Arte Sana Latina Victim Outreach Project
September 2007
The patterns of Latino population growth and settlement across the United States are clearly on the rise. This trend is guaranteed to increase as the size of the nation’s Latino/a population grows to 61 million by the year 2025, 21% in Texas alone. The figures also estimates that over 5 million current Texas residents are Spanish-speaking, 20% of which report that they speak English “not well” or “not at all”.

Since its inception in 2001, Arte Sana has continued to focus on the development of outreach materials and services that are culturally competent and linguistically appropriate to this growing population.

In 2007 Arte Sana initiated the Latina Victim Outreach Project (LVOP) in Texas funded by Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). As a project aimed at risk reduction and addressing the needs of sexual assault and domestic violence Latina survivors who are Limited English Proficient or English Language Learners, the LVOP has developed materials and presentations to inform this growing Latina/o community about victim rights and the existing services available to help them.

Project Accomplishments in 2007

Via training sessions and presentations provided in cities across Texas (with a special focus placed on the Texas/Mexico border region) the Latina Victim Outreach Project has reached 522 victim advocates, allied professionals, promotoras (Community Health Workers), law enforcement officials, young women, and community members. Forty percent of the project participants resided in Laredo, McAllen, and El Paso. Accordingly 51% of all presentations were provided in Spanish.

Project Deliverables

This project also produced two Spanish language outreach tools that have been disseminated throughout the state. The first document is a brochure on stalking aimed at questioning Latino assumptions about stalking, preventing victim blaming, and empowering survivors. The second is a small accordion style palm card (2.5 x 4.5 in) for victims of human trafficking that contains basic information on sexual exploitation and domestic worker victim rights.

Thanks to the valuable feedback that we received from our online partners, we are confident that these new products will serve the purpose of bridging the gap of information accessibility in Spanish.

Project Collaborations

The Latina Victim Outreach Project also afforded two opportunities to collaborate with victim advocates and other allied professional throughout the state of Texas.

The first collaboration was the first Girl Empowerment Festival held in Austin at the University of Texas at Austin. This one-day event gathered local victim service agencies and state coalitions, young women, their mothers and significant female family members to address violence against women and victim rights. The event was recognized by the local media and the city as Mayor Will Wynne proclaimed June 9th as Girl Empowerment Festival Day in Austin, TX. Below are a few of the comments from attendees:

“It helped me learn a lot about sexual harassment.”

“I will now be more aware of the different signs in an abusive relationship, from where they begin.”

“No debo dejar que me acosen.” (I should not let anyone harass me.)

“When other persons speak of sensitive subjects it has a great impact on girls and it makes it easier for mothers to bring up theses subjects.”

Partners who helped make this event a wonderful success:

* Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department
* Girl Scouts-Lone Star Council,
* Latinitas,
* LifeWorks,
* SafePlace,
* Texas Advocacy Project
* Texas Association Against Sexual Assault

The second collaboration was a virtual collaboration conducted via the Internet from May 16-July 15. Participants were asked to review and consult on the development of the Spanish language palm card. Representatives from the following agencies and organizations contributed:

* A Call to Men
* Bay Area Turning Point, Inc.
* Central TX Coalition Against Human Trafficking
* Denton County Friends of the Family, Inc.
* El Paso Human Trafficking Task Force
* Hill Country Crisis Council, Kerrville
* Mid Coast Family Services
* SafePlace
* Texas Advocacy Project
* Texas Association Against Sexual Assault
* The Rape Crisis Center/San Antonio
* Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, Inc.
* Texas Rural Legal Aid
* The South Texas Coalition Against Human Trafficking/ Slavery (STCAHTS)

Thank you to our partners

Thanks to the support of many collaborative partners, this project has been a great success. Through continued funding, Arte Sana looks to build even more partnerships with agencies across Texas in working to eliminate access barriers for Latina victims of violence against women.

The Latina Victim Outreach Project is sponsored by Grant # WF-06-V30-18372-01 by the Governor's Criminal Justice Division (CJD) and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Fund.

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