|Victim Advocacy and Prevention Sin Fronteras in Texas||
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.
Since its inception in 2001 through November 2012, Arte Sana was able to reach 11,135 persons; 48% of these were residents of the Texas/ México border region. Many of the workshop or plática participants work as victim advocates, promotoras or Community Health Workers, or live in colonias - impoverished unincorporated neighborhoods which lack many basic services. In almost 12 years Arte Sana was able to offer 3,442 or 31% of its training and outreach program participants, information on sexual assault and intimate partner violence in Spanish, thanks to many ongoing collaborations.
Arte Sana Launches Capacitadoras en Acción
Six months after the founding of Arte Sana, it was invited by Mujeres Unidas / Women Together to offer a full-day Spanish language training on sexual assault issues to a group of promotoras in Weslaco, Texas, on September 11, 2001. Seeing the need and great potential to reach the growing number of under served Latin@s and offer support to impoverished border regions with limited sexual assault programs, Arte Sana authored and received Victims' Assistance Discretionary Grant funding for the ‘Capacitadoras en Acción' (trainers in action) project, one of the first bilingual sexual assault training projects of its kind in the nation.
The Capacitadoras en Acción (Trainers in Action) project was Arte Sana's first state-funded project. Funded by a Victim's assistance Discretionary Grant from Office of the Attorney General Office of Texas, its goal was to provide training to adult Latinas, promotoras, as well as other social service professionals, so that they may share information about sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and local victim service programs within Latino communities. The “Acción” or "Action" part of Capacitadoras en Acción (Trainers in Action) focused on enabling real change by training those who would be able to make a difference.
This project addressed the personal safety needs of Spanish-speaking immigrant Latinas from some of the poorest communities along the Texas/Mexico border. The project's aim was for Latino border communities to become active participants and partners in promoting safety and awareness on gender-based violence issues.
While identified as a statewide project, it primarily served the Texas-Mexico border and one of its primary target beneficiaries was the promotora or Community Health Worker.
Through this project Arte Sana was able to put in over 6000 miles of border-related travel so 1,116 border region advocates, allied professionals and community members could be trained through presentations on sexual assault issues, a border conference in collaboration with the Office of Border Health in Laredo, a border region video conference, and many regional training and community education events in a period of 16 months.
Of the 53 scholarships awarded, 33 were specifically for promotoras who work in the following Colonias*:
* Texas has the largest number of colonias and the largest colonia population. Over 400,000 people live in more than 1,400 colonias that are found within a 1,000 mile stretch of the border, primarily between Brownsville and El Paso.
The Texas counties of Star, Maverick, and Zavala are three of the ten poorest in the country. (Source: Colonias in Texas, General Characteristics of Texas Colonias www.hud.gov/texcol.cfm )
The Capacitadoras en Acción Project Partners
0n April 3, 2003, the Capacitadoras en Accion component of Arte Sana's programs was showcased by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a national interactive satellite broadcast: “Sexual Violence Prevention: Building Leadership and Commitment to Underserved Communities.”
In 2004, Arte Sana received recognition for its “outstanding leadership and commitment to the Healthy Border 2010” by the United States-Mexico Border Health Commission.
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