Press Releases
October 17, 2005
 
Arte Sana debuts new resource for outreach to the Latino community
AUSTIN, Texas -- The victim is never to blame. This is a simple concept -- or at least it should be. However, when the complexities of culture, language, and dialect are woven into a sexual assault risk reduction message, producing the ‘deliverable’ can be complicated, but should be assumed by those interested in producing culturally competent materials and messages that will actually reach the intended audience.
 
According to a study cited in the Journal of Family Violence, of 309 Latinas aged 18 years or older who spoke either Spanish or were bilingual, and currently resided in a southeastern state, the most frequently reported important barrier that kept women from getting needed services was language, either not being able to speak English or not having a translator. (Source: Murdaugh, C., Hunt, S., Sowell, R., and Santana, I., “Domestic Violence in Hispanics in the Southeastern United States: A Survey and Needs Analysis,” Journal of Family Violence, Vol. 19, No. 2. April 2004.)

In an effort to help bridge the ever-growing gap in Spanish language victim service accessibility, Arte Sana (art heals) is proud to offer "La Victima Nunca es Culpable" (the victim is never to blame), a new Spanish language resource that was created by Latinas to address sexual violence in the Latino community.

This unique Spanish language brochure is a product of Latina cyber-activism -- the use of technology to empower the disenfranchised to bring about positive change. Without one cent of funding, Arte Sana received online feedback from a diverse group of Latinas with cultural roots from Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina, Ecuador, Panama, Puerto Rico, Peru, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic. Women from two national Latina listservs participated in this online focus group process including Las Comadres News Network and the Alianza Latina en contra la Agresión Sexual (ALAS) also know as the Latina Alliance Against Sexual Aggression. This online development process illustrated the challenges of producing culturally relevant translations and interpretations of sexual assault terminology and risk reduction messages. A broad spectrum of Spanish language dialect including regional, popular and bicultural terminology, revealed many levels of social conditioning regarding both sexuality and sexual violence. This online creative process also required that we juggle the various Latino cultural perspectives and generational differences with the accurate grammatical recommendations offered by professional translators AND the victim advocate's perspective.

Considering that most victim service programs are struggling to meet ever-growing demands in the face of on-going budget challenges and that most available Spanish language victim service resources are literal translations of documents originally created in English, this new resource represents much more than a brochure. As it has since its inception in 2001, Arte Sana has again developed original Spanish language materials to help bridge the gap in service accessibility for Spanish-speaking survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence. As a national Latina-led victim advocacy and training agency, Arte Sana's own struggle for survival has taught us now to enhance our work SIN fronteras (without borders) via online collaborations and creations.

We invite you to share this new resource within your state to develop, promote, and support outreach efforts with our growing Latino communities in order to help the many who may not currently be aware of existing services.

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).

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