Press Releases
December 30, 2004

Arte Sana receives national and bi-national recognition for its initiatives along the Texas-Mexico border

AUSTIN, Texas -- Across the nation, there is unequal accessibility for Spanish monolingual Latina victims of domestic and sexual violence. In Texas, a state with over 7.3 million Latinas/os, there is only a one in five chance that a victim of domestic violence who speaks Spanish might be assisted by a bilingual domestic violence center staff, according to survey responses from DHS funded residential and non-residential victim service agencies.

There is also a grave shortage of bilingual hotline staff and volunteers. Approximately two-thirds of all domestic violence agencies in Texas reported difficulties serving clients due to language barriers. The most frequently reported difficulty was the periodic lack of availability of bilingual staff.
(Source: Se Habla Español? Accessibility of Services for Spanish-Speaking Clients at Domestic Violence Agencies," Abigail Fitzgerald, U.T. Austin SSW Intern, TCFV, 4/03)

As a Latina-led training and advocacy non-profit based in Texas, Arte Sana has sought to empower the participation of Latinas and Latinos in the prevention of violence against women, and bear witness to the re-victimization suffered by Latinas who encounter linguistic and cultural obstacles when attempting to access services.

In 2003, Arte Sana was recognized for its efforts in working with traditionally underserved populations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC). The recognition was due in part to Arte Sana’s Spanish language train-the-trainer program and its inclusion of elements of Latino culture and the arts to address sexual violence.

In three years, Arte Sana has been able to reach 3,921 persons, 53% of these were residents of the Texas/ México border region, many of whom work or live in colonias, or impoverished unincorporated neighborhoods which lack many basic services. This also includes a Girl Empowerment Festival held in Laredo, TX in August 2004.
The event addressed issues such as teen pregnancy, dating violence, sexual assault, body image, rape culture, and media literacy through art, poetry, and song. 

Although formal funding for the Spanish language training program was discontinued in August 2003, Arte Sana has been able to continue the work of victim advocacy SIN FRONTERAS (without borders) thanks to the extensive collaborative partnerships it has forged with border agencies. In 2004 alone, 578 of the total 1077 persons trained or presented to were border residents. Arte Sana received recognition for its “outstanding leadership and commitment to the Healthy Border 2010” by the United States-Mexico Border Health Commission in 2004.

The growing demand for community education and training programs in Spanish is also reflected in Arte Sana’s cumulative figures. From 2001 - 2004, 36% of those trained received risk reduction information or professional training on sexual and intimate partner violence in Spanish. Please visit our Arte Sana in Action section for further details.

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