Spanish-speaking Latina/os in the U.S.