GRACIAS!
Thanks to our many partners in 2014 who allowed us to reach over 776 via our bilingual training workshops and pláticas, without grant funding!!

Texas Association Against Sexual Assault
Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services
SafePlace - Austin
Communities In Schools, Paredes Middle School - Austin 
Women's Shelter of South Texas - Corpus Christi 
Nuestra Clínica Del Valle - San Juan 
The Center for Elimination of Disproportionality and Disparities 
Cross Systems Summit - Austin 
MAC Binational Health Council Conference - Rio Grande City
PEACE Initiative - San Antonio

Girl Empowerment Festival - New Haven, CT partners:
Planned Parenthood of Southern New England
Junta for Progressive Action
Women and Families Center
Pequeñas Ligas Hispanas de New Haven
 Community Alliance for Research and Engagement (CARE)

Corazón Lastimado: Healing the Wounded Heart partners
A special gracias to the following two agencies for taking the 'Corazón Lastimado: Healing the Wounded Heart' survivor art exhibit to Pennsylvania and Idaho in 2014!
2015 Challenges for Victim Advocacy & Prevention
ALAS: The national Latina alliance against sexual violence established in 2004.

While 2014 was an incredible year for sexual assault victim advocacy and awareness, it also reminded us of the lasting impact of sexual violence and the challenges that survivors still face when accusing powerful or influential men. Allegations of incest, child sexual abuse, and rape taking place many years ago, made against Woody Allen, actor Stephen Collins, and Bill Cosby, were met with various levels of denial, victim blaming, and minimization. The confluence of racism and sexual violence also played itself out publicly as we saw the diverse reactions by public figures and within our own families, to the many sexual assault allegations against heretofore beloved celebrity father figure, Bill Cosby. While some people had already assumed a stance of 'neutrality' even before Mr. Cosby made a public plea for them to do so, and before his wife questioned who the victim is, others had already begun to question the cost of this type of identity solidarity, so automatically and faithfully bestowed.
  
"Due to a history of racism, and the desire to protect black men from white supremacy and imprisonment, black women have been conditioned to be their brother's keepers-and have allowed themselves to be perpetual victims by doing so. While acting as human shields for black men, we have left our daughters vulnerable." Cherise Charleswell

Since 2001, Arte Sana's experience with community education presentations and pláticas in Spanish has revealed similarities with the rates of victimization of black women addressed by Ms. Charleswell, and Latinas. In the same way that black women fear being labeled a "traitor-to-the-race," Latinas also fear being called a "vendida" or (sell-out) by contributing to the ongoing demonization and oppression of Latinos. In some communities, historic trauma and distrust of police continue to impede the victim assistance process. 

 In the collective consciousness, some of our familias keep the memories of Jim Crow era "No dogs or Mexicans allowed" signs, when Mexican-Americans could be lynched for acting "too Mexican" or for speaking Spanish, and a time when black and brown children were forced to use designated swimming pools. We also carry toxic levels of accumulated micro aggressions through an ongoing othering process in which even families with generations of U.S. war veterans are still considered less than American. Within our world of shared historic trauma and polyvictimization, even the former "perps" among us are afforded some respect for "todo lo que han (sobre)vivido" all they have lived (and survived). For Latina survivors in families with differing residency status, the weight of the possible consequences for reporting their victimization is also compounded

Survivors should never be expected to self-sacrifice on behalf of others, our family members, nor our comunidades. Advocates of color who are themselves survivors need to support each other and our own healing, and hold both the agencies we work for and our social justice movements accountable. 
"Incest and childhood abuse happens across racial and cultural lines, yet our major cultural and racial political organizations do not acknowledge it as a key threat to our communities. We need to change that." Deborah Romero 

In 2014, many popular social media campaigns addressing sexual assault in the military and on college campuses, as well as victim blaming and street harassment, played a critical role raising awareness. 2014 was also the year in which sexual violence cyber-activism was community based, with most high-volume social media campaigns being spearheaded by survivors themselves and victim rights activists. Social media efforts like #DecolonizeSAAM and #DecolonizeDVAM called into question some of the mainstream grant-funded messaging perceived as exclusive or too focused on criminal justice solutions. Others have also called attention to the issue of privilege within victim rights outreach efforts and campaigns. 
"The focus on sexual violence against some of our most privileged young people has distracted us from the victimization of those enjoying less social and economic advantage." Callie Marie Rennison
The sad reality is that many victims of color still do not consider the rape crisis center hotline as an option, will never report their rape to the police, remain invisible, and will continue to suffer in silence.  

The challenge for victim advocacy groups and coalitions in 2015 is to move beyond position statements and social media campaigns, to acknowledge and address the many systemic victim assistance barriers that continue to exist for male, female, GLBTQ, and immigrant survivors of color.  By building on, or creating meaningful community collaborations we can empower all survivors to reach out for support and justice, regardless of who the abuser may be, or where the violence may have taken place. A major step for promoting Latin@ community engagement is to eliminate language barriers. GRACIAS to all state coalitions (sexual assault, domestic violence, and dual) that have added content in Spanish onto their websites! 
Arkansas +DV
Colorado +SA
Connecticut +SA, DV District of Columbia +SA Florida +DV

Kansas +SA/DV 
Massachusetts +SA/DV Maine +SA
New Hampshire +SA/DV New Jersey +DV

Ohio +SA
Rhode Island +DV

Virginia +SA/DV Washington +SA, DV Wisconsin +SA, DV

Alianza Latina en contra la Agresión Sexual (ALAS

ALAS welcomed five new members in 2014 from Colorado, Iowa, and Georgia!

 


2014 was a busy year for ALAS members who contributed to SAAM infographic content, position statements on child refugees and violence against detained immigrants, led Latin@ outreach campaigns in their states, and worked on the translation and adaptation of talking points developed by the NSVRC regarding sexual Bill Cosby's multiple assault allegations.
'Bill Cosby acusado de múltiples agresiones sexuales: 3 puntos críticos'

As a means to honor Latin@ advocacy on the 20th anniversary of VAWA, ALAS members also contributed to a Pioneers in Latin@ Victim Advocacy graphic.
For over 40 years Latin@s have played a key role in domestic and sexual violence victim outreach, yet many have never received formal victim assistance funding. Action steps for eliminating barriers and supporting Latin@ victim advocacy are included in this updated presentation
 

We are thrilled that the following ALAS members will be presenting workshops in English and Spanish during the Nuestras Voces National Bilingual Sexual Assault Conference to be held in Laredo next March.  
Elizabeth Balcarcel - Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Diana Camarillo - Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual VIolence

Elisa Covarrubias - Sexual Assault and Advocacy Programs YWCA of Northwest Georgia 

Michelle Toledo CaiñasGeorgia Latin@s Against Domestic Violence (GLADV)

 

ALAS members will also serve on the selection committee for the 

2015 National Latina Victim Advocates Awards.

 

National Latina Victim Advocate Awards

Arte Sana, in collaboration with ALAS (the Latina alliance against sexual violence), launched the first National Latina Victim Advocate Awards in 2005

We invited advocates across the nation to honor those who have helped eliminate victim assistance barriers for Latin@ victims of sexual violence and intimate partner violence, and have developed and/or implemented culturally competent strategies to engage and empower underserved Latin@ communities. 

We honored recipients of the National Latina Victim Advocate award in 2010, and will begin the nomination process again in January 2015. 


Follow Arte Sana's Facebook page for nomination information available in early January 2015.
Join us in Laredo next March for the 2015 
Nuestras Voces National Bilingual Sexual Assault Conference!

Nuestras Voces is the ONLY national sexual assault conference to include a complete workshop track in Spanish, and the 2015 conference will offer many SAAM outreach tools that will help engage Latin@s as partners in sexual violence prevention. See what conference attendees have said about the

OVC-TTAC Professional Development Scholarships Available!

 

OVC-TTAC Professional Development Scholarships are being awarded for the Nuestras Voces Conference! OVC TTAC must receive the completed scholarship application at least 60 calendar days prior to the event or the request will be rejected - NO EXCEPTIONS.  Review the scholarship eligibility criteria and access the application form to apply soon!  

Promoting Causas &  #NuestrasVoces2015 on Social Networks

 
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Follow Arte Sana on Facebook, pin from the Nuestras Voces Conference board on Pinterest, and find #NuestrasVoces2015 on Twitter to learn more about our presenters' efforts to prevent and address gender-based violence.