Existe Ayuda (Help Exists) Toolkit
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As the U.S. Spanish-speaking population continues to grow, so does the need for outreach materials in Spanish. Sexual violence continues to be a taboo topic among many communities. Without linguistically appropriate information regarding sexual violence and victims’ rights and services, those who are not proficient in English may remain silent and invisible victims.

Enter the Existe Ayuda Toolkit, where you’ll find replicable Spanish-language tools and resources to help improve the cultural competence of service providers and the accessibility of services for Spanish-speaking victims of sexual violence.

If you’d like some background on the Existe Ayuda project before you start, including information about challenges faced by providers, the U.S. Spanish-speaking population, and terminology, see About the Toolkit. Otherwise, go directly to—

  • Glossaries for Spanish terms related to sexual assault and trafficking.
  • Presentations for PowerPoint slides used in presentations to promotoras (community health workers) and victim advocates.
  • Tools for a victims’ rights pocket card, sexual harassment handout, fact sheets on sexual assault, and scripts for public service announcements and outgoing answering machine messages.

Message From the Director

I am extremely pleased to introduce the Existe Ayuda Toolkit, OVC’s much-anticipated collection of practical resources designed for victim service providers, community health workers, advocates, and others who work with Spanish-speaking victims of sexual assault—or who plan to do so in the future. This publication addresses a major barrier to accessing victim assistance for Latinas: the lack of services offered in their native language. The Existe Ayuda Toolkit was developed to improve access to available services as well as to enhance community outreach. The result, we hope, will be more widely available, culturally appropriate services for victims within the country’s most rapidly growing population.

The need to address Spanish-speaking victims of crime with cultural sensitivity has existed for a long time. In the 1970s, when I began my career in child protective services along the Texas-Mexico border, I first glimpsed the richness and complexity of Latina/o culture—as well as some of the unique challenges of providing skilled, competent services to members of a vibrant community that has been largely overlooked to this day. Thirty years ago, mainstream victim service agencies generally weren’t equipped to meet the needs of Spanish-speaking victims. Even now, the Latina/o population lacks consistent access to culturally competent services for preventing and addressing sexual violence in their communities, despite the enormity of the need.

The publication of Existe Ayuda represents an important step for OVC in supporting the efforts of the field to provide culturally appropriate services to Spanish-speaking victims of sexual assault. OVC began to disseminate sexual assault resources to the field as early as 1986 and continues to do so, but there are still enormous gaps and unmet needs among both Latina/o and non-Latina/o victims of sexual violence. This new resource, which has been in development by Arte Sana since 2003, was created with the extensive input of experienced Spanish-speaking service providers throughout the Nation. To ensure that the kit truly reflects the needs of the diverse Latina/o community, the authors and their partners developed a uniform, inclusive approach to the Spanish language to serve as a foundation for specific resources in the kit. Arte Sana and its partners took existing best practices for serving victims, applied the lens of Latina/o culture, and pilot tested the resulting resources with 29 agencies in 13 states.

The need for culturally specific resources like this toolkit has become increasingly urgent. According to the Census Bureau, Hispanics are the fastest growing minority group in the United States, accounting for more than half of the Nation’s population growth in the past decade. In fact, the Hispanic population reached 50 million in 2010—that’s one in six Americans. This phenomenal growth took place not only in border states such as California and Texas, but also in the Midwest, South, and other parts of the country. It is now estimated that nearly a third of Americans will be of Hispanic origin by 2050. Clearly, more resources are greatly needed by service providers to begin closing the gap between served and underserved—or, as is too often the case—not served at all.

In response, the victim services field must expand its capacity to provide linguistically appropriate and culturally competent services to all Spanish-speaking victims of crime. Otherwise, these victims will continue to suffer disproportionately from sexual violence and the aftereffects of victimization. Communicating effectively is fundamental to improving victim programs and services. In addition to the major barrier of victims not speaking English or not having a translator, many rape crisis centers and domestic violence shelters do not have bilingual advocates to help conduct effective outreach into Latina/o communities.

Existe Ayuda is representative of OVC’s intention to help the field address the unmet needs of this growing population of victims/survivors. We must be committed to serving all victims of crime, which means acknowledging the country’s increasingly diverse landscape and making a sustained effort to reach out to those who have not yet reaped the benefits of the victims’ rights movement.

I hope this kit will prove invaluable to all who seek to serve Spanish-speaking victims of sexual assault and Latina/o communities. In it, you’ll find resources to help you build and enhance your own community’s response to Latina/o victims of sexual assault, with specific tools for enhancing communication, improving services, building public awareness, and introducing service providers, community officials, and others to the special needs of this population. Having seen the enormity of the need in my early career, I encourage you to make good use of this important resource to establish or expand victim services to the Latina/o population in your area. We welcome your feedback as well as your ideas for additional resources to help us all enhance our collective cultural competence in working with all victims of sexual violence. Ultimately, the goal of Existe Ayuda is to live up to its name: Help Exists. You can help make that a reality in your community.

Sincerely,

Joye E. Frost
Acting Director
Office for Victims of Crime

mensaje del director

Me complace inmensamente presentar el Juego de herramientas Existe Ayuda, la colección muy esperada de recursos prácticos de la OVC, diseñada para proveedores de servicios para víctimas, trabajadores comunitarios de la salud, defensores, y otros que trabajan con víctimas del abuso sexual—o que planean hacerlo en el futuro. Esta publicación trata de una barrera importante para el acceso a asistencia para víctimas para las mujeres hispanas: la falta de servicios ofrecidos en su idioma nativo. El Juego de herramientas Existe Ayuda fue desarrollado para mejorar el acceso a servicios disponibles, así como para optimizar el acercamiento con la comunidad. Esperamos que el resultado sea servicios disponibles a más personas, culturalmente adecuados para víctimas que pertenecen a la población de crecimiento más rápido del país.

La necesidad de ocuparnos de las víctimas del delito de habla hispana con sensibilidad cultural existe hace mucho tiempo. En la década del 70, cuando comencé mi carrera en servicios de protección infantil a lo largo de la frontera entre Texas y México, obtuve un primer vistazo de la riqueza y la complejidad de la cultura hispanaasí como de algunos de los retos singulares que representaban proveer servicios cualificados y competentes a miembros de una comunidad vibrante que, hasta el presente, ha sido mayormente pasada por alto. Hace treinta años, en general, las agencias de servicios para víctimas predominantes no estaban equipadas para satisfacer las necesidades de víctimas de habla hispana. Inclusive actualmente, la población hispana carece de acceso uniforme a servicios culturalmente competentes para la prevención y el tratamiento de la violencia sexual en sus comunidades, a pesar de la enormidad de dicha necesidad.

La publicación de Existe Ayuda representa un paso importante para la OVC en apoyo a la labor realizada en el campo asociada a proveer servicios culturalmente adecuados a víctimas del abuso sexual de habla hispana. Ya en 1986, la OVC comenzó a diseminar recursos relacionados con el abuso sexual y lo sigue haciendo, pero aún existen brechas enormes y necesidades no cubiertas tanto entre víctimas hispanas como no hispanas de la violencia sexual. Este nuevo recurso, en desarrollo por Arte Sana desde 2003, fue creado con la amplia colaboración de proveedores de servicios de habla hispana experimentados de todo el país. Para asegurar que el juego de herramientas sea un verdadero reflejo de las necesidades de la diversificada comunidad hispana, los autores y sus asociados desarrollaron un enfoque uniforme e inclusivo al idioma español, de modo que sirviera de base para recursos específicos en el juego de herramientas. Arte Sana y sus asociados aprovecharon las mejores prácticas existentes para la atención a víctimas, aplicaron el enfoque de la cultura hispana, e hicieron una prueba piloto de los recursos resultantes con 29 agencias en 13 estados.

La necesidad de recursos culturalmente específicos como este juego de herramientas se ha vuelto algo cada vez más urgente. De acuerdo con el Buró de Censos, los hispanos son el grupo minoritario de más rápido crecimiento en los Estados Unidos, y representan más de la mitad del crecimiento de la población de la nación en la última década. De hecho, la población hispana llegó a 50 millones de personas en 2010—o sea, uno de cada seis estadounidenses. Este crecimiento colosal ocurrió no solo en estados fronterizos como California y Texas, sino también en el centro oeste, el sur y otras partes del país. Se estima actualmente que casi un tercio de los estadounidenses serán de origen hispano en 2050. Claramente, los proveedores de servicios tienen una enorme necesidad de más recursos para comenzar a cerrar la brecha entre los atendidos y los subatendidos—o, como suele suceder demasiado frecuentemente—desatendidos. Como respuesta, el campo de servicios para víctimas debe ampliar su capacidad, de modo a proveer servicios lingüísticamente adecuados y culturalmente competentes a todas las víctimas del delito de habla hispana. De lo contrario, estas víctimas seguirán sufriendo desproporcionadamente debido a la violencia sexual y las consecuencias de la victimización. La comunicación eficaz es fundamental para mejorar los programas y servicios para víctimas. Además de la barrera importante que representan las víctimas que no hablan el idioma inglés o la falta de un traductor, muchos centros de crisis por violación y refugios para víctimas de la violencia doméstica no cuentan con defensores bilingües que los ayuden a conducir una comunicación eficaz a las comunidades hispanas.

Existe Ayuda representa la intención de la OVC de ayudar al campo a tratar de las necesidades no cubiertas de esta población creciente de víctimas/sobrevivientes. Debemos asumir el compromiso de atender a todas las víctimas de la delincuencia, lo que significa reconocer el paisaje cada vez más diversificado del país y realizar un esfuerzo sostenido para llegar a aquellas personas que aún no han cosechado los beneficios del movimiento de derechos de víctimas. Espero que este juego de herramientas les resulte valioso a todos aquellos que atiendan a víctimas del abuso sexual de habla hispana y a las comunidades hispanas. En el mismo, encontrarán recursos que los ayudarán a desarrollar y optimizar la respuesta de sus propias comunidades a las víctimas hispanas del abuso sexual, con herramientas específicas para optimizar la comunicación, mejorar los servicios, crear concientización pública y presentar a los proveedores de servicios, funcionarios comunitarios y otros las necesidades especiales de esta población.

Habiendo visto cuán enorme es esta necesidad temprano en mi carrera, los insto a hacer buen uso de este recurso importante para establecer o ampliar los servicios para víctimas a la población hispana de sus áreas. Nos complacerá recibir sus opiniones, así como sus ideas, sobre recursos adicionales que nos ayuden a todos a mejorar nuestra competencia cultural colectiva al trabajar con todas las víctimas de la violencia sexual.

El objetivo final de Existe Ayuda es estar a la altura de su nombre: Existe Ayuda. Usted puede ayudar a convertirlo en realidad en su comunidad.

Atentamente,

Joye E. Frost
Directora Interina
Oficina para Víctimas del Delito

Spanish-language products, particularly the presentation for promotoras, are intended for use by experienced victim advocates, trainers, and promotoras who are fluent in Spanish. This will help ensure OVC’s goal of providing high-quality materials to target audiences by skilled professionals who are able to respond knowledgably to queries in Spanish.

We strongly discourage use of these materials by staff who are not fluent in Spanish in the interest of accurate communication to audiences. English translations of Spanish-language products are provided as a courtesy and are in keeping with our policy of ensuring greater accessibility to all published materials.

About the Toolkit

The goal of the Existe Ayuda project is to produce and disseminate replicable Spanish-language outreach materials to help improve the cultural competence of service providers and the accessibility of services for Spanish-speaking victims of sexual violence. These materials—glossaries, PowerPoint presentations, and other tools—will help facilitate the work of bilingual/bicultural staff, especially those who are just beginning Spanish-language programs.

We encourage only those who are fluent in the Spanish language to present or train in Spanish, but the Existe Ayuda outreach products may be used by non-Spanish speaking victim advocates and allied professionals. Existe Ayuda’s ultimate goals are to be a source of information for Spanish-speaking victims of sexual assault and Spanish-speaking communities, to promote awareness about sexual violence in Latina/o communities, and to assist victim advocates in helping people who speak only Spanish find aid.

About the Toolkit covers these areas:

Need for Materials in Spanish

As the number of Latinas/os in the general U.S. population increases, so too will their numbers as underserved victims of sexual and domestic violence. Spanish monolingual Latina/o victims of sexual violence have inequitable access to victim services. Bilingual Web sites and information in Spanish on victims’ rights and services are scarce, bilingual victim advocates are few, and turnover is high.

According to a study cited in the Journal of Family Violence, the most frequently reported important barrier that kept Spanish-speaking or bilingual Latinas from getting needed services in a southeastern state was language, either not being able to speak English or not having a translator (Murdaugh et al., 2004). Some Latinas are also unable or unwilling to report crime victimization because they are unaware of the services available to them and/or fear that seeking help will harm their immigration status or that of their family members.

Of special concern is the lack of existing criteria to determine the level of bilingual services available in a given agency along with the methods used to inform the public of these services. A survivor or loved one who has picked up a brochure or searched the Internet for services is in a state of need that requires the most accurate information regarding what exactly a center can offer Spanish-speaking victims. In the United States, the level of accessibility and types of victim services available to survivors of sexual violence varies by state, rape crisis center, and Web site.

Subsequently, information for rape crisis and dual program centers that is printed in program brochures or posted on Web sites may not always reflect what is actually available for Spanish-speaking victims. All of these factors reinforce the need to publicly share updated information about Spanish language services at every available opportunity.

The majority of staff and volunteers do their best to meet the needs of victims with the resources they have. However, limited funds have kept many victim service agencies over extended, with demand far exceeding limited service capabilities. The problem is not only that agencies cannot hire the number of full-time bilingual and bicultural staff they need, but that once hired, these staff do not have adequate access to outreach materials and presentations in Spanish.

Without a consolidated national effort to support and upgrade the bilingual efforts of sexual assault agencies, many more individuals, families, and communities will continue to suffer the devastating impact of ongoing sexual violence and sexual assault trauma and re-victimization. In light of the gaps in services and information on Spanish-speaking resources, Arte Sana has strived to identify ways to support those agencies that are presently working to address the needs of their Spanish-speaking communities, as well as those agencies that are seeking ways to expand their outreach.

Challenges

Agencies that serve Latina/o victims have identified five challenges that they currently face:

Lack of Bilingual and Bicultural Direct-Service Staff and Volunteers

Many rape crisis centers do not have a Spanish-speaking advocate available, so the phrase, "I’m sorry, I don’t speak Spanish" may be the only response many Spanish-speaking victims receive. In other cases, children or other family members of monolingual Spanish-speaking victims are used as interpreters. This can cause secondary victimization of family/child interpreters and may create additional problems for the agency and the victim as well. (Although secondary victims such as friends and family of the primary victim are not the direct targets of an attack, they often experience difficulties, such as loss of security and trust, that would benefit from support services (GMU Sexual Assault Services, 2009).)

Additionally, without specific criteria to determine the meaning of "bilingual," it will continue to be a loosely defined term that includes anyone who has a basic working knowledge of a second language but who may not be able to effectively communicate with or truly understand clients. Having a single part-time staff member or volunteer who speaks Spanish does not make a bilingual program.

Identifying a center’s limitations in offering services in a second language is a must; not doing so contributes to the re-victimization of Spanish-speaking survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence who seek assistance. To accomplish an acceptable level of bilingual service availability, a program must be willing and able to test or evaluate its capability.

Lack of Bilingual and Bicultural Trainers

"Confianza" or trust issues bear heavily on Latina/o interactions, especially when dealing with very private and personal issues such as sexual violence. Without a competent pool of bilingual and bicultural trainers, victim service agencies cannot effectively promote the inclusion and meaningful participation of Latina/o communities.

Lack of Bilingual and Bicultural Materials

Many of the Spanish-language materials offered by victim service agencies are literal translations of literature originally created in English. It is important to note that translation is not a matter of simply replacing English words with similar words in a second language; it is about finding culturally appropriate ways of conveying the full meaning of something from one language to another.

Speaking a second language does not necessarily qualify a person without translation skills to develop or translate materials in a second language. Yet this is happening throughout the Nation as some directors with limited budgets attempt to draw upon the Spanish-language capabilities of available Latina/o victim advocates, without the skill to measure exactly what these capabilities are. The quality of internal translations may also suffer when this work is added to an already taxed victim service schedule. Many Latina/o victim advocates report being asked to provide translation services for other departments and even other agencies, in addition to their own workload.

In addition to these basic second language considerations, victim advocates who are charged with developing or translating materials or online content should consider the different acculturation levels that may exist and respect the dialects that may be spoken within their agency service area. The large influx of Latinas/os in the United States, emigrating from different North, Central, and South American countries and the Caribbean, has led to a greater number of Spanish dialects.

Variations in Social or Cultural Background

The influence of social or cultural background cannot be underestimated during the disclosure and intake process. To ensure the effective continuation of care, each Latina/o survivor’s unique experience, perception, and history need to be taken into consideration. How the assault is referred to is as important as what is communicated. Latinas/os may refer to sexual violence without using words such as "rape" or "sexual assault." The words "me molestó" (he/she molested me) and "me faltó el respeto" (he/she disrespected me) may also be references to sexual assault, depending on the variation of Spanish being spoken.

For example, a 2006 study revealed valuable information about how Mexican-American women communicate their experiences after being raped. Narrative analysis of open-ended interviews with 62 female Native American, Mexican-American, and Anglo women who had survived rape revealed the following communication tendencies of Mexican-American women (Bletzer and Koss, 2006):

  • They tended to merge overall impact with immediate impact of the assault.
  • They were reluctant to discuss their experiences and were typically silent on symptoms that accompanied the rape.
  • The gravity of the impact of sexual violence on their lives was described as being of "colossal proportions" long after the assault occurred.
  • Married Mexican-American women were less likely than other women to immediately define their experiences of forced sex by their husbands as "rape."

Issues With Web Site Accessibility

According to Internet World Stats, based on the number of Internet users in September 2009, the Spanish language is ranked third among the top languages used on the Internet with 411,631,985 users worldwide (Internet World Stats, 2009). Additionally, survey results from the Pew Hispanic Center and the Pew Internet and American Life Project indicate that Latina/o adults are increasing their use of the Internet faster than other ethnic groups. The growth of online access is seen largely among groups with typically very low rates of Internet use such as those without a high school diploma (Pew Hispanic Center, 2009b). Recognizing the draw of the Internet and social media, many corporations are increasing their Spanish-language outreach efforts. In December 2009, AT&T announced its Latina/o social media channels on Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube.

More than 70 percent of the Latina/o victim advocates and allies from 22 states who participated in an Arte Sana survey in 2009 reported not having enough bilingual staff. The lack of bilingual staff is evident at all levels—direct victim services, state coalition training and programs, and community outreach—but it is especially evident in the absence of Spanish-language material on victim services Web sites. In September 2009, Arte Sana reviewed the Web site content of state and national victim advocacy coalitions, agencies, and organizations in 16 states with the largest Latina/o populations. The review revealed that only three domestic violence state coalitions and six state sexual assault coalitions offered information for survivors in Spanish on their Web sites.

Addressing these five challenges, the Existe Ayuda project was developed for and by Latina victim advocates and allies to enhance outreach work with underserved Spanish-speaking victims.

Project Background

In 2003, Arte Sana embarked on Existe Ayuda in response to the many inquiries from primary and secondary victims of sexual violence regarding the availability of victim services delivered in their native language—Spanish. The initial goal was to create an online directory of the different types of services for sexual assault victims that are offered in Spanish by agencies throughout the United States.

After communicating with many Latina victim advocates from across the Nation, learning of their marginalized working conditions, and identifying the Internet as a possible forum for support, technical assistance, and resource development, Arte Sana developed not only the online directory of services in 2003 but also the Alianza Latina en Contra la Agresión Sexual or ALAS (Latina Alliance Against Sexual Violence) listserv in 2004. ALAS is a national Latina-led membership network of victim advocates working to address and prevent sexual violence.

The Existe Ayuda Toolkit is the fruit of the national project that began in 2003. For the toolkit products to be relevant to diverse Latin American groups, the project’s creative partners needed to reflect Latina diversity as well. Involved in the effort were bilingual and bicultural victim advocates from state sexual assault coalitions and rape crisis centers and promotoras (community health workers) with diverse Latina/o cultural origins from Argentina, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, México, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela.

What follows is a brief description of the planning and testing stages involved in creating this toolkit.

Planning Stage

Through the ALAS listserv, 17 agency representatives from 15 states shared their ideas, translated text, and offered content revisions and feedback during this stage.

In 2006, Arte Sana conducted an online survey of state sexual assault coalition members of the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence public policy listserv. The survey revealed that 15 out of 50 state sexual assault coalitions had bilingual Spanish-speaking staff. The lack of bilingual Spanish-speaking staff within state coalitions may affect not only the type of information that is available to the public, but also the type of training that is available for local center staff and volunteers.

In 2007, members of the Existe Ayuda online creative group reviewed the centers listed on the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) Web site as offering services in Spanish. In 3 states that were home to 26 million Latinas/os, the number of centers identified as offering services in Spanish ranged from 18 to 38 percent, as follows:

  • California: 31 out of 81 centers (38 percent).
  • Texas: 20 out of 74 centers (27 percent).
  • Florida: 6 out of 34 centers (18 percent).

(In 2010, Arte Sana and ALAS conducted a subsequent Web content review that revealed little improvement in the level of Spanish-language access in these states. Of the 201 Web sites reviewed, only 12 provided 900 words or more of information in Spanish regarding the rights of victims of sexual violence and the services available to them.)

These reviews helped solidify the Existe Ayuda project. As time went on, the Existe Ayuda online creative group was able to determine the toolkit’s areas of focus and content, and the listserv polling system was used for voting on content decisions and to determine the best terms to include in the glossaries. Even the subjects for the toolkit’s two public service announcements were determined via group polling to ensure that the final products would be relevant to the community. Through homework assignments and the implementation of deadlines for first-, second-, and even third-round revisions, the toolkit’s products were completed on time for the pilot-testing phase.

Pilot Testing and Feedback

Twenty-nine agencies throughout the Nation collaborated to help pilot test the Existe Ayuda products during conferences, agency meetings, and local community gatherings. The products were tested in California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.

Both the value of the materials created and the impact of the project experience are best reflected in the following quotes from the online creative group members who participated in the pilot-testing phase:

I see this project as a third hand for those Latinas that are translating existing materials that are not culturally appropriate for their communities. Pretty soon they are going to have access to high quality materials that will make their lives easier and possible and help them achieve longevity in the movement.
***

Existe Ayuda should be an ongoing project. The need for culturally appropriate materials regarding sexual violence in Spanish is overwhelming. Contrary with the stereotype regarding Latinos and sexual violence, our community is ready and willing to talk about sexual violence. We need to arm ourselves with the right tools to send the correct message and Arte Sana has proved now how to achieve this.

Thirty-six agencies—including state sexual assault coalitions, rape crisis centers, and shelters for homeless immigrants—have been involved in the Existe Ayuda project. Beyond the product deliverables and programmed activities, this OVC-funded project has had an impact on the state of Latina/o victim advocacy on both national and personal levels for many who have supported and contributed to it.

About the Community

In 2010, there were 50.5 million Hispanics in the United States, or 16 percent of the total U.S. population; more than half of the growth in the total U.S. population between 2000 and 2010 was due to the growth in the Hispanic population (U.S. Census Bureau, 2011). By the year 2050, there will be a projected 132.8 million Hispanics in the United States, or 30 percent of the Nation’s total population. Of these, 66.7 million will be Latinas (U.S. Census Bureau, 2008).

Latinas/os may be of any race and may identify with a variety of national origins and subcultures from North, South, and Central America and the Caribbean, as well as with various indigenous cultures of the Americas.

According to the 2008 American Community Survey (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010), of Latinas/os in the United States—

  • 66 percent were of Mexican background.
  • 9 percent were of Puerto Rican background.
  • 3.4 percent were of Cuban background.
  • 3.4 percent were of Salvadoran background.
  • 2.8 percent were of Dominican background.
  • 15.4 percent were of some other Central American, South American, or other Hispanic or Latin American origin.
Outreach into Latin American communities can be enhanced greatly by avoiding a one-size-fits-all approach, as language, education, and levels of cultural assimilation can vary greatly between and within Latin American groups. According to a Pew Hispanic Center (2010) report, 62 percent of all Hispanics living in this country are native born and 38 percent are foreign born.

Lifetime Trauma and Help-Seeking Actions

It is important for victim advocates to learn about the Latin American communities with which they work, especially those from countries with recent histories of political violence. The following Latin American countries have suffered some form of political strife or civil warfare within the past 20 years (Solimano, 2004):

  • Argentina.
  • Chile.
  • Colombia.
  • El Salvador.
  • Guatemala.
  • Mexico.
  • Nicaragua.
  • Paraguay.
  • Peru.
  • Venezuela.

In 2009, for instance, the president of Honduras was ousted in a military coup, and some Honduran women’s groups such as Feminists in Resistance have tirelessly denounced the abuse of authority by the current officials who rose to power through the coup.

Many Latin American families have loved ones or know people who have been affected directly or indirectly by the trauma of political violence, which in some cases includes rape and physical torture. The results of a study of 1,630 Latina/o immigrants revealed that 11 percent of those surveyed reported exposure to political violence, and 76 percent experienced other traumatic events, including personal, physical, and sexual assaults; witnessing the death of a loved one; and witnessing community violence (Fortuna, Porche, and Alegría, 2008). While the family may have provided an important buffer to violence in the country of origin, immigrants to this country who find themselves isolated and the targets of intolerance and hate crimes may be particularly vulnerable, especially if they have learned to fear law enforcement.

Additionally, Latina victims of sexual assault are less likely to seek help. According to the Sexual Assault Among Latinas (SALAS) Study, even though one in six Latinas reported sexual victimization in her lifetime, only 3 percent of these victims used specialized victim services. Victim services that attempt to address a broader spectrum of victimization experiences may be able to promote formal help-seeking actions in Latina immigrant survivors (Cuevas and Sabina, 2010).

Spanish Language in the United States

The United States has the world’s third largest number of Spanish speakers after Spain and Mexico. Spanish has been spoken in what is now the United States since 1565, when Spain established its first permanent colony in St. Augustine, Florida. Among the languages that predate English, Spanish is second only to the American Indian languages spoken in this region (Carter, 2005).

For some immigrants, Spanish is a second language to one of the many indigenous languages spoken in Latin America such as Zapotec, Mixteco, Quechua, or Guaraní.

While Latin American immigrants to the United States may also speak other languages such as Creole or Portuguese, Spanish is by far the predominant language. In 2008, there were 35 million U.S. household residents age 5 and older who spoke Spanish at home, according to the 2008 American Community Survey (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). This is the reason that Spanish was chosen as the necessary language of focus for the Existe Ayuda products.

Terminology and Symbols

Immigrant

Although the Associated Press Stylebook prefers "illegal immigrant" to "illegal alien," and although "illegal immigrant" has been used in Supreme Court decisions, such terms are politically charged. Many victim advocates see them as dehumanizing labels that have no place in victim advocacy. As she delivered the Supreme Court’s first opinion of the new term in 2009, Justice Sotomayor pioneered the use of "undocumented immigrant" (Liptak, 2009).

It is important that victim advocates not make assumptions about the immigrant status of those they assist. According to the Pew Hispanic Center (2009a)

  • Most Latina/o youth in the United States are not immigrants; two-thirds were born here.
  • Of Latina/o youth in the United States who are in the third and higher generation, 40 percent are the grandchildren of immigrants.
  • The remainder of Latina/o youth can trace their roots in this country much further back in time. This is especially true of families who reside in the Southwest region that once belonged to Mexico.

Latina/o versus Hispanic

Though the terms "Hispanic" and "Latino" are often used interchangeably in American English, they are not identical. "Hispanic" is an older term used more often in governmental publications and reports. In the 1970s, the U.S. Census Bureau began to use the term "Hispanic." In 1997, a Federal Register notice provided revised racial and ethnic definitions in which "Hispanic or Latino" replaced the single term.

The term "Latino" is generally used by grassroots organizations and community-based initiatives that embrace a shared Latin American heritage. More than half (52 percent) of Latinas/os ages 16–25 identify themselves first by their family’s country of origin (Pew Hispanic Center, 2009a).

All Existe Ayuda materials use "Latina" and "Latina/o" in their content and "Hispanic" when referring to official government publications.

Promotora

The terms "promotora," "animadora," "community health worker (CHW)," and "community or lay health advisor" are all used to refer to workers who are indigenous to the community and who serve and train through a community-based organization or a public health entity. Some states provide statewide training and certification for the promotora or CHW. If you reside in a state with a large or rapidly growing Latina/o population, you probably already have existing promotora programs with which you can establish collaborative working relationships.

The largest system to formally use the skills of CHWs was established in 1968, when the Indian Health Service adopted the Community Health Representative Program from the Office of Economic Opportunity.

Established promotoras can develop meaningful links to victim service agencies because—

  • They are part of social networks through which community members offer and receive social support.
  • They may already be concerned about the sexual violence issues that affect their communities and know where both survivors and perpetrators live.

The Rattle Image

The rattle image used in Existe Ayuda’s design is an artistic rendering of the chicahuatzli stamp from ancient Mexico, which means rattle or rain stick in Nauhuatl, the language of the Aztecs. Rattles and other instruments were used in ceremonial dances, which at times included hundreds of dancers who moved in collective synchrony to promote the health and well-being of the community. The original image was painted by hand by Arte Sana Executive Director Laura Zárate and was later transformed into digital format by Oralia Díaz. The Existe Ayuda Toolkit uses this image to honor the Latina/o cultural heritage and to symbolize the engaging purpose of these documents.

Toolkit Products

Eleven products were developed during the initial phase of the Existe Ayuda National Outreach Project:

Glossaries

Sexual Assault Glossary (Bilingual)
Purpose: Promote uniform Spanish translations of printed and online outreach content.
User Audience: Bilingual victim advocates.
Participant Audience: English as a Second Language (ESL) and English Language Learner primary and secondary survivors.
Human Trafficking Glossary (Bilingual)
Purpose: Offer internationally recognized Spanish language translations of human trafficking terms.
User Audience: Those who work in victim services and human trafficking; Spanish-speaking communities and allies.
Participant Audience: English as a Second Language (ESL) and English Language Learner primary and secondary survivors.

Presentations

For Promotoras: La violencia sexual en la comunidad latina: una plática entre mujeres (Sexual Violence in the Hispanic Community: A Conversation Between Women) (Spanish)
Purpose: Offers an overview of sexual violence and victim/survivor needs and promotes greater awareness among Spanish-speaking populations of sexual violence and existing services.
User Audience: Promotoras or community health workers (CHWs) and bilingual/bicultural victim advocates who are fluent in Spanish.
Participant Audience: Spanish-speaking community members who participate in presentations offered by victim advocates and promotoras or CHWs.
For Victim Advocates: Latinas and Sexual Violence (English)
Purpose: Addresses cultural and linguistic considerations for improving outreach into Latina/o communities with a special focus on Latinas and promotes greater awareness of the barriers to services that Latina victims face and tools for removing those barriers.
User Audience: Victim advocates and allied professionals who address victim service access issues for diverse communities of sexual assault survivors.
Participant Audience: Directors, program managers, victim advocates, and allied professionals who are attending inservice training events.

Tools

Pocket Card on Victim’s Rights (Spanish)
Purpose: Promote awareness of sexual assault victims’ rights; including the right to services regardless of race, economic status, language preference, or residency status.
User Audience: Bilingual victim advocates; promotoras or community health workers (CHWs).
Participant Audience: English as a Second Language (ESL) and English Language Learner primary and secondary survivors; community groups.
Handout on Sexual Harassment (Spanish)
Purpose: Promote awareness among Spanish-speaking populations of sexual harassment and victims’ rights. The handout defines sexual harassment and lists steps for addressing and reporting it.
User Audience: Bilingual victim advocates; promotoras or community health workers (CHW).
Participant Audience: English as a Second Language (ESL) and English Language Learner primary and secondary survivors; community groups.
Fact Sheet: Latinas and Sexual Violence (English)
Purpose: Promote greater awareness of issues affecting Latina victims of sexual assault. Provided in English only.
User Audience: Victim advocates; allied professionals.
Participant Audience: Victim advocate inservice training or workshop attendees.
Fact Sheet: Atención mujeres... existe ayuda (Attention Women... Help Exists) (Spanish)
Purpose: Promote greater awareness of sexual assault within English as a Second Language (ESL) and English Language Learner communities.
User Audience: Bilingual victim advocates; promotoras or community health workers (CHW).
Participant Audience: Spanish-speaking community members; allied professionals who participate in presentations offered by bilingual victim advocates; promotoras or CHWs.
PSA Script: Acoso sexual en el trabajo (Sexual Harassment at Work) (Spanish)
Purpose: Promote greater awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace and of intimate partner sexual violence; define sexual harassment; address some of its impact; describe victims’ rights.
User Audience: Local victim service agencies to use during Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) campaigns and as teaching aids throughout the year.
Participant Audience: Spanish-language radio stations; community members; bilingual training workshop attendees.
PSA Script: La violación entre pareja (Intimate Partner Rape) (Spanish)
Purpose: Promote greater awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace and of intimate partner sexual violence; define intimate partner sexual violence; address cultural assumptions; explain victims’ rights.
User Audience: Local victim service agencies to use during Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) campaigns and as teaching aids throughout the year.
Participant Audience: Spanish-language radio stations; community members; bilingual training workshop attendees.
Answering Machine Scripts for Rape Crisis Centers and State Sexual Assault Coalitions (Spanish)
Purpose: Provide non-Spanish speaking staff with a communication tool they may use to offer potential Spanish-speaking monolingual callers the necessary information to access help.
User Audience: State sexual assault coalitions; local rape crisis centers.
Participant Audience: Spanish-speaking or Limited English Proficient (LEP) primary or secondary survivors who may call for information and assistance.

Acknowledgments

Arte Sana—a national Latina-led nonprofit organization committed to ending sexual violence and aggression and engaging marginalized communities as agents of change—prepared this toolkit. Arte Sana (Art Heals) promotes awareness, healing, and empowerment through bilingual professional training, community education, and the arts.

The following people and organizations helped in the development of this toolkit and/or the Existe Ayuda project:

Arte Sana Staff

Laura Zárate, Project Director
Oralia Díaz, Communications Coordinator (2001–2008)
Elisabet Mateos, Communications Coordinator (2008–2011)

Project Consultants

Iris Carrillo, Existe Ayuda Evaluation Consultant, Illinois (2006–2007)

Ivonne Ortiz, Existe Ayuda Evaluation Consultant, Florida (2006–2007)

Lina Juarbe-Botella, Existe Ayuda Evaluation Consultant, Wisconsin (2007)

Melina Castillo, Existe Ayuda Logistics Consultant, Texas (2009)
Lourdes Kaman, Existe Ayuda Logistics Consultant, Texas (2009)
Jaime Arizpe, Existe Ayuda Evaluation Consultant, Texas (2006–2007)
Arely Sulvarán-Achenbach, Evaulation Consultant (2007)
Stephanie Mesones, Consultant, California (2010)
Virginia Pérez-Ortega, Consultant, New Mexico (2010)

Existe Ayuda Online Creative Group Collaborators

Celeste C. Araujo, Indiana
April Buentello, Texas
Maria Ines Butler, Washington, D.C.
Alva Moreno, California
Jeanette Ocasio-McLain, Florida
Patti McCabe, Texas
Aline Jesus Rafi, Georgia
Merrie Rennard, Georgia
Lynne Walter, North Carolina
Arely Sulvaran-Achenbach, Texas
Jessica Coloma, Michigan
Clara Galvan-Lindstrom, Oregon
Marta Sanchez, New York
Erika Colindres, California
Ivonne Ortiz, Florida

Alianza Latina en contra la Agresión Sexual (ALAS) Contributing Members

Melina Castillo, Texas
Clara Galvan-Lindstrom, Oregon
Aimee Loya, California
Cathy Nardo, Pennsylvania
Marta Sanchez, New York

National Pilot-Testing Project Partners

The following entities supported or allowed staff/volunteers to attend the pilot-testing phase of this project:

Esperanza: The Immigrant Women’s Legal Initiative of the Southern Poverty Law Center
D.C. Rape Crisis Center
DeKalb Rape Crisis Center, Georgia
East Los Angeles Women’s Center, California
Family Services, Wisconsin

Florida Council Against Sexual Violence
Gwinnett Sexual Assault Center & Children’s Advocacy Center, Georgia
Healthy Families MOM Project, Indiana
Health and Human Services—Office of Border Affairs, Texas

Mujeres Latinas en Acción, Illinois

New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault

North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence
North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Posada Esperanza, Texas

Rape Assistance and Awareness Program, Colorado

Refuge House, Florida
SafePlace, Texas
Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center, Florida
Sisters of Color United for Education, Colorado
Tapestri Inc., Immigrant and Refugee Coalition Challenging Gender Based Oppression, Georgia

Product Demonstration Partners

A special thank you to the following agencies and partners that allowed their staff to participate in the Existe Ayuda product demonstration sessions in 2009.

Tennessee

Kentucky Domestic Violence Association
Citizens Against Spouse Abuse, Inc.(in Missouri)
Young Women’s Christian Association of Greater Memphis
Immigrant Justice Project – Southern Poverty Law Center (in Georgia)
CEASE, Inc.
Tennessee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
SafeSpace, Inc.
Partnership for Families, Children and Adults
The Village/El Pueblo (in Mississippi)
Mattie Rhodes Center (in Missouri)
Bridges of Williamson County
Sexual Assault Resource Agency (in Virginia)
Legal Aid Society
Safe Harbor (in Virginia)
Child and Family Tennessee
Coalition Against Rape and Domestic Violence (in Missouri)
Rappahannock Council on Domestic Violence (in Virginia)
Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance

Florida

Women’s Commission / Programa Confianza (in North Carolina)
Voces Latinas (in North Carolina)
Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Emory University (in Georgia)
HOPE Family Services, Inc.
Palm Beach County Victim Services
MUJER, Inc.
Palm Beach County Victim Service
Crime Victims Resource Network
Family Counseling Services of Greater Miami
Coalition of Immokalee Workers

Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking
Rural Women’s Health Project
Crisis Center of Tampa
Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center
Victim Service Center

California

San Francisco Women Against Rape
Sure Helpline Crisis Center
North County Rape Crisis & Child Protection Center
Young Women’s Christian Association Greater Los Angeles Sexual Assault Crisis Services
Monterey County Rape Crisis Center
East Los Angeles Women’s Center
Tri-Valley Haven
Family Services
Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center
SafeQuest Solano
Mountain Women’s Resource Center
Battered Person’s Advocacy (in Oregon)
The Rape Crisis Center (in Nevada)
Consejo Counseling and Referral Service (in Washington)
Sexual Assault Resource Center (in Oregon)
My Sisters’ Place (in Oregon)
The North Coast Rape Crisis Team

Iowa

Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Seeds of Hope
Sheltering Wings (in Indiana)
ASISTA
Latinas Unidas por un Nuevo Amanecer
Domestic/Sexual Assault Outreach Center
Polk County Crisis & Advocacy Services
Rockland Family Shelter (in New York)
First Step
Crisis Center & Women’s Shelter
Rape Crisis Center of Central Massachusetts
Mujeres Latinas en Acción
Young Women’s Christian Association of Western Massachusetts
Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence
MUNA, Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Council on Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence

Texas

Enlace Comunitario (in New Mexico)
Latino Community Development Agency (in Oklahoma)
New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence
San Antonio Police Department
Women’s Shelter of South Texas
Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, Inc.
Sexual Assault Victim Advocate Center (in Colorado)
TESSA (in Colorado)
Domestic Violence & Abuse Center, Inc. (in North Dakota)
Domestic Violence Intervention Services (in Oklahoma)
Irving Family Advocacy Center
Mujeres Unidas / Women Together
Casa Amiga Centro de Crisis, A.C. (in Chihuahua, Mexico)
Houston Area Woman’s Center

Office for Victims of Crime

We are also grateful to the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) staff for their dedication to improving the treatment of Latina/o survivors of sexual assault and for providing the encouragement, technical assistance, and funding needed to develop this product. Among the staff, we particularly want to thank—

Joye Frost, Acting Director
Mary Atlas-Terry, Victim Justice Program Specialist
Kathleen Gless, Victim Justice Program Specialist
Marie Martinez, Former Grant Manager

NCJ 234271

This product was supported by grant number 2006–VF–GX–K005, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this product are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), headed by Assistant Attorney General Laurie O. Robinson, provides federal leadership in developing the Nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has seven components: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime; the Community Capacity Development Office, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. More information about OJP can be found at http://www.ojp.gov.

U.S. Department of Justice
Eric H. Holder Jr., Attorney General
Office of Justice Programs
Laurie O. Robinson, Assistant Attorney General
Office for Victims of Crime
Joye E. Frost, Acting Director

References

Bletzer, K., and Koss, M., 2006, "After-Rape Among Three Populations in the Southwest, A Time of Mourning, a Time for Recovery," Violence Against Women 12(1): 5–29.

Carter, P., 2005, Spanish in the U.S. Online at PBS.org.

Cuevas, C., and Sabina, C, 2010, Final Report: Sexual Assault Among Latinas (SALAS) Study, Boston, MA: Northeastern University; Middletown, PA: Penn State Harrisburg.

Fortuna, L.R., Porche, M., and Alegria, M., 2008, "Political Violence, Psychosocial Trauma, and the Context of Mental Health Services Use Among Immigrant Latinos in the United States," Ethnicity & Health 13(5): 435–463.

GMU Sexual Assault Services, 2009, Secondary Victimization, Fairfax, VA: George Mason University, Sexual Assault Services.

Health Resources and Services Administration, 2007, Community Health Worker National Workforce Study, Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration.

Internet World Stats, 2009, Spanish Speaking Internet Usage Statistics, Miniwatts Marketing Group.

Liptak, A., 2009, "Sotomayor Draws Retort From a Fellow Justice," The New York Times (December 8).

Lujan, J., 2009, "Got Hispanic Clients? Get a Promotora," The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice 7(3).

Murdaugh, C., Hunt, S., Sowell, R., and Santana, I., 2004, "Domestic Violence in Hispanics in the Southeastern United States: A Survey and Needs Analysis," Journal of Family Violence 19(2).

Pew Hispanic Center, 2010, Latinos and the 2010 Census: The Foreign Born Are More Positive, Washington, DC: Pew Hispanic Center.

Pew Hispanic Center, 2009a, Between Two Worlds: How Young Latinos Come of Age in America, Washington, DC: Pew Hispanic Center.

Pew Hispanic Center, 2009b, Latinos Online, 2006–2008: Narrowing the Gap, Washington, DC: Pew Hispanic Center.

Solimano, A., 2004, Political Violence and Economic Development in Latin America: Issues and Evidence, Santiago, Chile: United Nations (ISSN printed version 1680–8843).

University of Arizona and Annie E. Casey Foundation, 1998, The National Community Health Advisor Study: Weaving the Future, Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press.

U.S. Census Bureau, 2011, Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin: 2010, 2010 Census Briefs, Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau.

U.S. Census Bureau, 2010, Facts for Features: Hispanic Heritage Month 2010: Sept. 15–Oct.15, Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau.

U.S. Census Bureau, 2008, Projections of the Population by Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin for the United States; 2010 to 2050, Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau.

Glossaries

Sexual Assault Glossary
Use this glossary to ensure that the terminology in your Spanish sexual assault-related materials is consistent. Includes English-to-Spanish terms.

Human Trafficking Glossary
Use this glossary to ensure that the terminology in your Spanish trafficking-related materials is consistent. Includes a description of the differences between trafficking and smuggling, English-to-Spanish terms, and other Spanish terms related to trafficking.

Sexual Assault Glossary

Principal Author of This Section: Laura Zárate
Co-authored by Jessica Coloma and edited by Oralia Díaz

Purpose: Promote uniform Spanish translations of printed and online outreach content.

User Audience: Bilingual victim advocates.

Participant Audience: English as a Second Language (ESL) and English Language Learner primary and secondary survivors.

While the translations of some sexual assault terms have been around for years and are readily understood by most Spanish-speaking victim advocates, other terms are relatively new and either have very limited or varied translations (e.g., sexual assault response team). To address this issue, a national workgroup comprising Latina victim advocates with cultural roots in Argentina, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela assessed and voted on the best and most culturally competent definitions and translations.

This glossary—a compilation of terms commonly used in the sexual assault victim advocacy field—is the result of that assessment. When two options are offered in Spanish, the listing is in order of popularity as indicated in feedback received during the product demonstration stage and in online references.

The glossary is not intended to be an authoritative reference document with the only correct sexual assault translations. Its use by those who are not English/Spanish bilingual is strongly discouraged.

Before using this glossary, be mindful of specific dialect and educational considerations that may be unique to your target audience. It is also very important to keep up with evolving terminology.

English-to-Spanish Terms: Sexual Assault

24-hour free and confidential services for victims
servicios gratuitos y confidenciales para víctimas las 24 horas del día
24-hour hotline
línea de ayuda disponible las 24 horas del día
Accompaniment
acompañamiento
Acquaintance rape
violación por una persona conocida
Against his or her will
en contra de su voluntad
Age of consent
la edad de consentimiento
Anal trauma
trauma o herida anal
Bail
fianza
Bi-curious
bicurioso/a
Bisexual
bisexual
Blaming the victim
culpar a la víctima
Caller ID
identificador de llamadas telefónicas
Child prostitution
prostitución de niñas/niños o prostitución infantil
Child sexual abuse
abuso sexual de niñas/niños
Child sexual exploitation
explotación sexual de niñas/niños o explotación sexual infantil
Civil case
caso civil
Coercion
coerción
Commercial sexual exploitation
explotación sexual comercial
Counseling
terapia o consejería
Court
tribunal o corte
Courtroom
sala del tribunal o sala de audiencias
Crime
delito o crimen
Crime Victims Compensation Program
Programa de Compensación para Víctimas del Crimen
Criminal case
caso criminal
Criminal sexual conduct
conducta sexual criminal
Crisis counseling
asesoría o consejería para personas en crisis
Crisis intervention
intervención en situaciones o casos de crisis
Date rape
violación durante una cita de pareja
Deportation
deportación
Detective
detective
Disassociation
disociación cuerpo-mente
District attorney
fiscal del distrito
Drug-facilitated sexual assault
abuso sexual facilitado por el uso de drogas
Economic abuse
abuso económico o financiero
EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)
La Comisión para la Igualdad de Oportunidades en el Empleo
Elder sexual abuse
abuso sexual de personas mayores o de edad avanzada
E-mail
correo electrónico
E-mail account
cuenta de correo electrónico o de Internet
Emergency contraception
anticonceptivo de emergencia o ‘Plan B’
Emergency room
sala de emergencia
Emotional abuse
abuso emocional
Evidence
evidencia
Felony
delito grave o delito mayor
Flashback
recuerdo retrospectivo o recuerdo retrospectivo traumático
Flirting
coquetear
Fondling
manoseo, toques sexuales
Forced prostitution
prostitución forzada
Forced sodomy
Sexo oral o anal forzado o a la fuerza
Gender
género o sexo
Genital trauma
trauma genital
Genitals
órganos genitales
GLBT or LGBT
LGBT: lesbiana, gay, bisexual, transgénero
Grooming (explanation of concept)
estrategia utilizada por abusadores sexuales para manipular a niños, niñas, adolescentes y a los adultos encargados de su cuidado; para así facilitar el abuso sexual
Group counseling
terapia en grupo; consejería para grupos
Homophobia
homofobia
Hostile work environment
ambiente laboral hostil u ofensivo
Human trafficking
trata de personas
Immigrant survivor
sobreviviente inmigrante
Incest
incesto
Intimate contact
contacto íntimo
Intimate partner rape
violación entre pareja
Intimate partner sexual assault
agresión sexual conyugal
Intimate partner sexual violence
violencia sexual por la pareja
Jail
cárcel
Judge
juez(a)
Jury
jurado
Lawyer/attorney
abogado(a) defensor(a)
Legal advocacy
asesoramiento legal
Lesbian
lesbiana
Male privilege
privilegio masculino
Male rape
violación masculina o de hombres
Marital rape
violación dentro del matrimo
Medical exam
examen médico o chequeo médico
Medical expenses
gastos médicos
Misdemeanor
delito menor
Misogyny
misoginia
Parole/probation
libertad vigilada o provisional
Pedophile
pedófilo
Penetration
penetración
Perpetrator
perpetrador o agresor
Physical abuse
abuso físico
Physical isolation
aislamiento físico
Pimp
proxeneta o padrote (Mex)
Police
policía
Pornography
pornografía
Press charges
poner cargos o denunciar
Protection order
una orden de protección
Psychological abuse
abuso psicológico
Rape
violación
Rape by an intimate partner
violación entre pareja
Rape crisis center
centro de ayuda a víctimas de violencia sexual
Rape exam
examen forense por violación
Rape kit
paquete de herramientas para recoger evidencia de violación
Rape shield laws
leyes que protegen la privacidad de las sobrevivientes de violación
Rape trauma syndrome (RTS)
síndrome de trauma por violación (STV)1
Rapist
violador
Restraining order
orden de restricción
Re-victimization
revictimización
Re-victimize
revictimizar
Servitude
servidumbre
Sex crimes
delitos sexuales
Sex offender
ofensor o delincuente sexual
Sexual abuse
abuso sexual
Sexual abuse by a sibling
abuso sexual por parte de un hermano/a
Sexual assault
violencia sexual or agresión sexual [the Spanish word asalto has different connotations among various groups]
Sexual assault nurse examiners
enfermeras examinadoras de agresión sexual 2
Sexual assault response team (SART)
equipo multidisciplinario que responde a las víctimas de violencia sexual
Sexual assault victim advocate
asesora de víctimas de agresión sexual
Sexual harassment
acoso sexual o hostigamiento sexual
Sexual intercourse/relations
relaciones sexuales
Sexual orientation
orientación sexual
Sexual predator
depredador sexual
Sexual violence
violencia sexual
Sexually transmitted diseases
enfermedades transmitidas sexualmente o enfermedades venéreas
Short-term counseling for groups
terapia/consejería a corto plazo para grupos
Short-term counseling for individuals
terapia/consejería a corto plazo para individuos
Stalk
acechar
Stalking
acecho
Statute of limitations
estatuto de limitaciones
Statutory sexual assault
estupro o violación técnica
Support groups
grupos de apoyo
Survivor
sobreviviente
Survivor with a disability
sobreviviente con una discapacidad
Threat(s)
amenaza(s)
Trafficking in human beings
trata de personas
Transgender
transgénero
Transexual
transexual
Triggers
detonantes
Undocumented
indocumentado/a
Vaginal trauma
trauma vaginal
VAWA (Violence Against Women Act)
Ley de Violencia Contra las Mujeres 3
Victim
víctima
Victim advocate
asesora de víctimas
Victimize
victimizar
Without consent
sin consentimiento o sin dar permiso
Witness
testigo

Human Trafficking Glossary

Purpose: Offer internationally recognized Spanish-language translations of human trafficking terms.

User Audience: Those who work in victim services and human trafficking; Spanish-speaking communities and allies.

Participant Audience: English as a Second Language (ESL) and English Language Learner primary and secondary survivors.

This glossary is a working compilation of English-to-Spanish translations of human trafficking-related terms and terms used in Latin American countries and by Spanish-speaking Latina/o victim advocates who reside in the United States. Internationally recognized human trafficking terms in Spanish, popular terms, and some slang references are included.

When two options are offered in Spanish, the listing is in order of popularity as indicated in feedback received during the product demonstration stage and in online references. In some cases, the preferences were due to regional locations and the specific Latina/o groups being served or were related to particular Latina/o victim advocate’s dialects.

This glossary is not intended to be an authoritative reference document with the only correct trafficking-related translations. As more and more organizations work to prevent human trafficking and advocate on behalf of victims’ rights and more humane labor conditions, terms will continue to evolve.

When using this glossary, be mindful of specific dialect and educational considerations that may be unique to your target audience. It is also very important to keep up with evolving terminology.

Trafficking Versus Smuggling

According to the United Nations, trafficking in persons and human smuggling are two of the fastest growing areas of international criminal activity. These often involve a number of different crimes, spanning several countries and involving an increasing number of victims. Estimates of the number of persons trafficked each year into the sex trade and labor enslavement vary widely. For example, one source states that from the 2.4 million trafficked victims, 32 percent are trafficked for labor exploitation, 43 percent are trafficked for sexual exploitation, and 25 percent for a mixture of both (International Labour Organization, 2008).

Even though there are significant differences between human trafficking and human smuggling, the underlying issues that give rise to these illegal activities are often similar. Generally, extreme poverty, lack of economic opportunities, low societal status of women and girls, lax border checks, and the collusion of law enforcement contribute to an environment that encourages human smuggling and trafficking in persons.

Making the Distinction

Trafficking in persons involves the exploitation of people through force, coercion, threat, or deception and includes human rights abuses such as debt bondage, deprivation of liberty, or lack of control over freedom and labor. Trafficking can be for purposes of sexual or labor exploitation. It is important to note, however, that while sexual violence can occur in the context of trafficking and smuggling situations, some persons, but not all, who are smuggled into the United States become victims of trafficking (Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center, 2005).

Human trafficking can be compared to a modern day form of slavery, and human smuggling is the facilitation, transportation, attempted transportation, or illegal entry of persons across an international border, in violation of one or more of the countries’ laws, either clandestinely or through deception (e.g., using fraudulent documents).

Often, human smuggling is conducted to obtain a financial or other material benefit for the smuggler, although financial gain or material benefits are not necessarily elements of the crime. For instance, sometimes people engage in smuggling to reunite their families. Human smuggling is generally with the consent of the persons being smuggled, who often pay large sums of money. Once in the country of their final destination, they will generally be left to their own devices.

The vast majority of people who are assisted in illegally entering the United States are smuggled, rather than trafficked. It is important to make a distinction in Spanish between human smuggling ("tráfico de personas") and human trafficking ("trata de personas"), which is the internationally recognized term by Latin American countries, the United Nations, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

References

Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center, 2005, Distinctions Between Human Smuggling and Human Trafficking. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center.

International Labour Organization, 2008,ILO Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings. Geneva, Switzerland: United Nations, International Labour Organization.

English-to-Spanish Terms: Human Trafficking

Border patrol
patrulla fronteriza; slang reference: la migra
Continued presence
presencia continua 4
Contract slavery
servidumbre obligada o esclavitud bajo contrato
Debt bondage (or bonded labor)
esclavitud por deuda 5
Domestic servitude
servidumbre doméstica
Domestic workers
empleadas domésticas
Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
Documento de Autorización de Empleo (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services); popular term: permiso de trabajo
Human smuggling
tráfico de personas
Human trafficking
trata de personas
Immigrant
inmigrante
Involuntary (or forced) labor
trabajo forzado
Involuntary servitude
servidumbre obligada
Mail order bride
esposa por catálogo o compra de esposa
Migrant laborers (general)
trabajadores migratorios
Migrant laborers (in agriculture)
trabajadores en actividades agrícolas temporales; popular term: trabajadores migrantes
Nude modeling
modelaje desnudo o trabajo de modelo desnudo
Peonage
peonaje
Pornographic video
video pornográfico
Prostitution
prostitución
Servile or forced marriage
matrimonio obligado o matrimonio forzado
Sex tourism
turismo sexual
Strip, pole, or lap dance
baile exótico
Sweatshop
taller clandestino o taller de trabajo esclavo; slang reference: maquila 6
Trafficking in human beings
trata de personas
T–Visa
la visa T
U–Visa
la visa U

Spanish Terms Related to Trafficking

Coyote o pollero
human smuggler
Criada or criado 7
child or youth who is given by a parent to live with another family; a form of informal adoption in Latin America
La frontera
the border
La Migra
slang term for U.S. entities that enforce immigration law such as the Border Patrol and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Mula
slang term that refers to a person who is used to transport drugs (a "mule")
Padrote
pimp, or one who finds customers for a prostitute
Trata de blancas 8
commonly used term in Latin America that refers to sex trafficking of women from any ethnicity
Zona Roja
refers to a red-light (prostitution) district or area

Presentations

For Promotoras
Present these PowerPoint slides to Spanish-speaking audiences to alert them to sexual violence issues and existing services. In Spanish with English translations.

For Victim Advocates
Present these PowerPoint slides to victim advocates to help them improve outreach into Latina/o communities, with a special focus on Latinas. In English.

For Promotoras

Principal Author of This Section: Laura Zárate

     Presentation (PPT): Part 1
     Presentation (PPT): Part 2

La violencia sexual en la comunidad latina: una plática entre mujeres (Sexual Violence in the Hispanic Community: A Conversation Between Women)

Purpose: Offers an overview of sexual violence and victim/survivor needs and promotes greater awareness among Spanish-speaking populations of sexual violence and existing services.

User Audience: Promotoras or community health workers (CHWs) and bilingual/bicultural victim advocates who are fluent in Spanish.

Participant Audience: Spanish-speaking community members who participate in presentations offered by victim advocates and promotoras or CHWs. The community audience may include—

  • Women’s groups.
  • Parent groups.
  • Early childcare workers.
  • Faith-based groups.
  • ESL (English as a Second Language) classes.

The Promotoras presentation is intended for use by experienced victim advocates, trainers, and community health workers (promotoras) who are fluent in Spanish. This will help ensure OVC’s goal of providing high-quality materials to target audiences by skilled professionals who are able to respond knowledgably to queries in Spanish.

We strongly discourage use of these materials by staff who are not fluent in Spanish in the interest of accurate communication to audiences. The English translation is provided as a courtesy and is in keeping with our policy of ensuring greater accessibility to all published materials.

La violencia sexual en la comunidad latina: una plática entre mujeres (Sexual Violence in the Hispanic Community: A Conversation Between Women): Facilitator’s Guide

This facilitator’s guide accompanies La violencia sexual en la comunidad latina: una plática entre mujeres, a two-part Spanish presentation that offers an overview of sexual violence victims’/survivors’ rights and needs and the services that are available to them. The PowerPoint presentation promotes greater awareness among Spanish-speaking populations about sexual violence and existing services. It is not an all-inclusive presentation but rather an introduction that may be adapted and expanded to meet each facilitator’s need.

Although any person can be a victim of sexual violence, this presentation focuses on Latinas.

This guide covers—

Language Prerequisite

La violencia sexual en la comunidad latina: una plática entre mujeres was designed specifically for experienced victim advocate trainers and promotoras who are fluent in Spanish and to present to Spanish-speaking populations. It also can be used as a supplemental tool in training newly hired bilingual victim advocates and in presentations offered to Spanish-speaking allied professionals.

Even though the content of the presentation is in Spanish, because these products were developed for bilingual promotoras and victim advocates with training experience in the United States, the guide itself is in English, as are the discussion points in the slides’ notes section.

Presentation Topics

Part 1 covers—

  • Definition of sexual violence.
  • Child sexual abuse.
  • Sexual harassment.
  • How to discuss sexual violence in the Latina/o community.
  • Rape.
  • Damaging myths.
  • The truth about sexual violence.
  • Lack of consent and diminished capacity.
  • Rape, alcohol, and drugs.
  • Blaming the victim.
  • What to do after suffering a rape.
  • Reporting and pressing charges.
  • Rape crisis centers.

Part 2 covers—

  • The rape exam.
  • Possible reactions to sexual violence.
  • The recovery process.
  • The undocumented immigrant survivor.
  • Human trafficking.
  • Personal safety of the promotora or community health worker.
  • National resources.
  • Local resources.

Preparation

Know Your Audience

Be mindful of the rich diversity of Latina/o groups and the differing acculturation levels that may exist and respect the dialects that may be spoken within your agency’s service area. Tailor the presentation to your local audience.

Promote Attendance

To help eliminate attendance barriers, offer snacks and childcare during the presentation. Contact the local favorite Latina/o bakeries and businesses to offer pan dulce (sweet bread). Offering rifas (raffle prizes) may engage the community and promote a positive presentation experience.

Address Outcry and Survivor Needs

Due to the limited number of Spanish-language presentations and the prevalence of sexual assault victimization, presenters may have three or four direct or secondary Latina survivors disclose either recent or childhood sexual violence during a presentation.

Identify bilingual victim advocates ahead of time who will be able to attend to the needs of these survivors. If these advocates cannot be at the presentation, secure a dedicated and direct phone number before the presentation rather than sharing a general hotline number.

As you begin or continue your Latina/o outreach work, you will discover the extent of victimization in Latina/o communities and the many limitations that exist for their residents in seeking services and participating in the justice system. This can be very draining and can lead to vicarious trauma, so it is important that you have a support network and take care of yourself as well.

Consider Presentation Duration

The duration of each presentation may be from 1.5 to 2 hours per session, depending on the level of interactive discussion or activities that may be incorporated and the additional supplemental aids that may be used (e.g., PSA recordings, DVDs).

Prepare Your Materials

Before you begin your presentation—

  • Read this facilitator’s guide and review each PowerPoint slide, including slide notes.
  • Gather and translate the necessary local information.
  • Learn the age of consent for your state and review and translate the definition of consent in your state laws.
  • Research and translate your state’s definition of sexual assault.
  • If possible, contact your local sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) program and acquire a sexual assault exam toolkit or a video that shows the process. If a video is available in English, then review it ahead of time and prepare a Spanish language summary that you or someone else can read during part 2 of the presentation.
  • Gather information about your local area’s legal advocate for immigrants and advocacy programs or agencies for human trafficking victims. Ask for handouts in Spanish or prepare your own handout listing local resources such as hotline numbers and/or the direct extensions of support personnel as well as their addresses and hours of service.
  • Gather information regarding local resources and add it to the last slide of parts 1 and 2 of the presentation.
  • Make copies of the following Existe Ayuda tools:
  • Decide whether to share the PowerPoint slides via an LCD projector or on an overhead projector. If the latter, make sure you print the slides onto transparency sheets well before the presentation.

Discussion Points

Many slides have discussion points and questions that you can use to customize the presentation to meet your audience’s needs. They are included, in English, in the Notes section of the slides. The more questions you incorporate, the more time you will need to allot for each session.

References

The following resources are referenced in the "La violencia sexual en la comunidad latina" PowerPoint presentation. Feel free to hand this list of references out to presentation attendees.

Bergen, R.K., 1996, Wife Rape: Understanding the Response of Survivors and Service Providers, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2005, National Crime Victimization Survey, Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Campbell, J.C., and Alford, P., 1989, "The Dark Consequences of Marital Rape," American Journal of Nursing 89: 946–949.

George, W., Cue, K., Lopez, P., Crowe, L., and Norris, J., 1995, "Self-Reported Alcohol Expectancies and Post Drinking Sexual Inferences about Women," Journal of Applied Social Psychology 25(2): 164–186.

Hanneke, C., Shields, N., and McCall, G.J., 1986, "Assessing the Prevalence of Marital Rape," Journal of Interpersonal Violence 1: 3.

Human Rights Watch, 2006, "Trabajadoras domésticas maltratadas en todo el mundo," New York, NY: Human Rights Watch.

Lopez-Treviño, M.E., 1995, "The Needs and Problems Confronting Mexican American and Latin Women Farmworkers: A Socioeconomic and Human’s Right Issue," unpublished on file with author. Cited by Ontiveros, M., 2003, "Lessons from the Fields: Female Farmworkers and the Law," Maine Law Review 55: 157, 168.

Office for Victims of Crime, nd, Directory of Crime Victim Services: Glossary, Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime.

Sutton, D., and Jones, V., 2004, Position Paper on Child Pornography and Internet-Related Sexual Exploitation of Children, Brussels, Belgium: Save the Children Europe Group.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, nd, Trafficking in Persons (en Español),New York, NY: United Nations.

Warshaw, R., 1998, I Never Called It Rape. New York, NY: Harper & Row.

Wellesley Centers for Women, 1998, The Wife Rape Information Page: A Frequently Asked Questions and Resource Guide, Wellesley, MA: Wellesley Centers for Women.

Sexual Violence in the Hispanic Community: A Conversation Between Women, Parts 1 and 2

English Translation of La violencia sexual en la comunidad Latina: una plática entre mujeres

Part 1

  1. Help Exists

    National Community Outreach Project

    Sexual Violence in the Hispanic Community: A Conversation Between Women Part One

  2. A Few Types of Sexual Violence

    Anyone may be a victim of sexual violence, whether the person is a man, a woman, or a child.

    Sexual violence includes—

    • Child sexual abuse.
    • Incest.
    • Sexual assault of elders.
    • Sexual harassment.
    • Rape (including intimate partner rape).
    • Acts to sell or exploit the sexuality of a person by means of threat, pressure, or coercion applied by another individual, regardless of that person’s relationship with the victim.
  3. Child Sexual Abuse

    • Child sexual abuse occurs when someone uses a boy or a girl for some type of sexual activity.
    • It may be with or without forcible penetration, with or without physical contact, and performed with or without violence.
  4. Child Sexual Abuse (cont.)

    Child sexual abuse includes—

    • Inappropriate body-related sexual comments.
    • Showing of pornographic material.
    • Sexual kisses.
    • Genital, oral, or anal penetration with a finger, penis, or object.
    • Child prostitution.
    • Inappropriate caresses.
  5. Child Sexual Abuse (cont.)

    • Child sexual abuse always occurs without consent, given that minors are unable to consent.
    • It is important to know the age of consent of the state of residence, as this age varies depending on the state. If both persons are minors, it also is important to know the age difference between the persons involved.
    • Child sexual abuse occurs in all countries, in all communities, and among rich and poor families.
  6. The "Grooming" Process

    "Grooming" Process: a strategy used by sexual abusers to manipulate boys, girls, teenagers, and the adults responsible for their care to facilitate child sexual abuse (Sutton and Jones, 2004).

  7. Incest

    • Most sexual assault occurs at home.
    • It is not limited by the educational, cultural, and financial level of the family.
    • The aggressor is usually the father/mother, stepfather, brother/sister, or any close relative with easy access to the victim.
    • This type of sexual assault is called incest.
  8. Sexual Harassment

    Sexual harassment—

    • Is any unwanted sexual gesture or behavior.
    • May occur repeatedly or happen only once in a serious manner.
    • May be expressed verbally, physically, or in writing (e.g., on paper, e-mail, text messages).
  9. Types of Sexual Harassment

    Sexual harassment includes—

    • Physical contact, including fondling.
    • Whistling.
    • Rude comments.
    • Provocative gestures.
    • Showing pornography at work.
  10. Sexual Harassment at Work

    Sexual harassment is any type of sexual conduct when—

    • The subjection to or rejection of the behavior affects one’s job.
    • It interferes with work performance.
    • It creates a threatening, hostile, or offensive work environment.
  11. Types of Sexual Harassment at Work

    • Quid pro quo ("this for that" or an exchange of favors). Persons with authority suggest (subtly or openly) sexual favors as a condition for employment or improvement of work conditions.

      • Example 1: The manager of a hotel offers rooms for free to female employees in exchange for sex with him or her.
      • Example 2: A manager offers more hours of work or a salary increase in exchange for a date.
  12. Types of Sexual Harassment at Work (cont.)

    • Hostile work environment. The ability of the employee to do his/her job is impaired due to the unwanted sexual behavior of the offender.

      • The behavior of any coworker (including directors, supervisors, and colleagues) can create a hostile work environment.
      • Many suffer in silence due to fear of retaliation and/or losing their jobs.
  13. Rights of Sexual Harassment Victims

    • Sexual harassment at work is against the civil and/or federal laws of the United States.
    • Nobody should be exposed to sexual behavior or forced to have sex in order to keep his/her job or be granted improved working conditions.
    • Free services are available to protect workers against sexual harassment.
  14. Rape

    • Rape: Forced sexual intercourse without the consent of the other person.
    • Simply asking the question "have you ever been raped?" is not enough. Why?

      • Existing taboos. Some women are unable to speak directly about subjects that are so private (for instance, in the event of rape perpetrated by the victim’s intimate partner).
      • The emotional difficulty of describing what one went through during the rape.

    (Hannekee, Shields, and McCall, 1986)

  15. Rape by Acquaintance

    • Rape by acquaintance is one of the most common forms of sexual violence. In these cases, the aggressor is someone the victim knows:

      • Friend.
      • Neighbor.
      • Classmate.
      • Workmate.
      • Current/former boyfriend.
      • Current/former husband.
      • Religious leader.
      • Family member (e.g., father, brother, grandfather, uncle)
    • Women may also commit rape.
  16. Talking to Women About Sexual Violence

    • Have you been disrespected at work with sexual gestures or foul language?
    • Have you been required or forced to have sex against your will?
    • Have you been forced to engage in prostitution by the person who smuggled you into the country?
  17. Talking to Women About Sexual Violence (cont.)

    • Has your husband or partner forced you to participate in sexual acts against your will?
    • Has your husband or partner forced to you to have sex when you were sick, feeling pain, uncomfortable due to pregnancy, or simply did not feel like having sex?
    • Are you afraid to say "NO" when you do not want to have sex?
    (Wellesley Centers for Women, 1998)

  18. Myths Cause Harm

    • There are many myths regarding rape.
    • Such beliefs try to blame the victim and justify the rapist’s actions.
    • These myths are very dangerous. They not only cause harm to the survivors, but also limit the possibilities of confronting this type of crime.
  19. Myths Cause Harm (cont.)

    • A few common myths are—

      • "Rape is an act of passion."
      • "A woman that wears sexy clothes entices a man."
      • "A man has no self-control when he is sexually excited."
      • "If the man is drunk, he is not guilty; it is the alcohol that causes the rape."
      • "Only men commit rape."
      • "Only women are rape victims."
  20. The Truth About Rape

    To fight against sexual violence, it is important to refute the myths and make people aware of the truth:

    • Rape is not an act of passion; it is an act of aggression and control.
    • No one deserves rape.
    • Men are absolutely able to control themselves when they want to.
    • Drunkenness does not eliminate the guilt of the rapist.
    • Only the rapist is responsible for the crime; the victim is never responsible.
    • Both men and women may be sexual victims and aggressors.
  21. According to Statistics

    • In most rape cases, the victims are 15 to 24 years old.
    • In 73% of rape and sexual assault cases, the aggressors are acquaintances, friends, or partners of the victims.
    • Approximately 60% of rape and sexual assault cases are not reported to the police.

    (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2005)

  22. According to Statistics (cont.)

    • Approximately 10% to 14% of raped women are raped by their intimate partner (Campbell and Alford, 1989).
    • Hispanic women were less inclined to immediately recognize their forced sex experiences as "rape"; some considered sex a marital obligation (Bergen, 1996).
    • Statistics are important, but they do not completely represent reality. The lack of services for Hispanic survivors means that data cannot accurately reflect the number of victims in that community.
  23. Lack of Consent and Impaired Capacity

    • In general, laws related to rape establish that in certain situations, such as impaired capacity (or legal incapacity), persons are unable to consent.
    • For instance, a person may not consent to sex if he or she is—

      • Unconscious (e.g., asleep or fainted).
      • Under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
      • Disabled.
      • Under age.
  24. Rape and Alcohol

    • At least 50% of rape cases involve alcohol consumption by the rapist, the victim, or both (George et al., 1995).
    • Approximately 75% of men and 55% of women who are victims of rape by acquaintance report that they drank alcohol or used other drugs before the incident (Warshaw, 1998).
    • Some victims are afraid to report a rape if they were under the influence of alcohol when the crime occurred.
    • Alcohol is the drug most used in rape by acquaintance. The attacker deliberately inebriates the victim to impair and incapacitate his/her judgment, knowing that the victim will not report the rape because he/she feels ashamed.
  25. Rape Facilitated by Drugs

    • Rohypnol and GHB can impair the ability to defend oneself. These drugs may be mixed into alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
    • To reduce risk, it is important to—

      • Prepare and get your own drink.
      • Never leave your own drink unattended—not even with a person you know—because the aggressor is often a person that the victim believes to be trustworthy.
  26. Blaming the Victim

    • The practice of blaming the victim of sexual violence for her/his own victimization is universal.
    • The messages received by sexual violence survivors influence whether they seek help.
    • It is important to know how messages of blame are expressed in each culture so as to challenge them when talking with survivors.
  27. Blaming the Victim (cont.)

    • The range of messages of blame includes the following toxic concepts:

      • Girls are inevitably beneath boys.
      • Having nonconsensual sex with boys or girls may be justified.
      • Women do not have the right to exercise their sexual autonomy.
      • A woman with sexual experience cannot be raped.
  28. Blaming the Victim (cont.)

    • Social Expectations

      • Girls and women are expected to be sweet, obedient, passive, quiet, pleasant, complacent, and grateful.
      • Women are mainly responsible for having others respect them.
    • When victims are blamed, violence against girls and women is minimized, which eliminates the responsibility of the aggressors and promotes the re-victimization of girls and women throughout the world.
  29. What To Do After Rape

    • The rape survivor should—

      • Call a person that he/she trusts and contact a help center for rape victims.
      • Look for a safe place where he/she will not be alone.
      • Get medical care as soon as possible.
      • Not shower, bathe, or douche.
      • Not brush his/her teeth and not drink, eat, smoke, or change clothes before going to the hospital, if there was oral or genital contact.
      • Bring to the medical exam the clothes he/she was wearing during the rape and a fresh change of clothes.
      • Ask about "Plan B" or the "morning-after pill" to prevent a possible unwanted pregnancy.
  30. What To Do After Rape (cont.)

    • During the first 3 days after the sexual assault, it is important to collect and maintain the evidence because it may be used in a court of justice to file charges against the rapist.
  31. The Rights of the Survivor

    Any person who has been raped has the right to—

    • Call the police without fearing deportation.
    • Have access to an interpreter.
    • Ask for more information on the investigation and the status of his/her case.
    • Have an advisor or a support person present during all interviews, hearings, and exams (with the exception of the hearing with the grand jury).
    • Name a representative if his/her presence is not required.
  32. The Report and the Claim

    • It is important for the survivor to know that—

      • The decision of whether to file a police report is solely his/hers.
      • Reporting a crime to the police is not the same as filing a claim against the rapist in court.
    • The survivor may need more time to learn about and consider his/her options.
  33. The Report and the Claim (cont.)

    • The collection and preservation of evidence could be useful in the future if she/he decides to file a claim against the rapist in a court of justice.
    • It is important to take into account the time factor and collect and retain the physical evidence while it is still available.
  34. The Anonymous "Jane Doe" Report

    • Anonymous reports can help victims feel more comfortable about cooperating with the evidence collection procedure.
    • The difference between this type of report and conventional reports is that the evidence is sealed with a number on its outside instead of a name, and the police cannot open it until the victim decides to file the report.
  35. Help Centers for Sexual Violence Victims

    • Survivors need to find someone they can rely on to talk to about what has happened so they can vent feelings in a safe environment.
    • Rape victim help centers generally offer the following free services, from the time of the assault to the trial:

      • 24-hour help line.
      • Accompaniment to the hospital, police station, and/or court to provide information and emotional support.
      • Support groups.
  36. Help Centers for Sexual Violence Victims (cont.)

    • More free services offered by rape victim help centers include—

      • Short- and long-term therapy/counseling for individuals and groups.
      • Legal advocacy.
      • Information about and support for applying for crime victims’ compensation.
  37. Free Services

    • All services provided by programs financed by the state and supported with federal funds are offered at no cost to victims of sexual and intimate partner violence, and they are confidential.
    • Local Services:

Part 2

  1. Help Exists

    National Community Outreach Project

    Sexual Violence in the Hispanic Community: A Conversation Between Women Part Two

  2. Sexual Assault Forensic Exam

    • During the 72 hours following the sexual assault, it is important to collect and preserve the evidence by means of a medical exam.
    • A sexual assault nurse examiner will inspect the body of the survivor for any injuries and collect evidence that the attacker may have left behind.
    • In some states, the nurse is required to perform a blood test.
  3. Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (cont.)

    • Many hospitals use a rape kit to collect rape evidence such as clothes fibers, hair, pubic hair, saliva, or semen that could help identify the attacker.
    • The rape kit contains a standard set of items such as small boxes, microscope slides, and plastic bags for collecting and storing evidence. The evidence samples may be used in court.
    • It is very important to receive medical care to prevent sexually transmitted diseases or a possible unwanted pregnancy.
  4. Emergency Contraception or "Plan B"

    • Emergency contraception may be used to prevent a woman from getting pregnant after sex without protection and against her will.
    • The emergency contraception pill must be taken within 72 hours (3 days) of a rape.
    • The emergency contraception pill—

      • Does not cause an abortion.
      • Prevents the pregnancy, stopping ovulation, fertilization, or implantation.
      • Does not affect an ongoing pregnancy.
  5. Possible Emotional Reactions to Rape

    • Although each person reacts differently, survivors may feel a series of emotional reactions immediately after the attack and throughout the recovery process.
    • There is no "correct" or incorrect way to react to the experience.
    • Some persons have nightmares or traumatic flashbacks of the attack.
  6. Possible Emotional Reactions to Rape (cont.)

    • Emotional shock.
    • Disbelief.
    • Shame.
    • Dishonor.
    • Inappropriate self-blame.
    • Depression.
    • Horror.
    • Rage.
    • Desire for revenge.
    • Suicidal thoughts.
    • Minimize the importance of what has occurred.
    • Nightmares.
    • Insomnia.
  7. Is It My Fault?

    • Social standards lead some victims to feel that they caused the incident:

      • "God was punishing me."
      • "This happened for a reason."
      • "I must have done something to deserve it."
      • "Nobody will want to marry me."
      • "I am a disreputable woman."
  8. Is It My Fault? (cont.)

    • It does not matter where it happened, who did it, how she was dressed, whether she was drunk, or if they have had sex in the past.
    • Remember that the victim is never to blame.
  9. The Recovery Process

    The reaction to this type of trauma is very different from one person to another and can involve going back and forth between different recovery phases for the rest of the victim’s life.

  10. Rape Trauma Syndrome

    In the 1970s, investigators Ann Burgess and Lynda Holstrom identified "Rape Trauma Syndrome" (RTS)—a form of post-traumatic stress disorder. In 1987, Mary Koss and Mary Harvey identified three phases or stages of RTS:

    • Acute phase.
    • Outward adjustment stage.
    • Integration phase.
  11. RTS: Acute Phase

    The acute phase occurs after the attack and may last several days. It includes—

    • Physical reactions: Injuries caused by the rape (e.g., vaginal, anal, or oral pain and discomfort; infections), stomachache, stress, nausea, loss of appetite, other expressions of general pain.
    • Emotional reactions: Demonstrations of rage, guilt, fear, shame, and confusion, or suppression or concealment of emotional reactions.
  12. RTS: Outward Adjustment Stage

    • The outward adjustment stage may last months or years and covers the period during which survivors try to "recover normalcy" and go on with their lives.
    • In this phase, the survivor—

      • Organizes his/her life and learns how to overcome stress related to the sexual attack.
      • Takes care of his/her emotional needs: learns how to react in specific situations, finds support systems, and faces existing problems (e.g., relationship issues, possible addictions).
  13. RTS: Integration Phase

    • During the integration phase, the survivor finds ways to overcome negative feelings (e.g., self-blame) and—

      • Is capable of remembering the trauma without feeling strong emotions or can deal with them if they occur.
      • Accepts the attack as an experience in his/her life that does not define or thwart his/her life.
    • Not all survivors react the same way. The recovery phase varies depending on the survivor and the type of support received.
  14. How To Promote Recovery

    • To promote recovery—

      • Believe the survivor.
      • Do not excuse or justify the rapist’s actions.
      • Try to get the victim to express her/his feelings.
      • Avoid cataloging or identifying the survivor as a victim.
      • Urge the survivor to seek help.
      • Respect the time required by the survivor to recover.
    • For more suggestions in Spanish, visit www.arte-sana.com/articles/espanol/para_sobrevivientes_article.htm.
  15. The Immigrant and Undocumented Victim

    • Immigrant women are vulnerable to sexual exploitation because aggressors believe that they will not report the crime to the police. Aggressors frequently threaten their victims with deportation should they seek help, and victims mistakenly believe these threats.
    • They may be subjected to sexual violence by being—

      • Sexually harassed at work.
      • Trapped in human trafficking and forced into prostitution.
      • Raped during the process of crossing the border by border guards, policemen, other refugees, or migrant smugglers ("coyotes").
      • Forced to pay for alleged border-crossing costs with sexual favors.
      • Victims of intimate partner sexual violence.
  16. The Immigrant and Undocumented Victim (cont.)

    • In 1995, a study found that 90% of immigrant women identified sexual harassment at the workplace as a significant problem (Lopez-Treviño, 1995).
    • Domestic workers, greatly dependent on their employers and afraid of deportation, face labor exploitation and a series of serious abuses that include physical and sexual assault (Human Rights Watch, 2006).
    • Immigrant women may be vulnerable to abuse committed by their spouse/partner because they do not speak English, do not know their rights, or their immigrant status depends on their spouse’s status.
  17. Human Trafficking

    • Human trafficking victims find themselves subjected to sexual exploitation or forced labor by means of fraud, force, or coercion (Office for Victims of Crime, nd).
    • The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (nd) defines human trafficking as—
      the action of recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring, or receipt of persons by means of the threat or use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or vulnerability, or payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person for the purposes of exploitation.
  18. Human Trafficking (cont.)

    • Possible indicators of human trafficking include when—

      • A person is forced to work to pay a debt, with no terms or conditions defined.
      • A person is threatened with deportation if he/she leaves the job.
      • A person’s identification documents are confiscated by the employer.
      • The manager or employer deprives the person of his/her freedom or restricts his/her movements.
      • A person must ask for permission to attend to his/her basic needs (eat, sleep, bathroom use).
  19. Sexual Slavery

    • Sexual slavery is the transportation and detention of human beings (most of whom are women and minors) against their will or by means of blackmail, deceit, or threats for the purpose of their sexual exploitation.
    • Traffickers may—

      • Use false promises of employment, such as modeling work or other legitimate employment, to capture young women and force them into prostitution.
      • Deceive poor families with promises of an "opportunity" to send their children to other places, promising a better life.
  20. Legal Resources for the Immigrant and Undocumented Victim

    • The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) offers victims who are not U.S. citizens means to apply for a special visa and other benefits and services, so that they may safely rebuild their lives.
    • TVPA created two new visas—the T-Visa and the U-Visa—to provide legal status to victims who are not U.S. citizens, so that they will help the authorities investigating the crime.
  21. Legal Resources for the Immigrant and Undocumented Victim (cont.)

    • An undocumented survivor deserves help. As a victim of crime, she/he has a right to the same services for crime victims as any person born in the United States.
    • The fear of deportation is a great concern among many immigrants, and all too frequently this fear keeps them in situations of abuse.
    • If the victim is the spouse or daughter/son of a U.S. citizen or legal resident, the victim may qualify for "self-petition" and acquire legal status under the Violence Against Women Act.
  22. Safety Advice

    Many of our communities have high crime rates, and we should take the following precautions:

    • Wherever you are on the street, in an office building, in a mall, driving your car, or waiting for the bus or the subway, remain alert and pay attention to what is going on around you.
    • Trust your instincts. If something or somebody frightens you, avoid her/him and leave the place.
  23. Safety Advice (cont.)

    • If you are driving a car, keep your car key handy so that you can get into the car as quickly as possible.
    • Program your cell phone to dial emergency numbers instantly.
    • Know the areas where you live and work.
    • Walk on well-lit and busy streets. Avoid shortcuts through wooded areas, parking lots, or alleys.
  24. Safety Advice (cont.)

    • Let others know in advance—specifically, your workmates and supervisors—where you are going and what to do if you do not come back.
    • Notify your workmates, supervisors, or human resources personnel if you receive a threat or an unwanted sexual advance. Document all incidents with the human resources office or your supervisor.
  25. National Resources

    • The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) provides a telephone service that automatically connects each call to the closest center:

      800–656–4673
    • Domestic Violence National Hotline (in Spanish):

      800–799–SAFE
  26. National Resources (cont.)

    • National Human Trafficking Hotline (in Spanish):

      888–373–7888
    • Family Violence Prevention Fund:

      415–252–8900
    • National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild:

      617–227–9727
  27. Local Resources

    [Local information to be added by presenter.]

For Victim Advocates

Principal Author of This Section: Laura Zárate

     Presentation (PPT): Part 1
     Presentation (PPT): Part 2

Latinas and Sexual Violence

Purpose: Addresses cultural and linguistic considerations for improving outreach into Latina/o communities with a special focus on Latinas and promotes greater awareness of the barriers to services that Latina victims face and tools for removing those barriers.

User Audience: Victim advocates and allied professionals who address victim service access issues for diverse communities of sexual assault survivors.

Participant Audience: Directors, program managers, victim advocates, and allied professionals who are attending inservice training events.

Latinas and Sexual Violence Facilitator’s Guide

This facilitator’s guide accompanies "Latinas and Sexual Violence," a two-part presentation. It is not an all-inclusive presentation but rather an introduction that may be adapted and expanded to meet each facilitator’s needs. The guide covers—

Presentation Topics

Part 1 covers—

  • Population overview.
  • Diversity issues.
  • Terminology.
  • Immigrants.
  • Challenges faced by victim service agencies.
  • Latinas and sexual violence.
  • Cultural considerations.
  • Gender expectations.
  • Virginity.
  • Blame.
  • Trust.
  • Shame.
  • Language.
  • Access to victim services.
  • Interpreters.
  • Translations.
  • Developing original materials in Spanish.

Part 2 covers—

  • Immigrant victimization, vulnerability, and rights.
  • Visas.
  • Needs of immigrant victims.
  • Community partnerships.
  • Promotoras (community health workers).
  • Educational tools and activities.

Preparation

Know Your Audience

Be mindful of the rich diversity of Latina/o groups and the differing acculturation levels that may exist and respect the dialects that may be spoken within your agency service area. Make sure you tailor the presentation to your local audience.

Consider Presentation Duration

The duration of each presentation may be from 1.5 to 2 hours per session, depending on the level of interactive discussion or activities that may be incorporated and the additional supplemental aids that may be used.

Prepare Your Materials

  • Read this facilitator’s guide and review each PowerPoint slide of the presentation, including slide notes.
  • Gather the necessary local information.
  • Decide whether to share the PowerPoint slides via an LCD projector or via an overhead projector. If the latter, make sure to print the slides onto transparency sheets well before the presentation.

Discussion Points

Many slides have discussion points and questions that you can use to customize the presentation to meet your audience’s needs. They are included in the Notes section of the slides. The more questions you incorporate, the more time you will need to allot for each session.

References

The following resources are referenced in the "Latinas and Sexual Violence" PowerPoint presentation. Feel free to hand this list of references out to presentation attendees.

Alianza Latina en Contra la Agresión Sexual or ALAS (Latina Alliance Against Sexual Aggression), 2004, Eliminating Survivor Service Access Barriers for Latina/o Survivors of Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence, ALAS.

American Association of University Women, 2000, Hostile Hallways: Bullying, Teasing, and Sexual Harassment in Schools, Washington, DC: American Association of University Women.

Aron, A., 1992, "Testimonio: A Bridge Between Psychotherapy and Sociotherapy," in E. Cole, O. Espin, and E.D. Rothblum (Eds.), Refugee Women and Their Mental Health: Shattered Societies, Shattered Lives, Binghamton, NY: The Haworth Press, Inc., pp. 173–189.

Bates, R.A., 1996, "Popular Theatre: A Useful Process for Adult Educators," Adult Education Quarterly 46(4): 224–236. (EJ 530 250).

Bergen, R.K., 1996, Wife Rape: Understanding the Response of Survivors and Service Providers, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2004, National Crime Victimization Survey, Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Fontes, L.A., 2007, "Sin Vergüenza: Addressing Shame with Latino Victims of Child Sexual Abuse and Their Families," Journal of Child Sexual Abuse 16(1).

Freire, P., 1971, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, London, England: Continuum Publishing Company.

Health Resources and Services Administration, 2007, Community Health Workers National Workforce Study, Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration.

JakeAdams Editorial Services and Research Consultancy, 2010, Hispanic Market Overview–2010, Miami Beach, FL: JakeAdams Editorial Services and Research Consultancy.

Kerka, S., 1997, Popular Education: Adult Education for Social Change, ERIC Digest No. 185, Columbus, OH: Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education.

Liptak, A., 2009, "Sotomayor Draws Retort From a Fellow Justice," The New York Times.

Lopez-Treviño, M.E., 1995, "The Needs and Problems Confronting Mexican American and Latin Women Farmworkers: A Socioeconomic and Human’s Right Issue" (unpublished and on file with author). Cited by Ontiveros, M., 2003, "Lessons from the Fields: Female Farmworkers and the Law," Maine Law Review 55: 157, 168.

Lujan, J., 2009, "Got Hispanic Clients? Get a Promotora," The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice 7(3).

Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, 2004, The Government Response to Domestic Violence Against Refugee and Immigrant Women in the Minneapolis/St.Paul Metropolitan Area: A Human Rights Report, Minneapolis, MN: Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights.

Murdaugh, C., Hunt, S., Sowell, R., and Santana, I., 2004, "Domestic Violence in Hispanics in the Southeastern United States: A Survey and Needs Analysis," Journal of Family Violence 19(2).

Nadeau, D., 1996, "Embodying Feminist Popular Education under Global Restructuring," in S. Waters and L. Manicom (Eds.), Gender and Popular Education: Methods for Empowerment, London, England: Zed Books, pp. 40–60.

New America Media, 2009, A National Study on the Penetration of Ethnic Media in America, San Francisco, CA: New American Media.

Pew Hispanic Center, 2009, Between Two Worlds: How Young Latinos Come of Age in America, Washington, DC: Pew Hispanic Center.

Proulx, J., 1993, "Adult Education and Democracy," Convergence 26(1): 34–42. (EJ 462 024).

Southern Poverty Law Center, 2009, Latina Women Endure Sexual Violence, Discrimination, Montgomery, AL: Southern Poverty Law Center.

U.S. Census Bureau, 2010, Facts for Features: Hispanic Heritage Month 2010: Sept. 15–Oct. 15, Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau.

U.S. Census Bureau, 2008, An Older and More Diverse Nation by Midcentury, Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2007, Guidance to Federal Financial Assistance Recipients Regarding Title VI Prohibition Against National Origin Discrimination Affecting Limited English Proficient Persons, Washington DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

University of Arizona and Annie E. Casey Foundation, 1998, The National Community Health Advisor Study: Weaving the Future, Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press.

Vellos, D., 1997, "Immigrant Latina Domestic Workers and Sexual Harassment," American University Journal of Gender and the Law 5(Spring): 407–432, 409, 413, 419–428.

Watson, J., 2006, Women Risk Rape, Death in U.S. Journey. New York, NY: Associated Press.

Watson, W.S., nd, Translating Extension Publications into Spanish: Practical Hints for Extension Professionals, Extensión en Español.

Zárate, L., 2004, An Argument Against Non-Human Translations of Sexual Assault Information, Dripping Springs, TX: Arte Sana.

Zárate, L., 2003, The Power of the Promotoras, Dripping Springs, TX: Arte Sana.

Tools

Victims’ Rights Pocket Card
Hand out this card to promote greater awareness of victims’ rights. In Spanish with English translation.

Sexual Harassment Handout
Disseminate this handout to promote greater awareness of sexual harassment and victims’ rights. In Spanish with English translation.

Fact Sheets
Give these fact sheets to victim advocates to alert them to the unique issues that Latina victims of sexual violence face and to Spanish-speaking women to refute myths about sexual violence, describe emotional reactions to sexual violence, and explain what happens during the medical exam. One fact sheet in Spanish with English translation; one fact sheet in English.

Public Service Announcement Scripts
Record PSAs using these scripts to promote greater awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace and of intimate partner sexual violence. In Spanish with English translations.

Answering Machine Scripts
Record outgoing messages in Spanish using these answering machine scripts customized for rape crisis centers and state sexual assault coalitions. In Spanish with English translations.

Victims’ Rights Pocket Card

     Pocket Card in Spanish (PDF)

Si has sido víctima de violencia sexual, TIENES DERECHOS. (If you have been a victim of sexual assault, you have RIGHTS.)

Purpose: Promote awareness of sexual assault victims’ rights; including the right to services regardless of race, economic status, language preference, or residency status.

User Audience: Bilingual victim advocates; promotoras or community health workers (CHWs).

Participant Audience: English as a Second Language (ESL) and English Language Learner primary and secondary survivors; community groups.

Order Order copies. Ask for NCJ 234272.

Victims’ Rights Pocket Card: English Translation

If you have been a victim of sexual assault, you have RIGHTS.

If you, recently or in the past, have been forced to have sexual relations against your will;
If your husband or partner forced you into unwanted sexual acts;
If anyone took sexual advantage of you while you were drugged, drunk, or unconscious;
. . . You have been a victim of sexual assault.

All sexual assault victims have the right to receive free and confidential help in their language of choice. Any government-funded rape crisis centers or programs that offer help to victims are required to offer their services to anyone, regardless of nationality, race, financial means, or residency status.

Although different rape crisis centers may offer varying degrees of services in Spanish, all victims generally have the right to receive the following free and confidential services:

  • A telephone and/or crisis line available 24/7.
  • Accompaniment to the hospital, police department, or court to provide emotional support and information.
  • Short- or long-term therapy/counseling for individuals and groups.
  • Legal advocacy.

If you are a victim of sexual assault, you have the right to request the services of an interpreter.

Even if you decide not to report the crime to the police or to use the services of a rape crisis center, it is very important to preserve the evidence by seeking medical attention. A medical exam can help you prevent sexually transmitted diseases or an unwanted pregnancy.

Find someone you can trust so you can talk safely. It’s very important to be able to vent without feeling guilty or being judged.

If you have any doubts or questions regarding victim services or you want to know what to do next, call any of the following hotlines:

  • RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) connects you to your local rape crisis center: 1–800–656–HOPE (4673).
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1–800–799–SAFE (7233).
  • National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline: 1–888–373–7888.
  • Local Assistance: _______________________________

Sexual Harassment Handout

     Handout in Spanish (PDF)

¿Qué es el acoso sexual? (What Is Sexual Harassment?)

Purpose: Promote awareness among Spanish-speaking populations of sexual harassment and victims’ rights. The handout defines sexual harassment and lists steps for addressing and reporting it.

User Audience: Bilingual victim advocates; promotoras or community health workers (CHW).

Participant Audience: English as a Second Language (ESL) and English Language Learner primary and secondary survivors; community groups.

Sexual Harassment Handout: English Translation

What Is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment is any deliberate or repeated behavior of a sexual nature that is unsolicited and unwelcome to its recipient. It can be repeated several times or it can happen only one time in a severe fashion. It may be expressed verbally, physically, or through an implied exchange of sexual favors.

Sexual harassment in the workplace is against the law in the United States. No one should be obligated to have sexual contact or have sex with someone in order to get or keep a job or to keep the job’s current work conditions. In fact, to force or to obligate someone to have sex is rape and that is a crime.

The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, an agent of the employer, a supervisor in another area, a coworker, or a non-employee. Women can also be sexual harassers at the workplace. The victim does not necessarily have to be the person harassed; any person, regardless of age or sex, can be affected by offensive conduct and can report sexual harassment.

Types of Sexual Harassment

Verbal or physical. Any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature including touching, whistling, lewd jokes, or the presence of pornography in the workplace may qualify as sexual harassment.

Quid pro quo. This expression describes the abuse of power by staff in authority when sexual favors are openly or implicitly suggested as a condition of employment or benefit. For example, an employer of a hotel may offer hotel rooms free of charge to his female employees only if they have sex with him. Another example would be offering more work hours or a raise in exchange for a date.

Hostile work environment. The workplace becomes a hostile work environment when the employee’s capacity to do the job is damaged by the harasser’s undesirable sexual behavior. Many suffer in this intimidating and offensive environment due to fear of retaliation and loss of employment.

The Consequences

Sexual harassment is harmful not only for the victim and his or her family, but for the work environment as well. The victim suffers emotional trauma, frustration, loss of self-esteem, and anxiety over the fear of possible loss of employment. Others at the workplace also suffer from the harassment because it results in increased absenteeism and decreased productivity.

If You Are a Victim of Sexual Harassment—

  • If it’s possible and you don’t feel threatened, speak directly to the harasser either in person or in writing and let him or her know that the conduct is unwelcome and must stop.
  • Document each incident in a notebook or diary, keeping track of specific dates, times, locations, and names of possible witnesses.
  • Save any evidence, including notes, e-mails, gifts, or voicemail recordings.
  • If the harassment does not stop, use any employer complaint mechanism or grievance system available to report the incident(s). Keep a copy of all documents that are filed.
  • If the employer doesn’t take any action, speak with other people so that you do not suffer silently.
  • Even if you decide not to report the sexual harassment, you can still use the support services available in your community.

Everybody deserves respect regardless of immigration status!

For more information, contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) at 1–800–669–4000.

For local support and services related to sexual assault, call ________________________.

Fact Sheets

Latinas and Sexual Violence

      Fact Sheet (PDF)

Purpose: Promote greater awareness of issues affecting Latina victims of sexual assault. Provided in English only.

User Audience: Victim advocates; allied professionals.

Participant Audience: Victim advocate inservice training or workshop attendees.

Atención mujeres...existe ayuda (Attention Women...Help Exists)

     Fact Sheet in Spanish (PDF)

Purpose: Promote greater awareness of sexual assault within English as a Second Language (ESL) and English Language Learner communities.

User Audience: Bilingual victim advocates; promotoras or community health workers (CHW).

Participant Audience: Spanish-speaking community members; allied professionals who participate in presentations offered by bilingual victim advocates; promotoras or CHWs.

Atención mujeres...existe ayuda: English Translation

Attention Women...Help Exists

by Laura Zárate and Jessica Coloma

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you are not alone.

  • Have you experienced unwanted sexual gestures or remarks while at work?
  • Has somebody forced you to have sex against your will, recently or during your childhood?
  • Has your spouse or partner forced you to perform sexual acts against your will?
  • Did somebody who helped you cross the border force you into prostitution?
  • Did someone who smuggled you across the border force you to pay with sex?

If you answered yes, you have been a victim of sexual violence and you deserve the help you need regardless of the circumstances, your gender, your immigration status, your sexual orientation, or who your perpetrator was.

One out of every six women is a victim of sexual violence. A common form of sexual violence suffered by women is acquaintance rape.

Acquaintance rape occurs when someone you know uses force, threats, or intimidation to have sexual contact with you. The perpetrator could be a boyfriend/ex-boyfriend, husband/ex-husband, coworker or boss, landlord, neighbor, friend, classmate, priest, or a family member (e.g., father, brother, grandfather, uncle). Women can also commit acquaintance rape.

Common Myths About Sexual Violence

Myth: If a man spends a lot of money on a woman, she owes him sex.
Fact: Nobody owes sex to anybody, regardless of how much is spent on a date or during a relationship.

Myth: Women who dress provocatively and go to bars are at fault if they are sexually assaulted.
Fact: Any form of sexual aggression is a violent crime committed against a person. Only the perpetrator is responsible for the crime, never the victim.

Myth: A man who is already turned on can’t help himself and needs to go through with the sexual act.
Fact: All men can control themselves if they choose to. They do not need to have sexual relations after being turned on.

Possible Emotional Reactions to Sexual Violence

Am I to blame? Many times society makes victims feel as if they are to blame or that they provoked the incident:

  • "It was God’s punishment."
  • "There is a reason this happened to me."
  • "Maybe I asked for this."
  • "Nobody is going to want to marry me now."
  • "I am a tainted, loose woman."

Nobody deserves to be sexually assaulted. It is not your fault. You have a right to look for help. Your life is valuable. To survive sexual violence is to survive a very traumatic experience. There is not a "correct" way to respond to sexual violence. Each person reacts in different ways. However, there are some emotions and reactions that many victims share:

  • Guilt.
  • Sadness.
  • Embarrassment.
  • Anger.
  • Depression.
  • Fear.
  • Anxiety.
  • Distrust.
  • Insomnia and nightmares.

From Victim to Survivor

For the simple reason that sexual violence still remains underreported, we do not know truly how many victims there are in our communities. While some victims deal with their trauma in silence, without looking for help, others do look for available help in their communities. The healing process for this type of trauma is very personal and can last a lifetime. In spite of this, however, many survivors form healthy relationships and live full lives. The first step in the healing process is to realize that it was not your fault, regardless of the circumstances. You are not alone. There is free and confidential help to help you begin the path from victim to survivor.

Crisis centers generally offer services from the moment of the incident all the way through a trial, if that is what the survivor wants. These services may include—

  • A 24-hour crisis line.
  • Accompaniment to the hospital, police station, and court to provide emotional support and information.
  • Short- and long-term counseling for individuals and groups.
  • Legal advocacy.

If you have been the victim of sexual assault, the decision to tell the police is yours alone. Reporting the crime to the police is not the same as suing the perpetrator for damages.

Sexual Assault Medical Exam

Collecting and preserving the evidence will be necessary if you want to bring charges against the perpetrator. It is important to preserve the evidence by collecting it through a sexual assault medical exam within 72 hours of the sexual assault. Before the medical exam, you should not—

  • Take a shower, take a bath, or do a vaginal cleanse.
  • Brush your teeth if there was oral sexual assault.
  • Drink, eat, smoke, or change your clothes before you go to the hospital.

Recommendations

  • Bring a change of clean clothes to the exam facility.
  • Find someone to talk to whom you trust and with whom you feel safe.
  • Blame only the rapist.
  • If the attack happened at your home or apartment, do not change the sheets or destroy any evidence that may have been left.
  • Even if you do not call the police or a sexual assault crisis center, it is important to receive medical attention to protect against sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy.

Local Services and Crisis Lines:

Public Service Announcement Scripts

Principal Author of This Section: Laura Zárate

     Scripts in Spanish (PDF)

Acoso sexual en el trabajo (Sexual Harassment at Work)
La violación entre pareja (Intimate Partner Rape)

Purpose: Promote greater awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace and of intimate partner sexual violence. The first PSA script defines sexual harassment, addresses some of its impact, and describes victims’ rights. The second PSA script defines intimate partner sexual violence, addresses cultural assumptions, and explains victims’ rights.

User Audience: Local victim service agencies to use during Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) campaigns and as teaching aids throughout the year.

Participant Audience: Spanish-language radio stations; community members; bilingual training workshop attendees.

Public service announcements (PSAs) can help victim service agencies reach out to and create awareness in various communities. Second-language announcements not only help target specific groups, but also communicate an agency’s respect for cultural and linguistic diversity. In the past 20 years, Spanish radio in the United States has grown into a major multimillion-dollar industry as Latin American immigrants have continued to arrive in many states that previously had not attracted Spanish speakers, like North Carolina, Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, Washington, and New Hampshire, according to Ethnic Media Here To Stay and Growing—A National Study on the Penetration of Ethnic Media in America, released by New America Media in 2009.

If you are interested in running PSAs on Spanish-language radio stations in your area, you should first acquaint yourself with their formats, programming, radio personalities, and audience before deciding on the most appropriate venues.

Once these are selected, contact the radio stations 2 months in advance, and schedule a meeting to both inform them of your agency’s mission and services and to learn about the stations’ submission requirements. When you submit the PSA script, include a cover letter that reiterates all that you have discussed and agreed to by phone (e.g., station endorsement, specific instructions) to the radio station.

If the radio station is willing to produce a PSA for you, meet with the radio staff who will be responsible for the production before the recording so that everyone is on the same page. Ask for—

  • Two to three voices (all female) (three for the first PSA and two for the second PSA).
  • A natural and not overly dramatic tone from the speaker.
  • Background music (if possible) in a genre that represents the target audience and that complements the message.
  • Leeway to sit in on the recording.
  • An opportunity to listen to the PSA before it is broadcast.
  • A copy of the recording that can be used in future campaigns or as a teaching aid during community education or training sessions.
  • Assurance that the PSA will include your agency’s name and services and that you have the right to reject a recording that does not meet your needs.

Public Service Announcement Scripts: English Translation

Public Service Announcement Script: Sexual Harassment at Work

(Voice #1)
It’s late already, aren’t you going to work?
(Voice #2)
No, I don’t want to work there anymore.
(Voice #1)
Why?
(Voice #2)
Because people there are very rude and they don’t respect women. I don’t like how they look at us and call us things like "hey baby" and "honey."
(Voice #3)
That’s how men are! They’re just flirting!
(Voice #2)
But it bothers me a lot how they treat us. They make me nervous and I fear for the other women who work there too.
(Voice #1)
What you are describing is sexual harassment and that is against the law!

Sexual harassment in the workplace is against the civil and federal laws of the United States. No one should be exposed to sexual harassment at work or be forced to have sexual contact to obtain or keep a job. In fact, to force or to obligate someone to have sex is rape and that is a crime.

You Deserve Respect! Regardless of your immigration status, report the crime and help us stop the abuse. To learn more about your rights, call the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) at 1–800–669–4000. For local support and services related to sexual assault call ________________________ at ###-###-####.

(Agencies determine the order of numbers shared.)

Public Service Announcement Script: Intimate Partner Rape

(Voice #1)
Does your husband or partner make you have sex with him when you don’t want to?
(Voice #2)
Does he obligate you to participate in sexual acts that are humiliating?
(Voice #1)
Does he threaten you with violence or abandonment, taking the children, or reporting you to immigration?
(Voice #2)
Any of these situations indicate that you have suffered a form of intimate partner rape.
(Voice #1)
Intimate partner rape occurs in all types of marriages and relationships regardless of age, nationality, religion, social class, race, ethnic identity, or sexual orientation. Intimate partner rape victims as well as other victims of sexual violence have rights. Free and confidential services exist to help you, regardless of your immigration status.
(Voice #2)
To report rape by an intimate partner, call 911. To receive information regarding the services that are currently available, call­­ ________________ at ###-###-####). For information on the legal rights of rape victims, call the Victim Rights Law Center at 1–877–758–8132.

(Agencies determine the order of numbers shared.)

Answering Machine Scripts

Principal Author of This Section: Laura Zárate

     Scripts in Spanish (PDF)

Answering Machine Scripts for Rape Crisis Centers and State Sexual Assault Coalitions

Purpose: Provide non-Spanish speaking staff with a communication tool they may use to offer potential Spanish-speaking monolingual callers the necessary information to access help.

User Audience: State sexual assault coalitions; local rape crisis centers.

Participant Audience: Spanish-speaking or Limited English Proficient (LEP) primary or secondary survivors who may call for information and assistance.

Once a survivor of sexual violence has found a number to call for help and has taken the step to reach out and seek assistance, it is imperative that we offer a seamless connection to the information and services he or she needs. The Spanish answering machine scripts available here serve as general script guides for centers and coalitions interested in developing their outgoing message in Spanish. The scripts have been customized for—

  • Rape crisis centers that offer services in Spanish.
  • State sexual assault coalitions.

What centers and coalitions include, how they present it, which answering systems they use, and their preferences as far as language order and delivery will depend on each agency's level of bilingual staffing, volunteers, and existing services. The scripts provide options for phone line transfers to bilingual staff or prerecorded messages that help inform callers of available options.

Answering machine messages should be produced with clarity, usefulness of information, and delivery in mind. If possible, record the message using a person who speaks a generic broadcast-type Spanish or someone with the same dialect as the majority of the Spanish-speaking residents in the service area or state. In addition, consider using the Existe Ayuda glossaries to customize a message that lists all available services or resources once a specific button is pressed.

Answering Machine Scripts: English Translation

Script for Rape Crisis Centers

This is a bilingual message. For Spanish, press [####].
Thank you for calling [NAME OF CRISIS CENTER].
If this is an emergency, please call 911.
Press [####] to be connected to the 24-hour hotline.

Two Options for Sharing Information

  1. For agencies with bilingual staff—
    To speak with someone regarding the services that we offer in Spanish, press [####].
  2. For a recorded list of services—
    To listen to a recording describing the services that we offer, press [####].

    All survivors deserve help and support; we are here to help. Thank you for calling.

Script for State Sexual Assault Coalitions

This is a bilingual message. For Spanish, press [####].
You have reached [NAME OF STATE COALITION].
If this is an emergency, please call 911.
[NAME OF STATE COALITION] does not offer direct services but there are victim service centers for rape victims that offer free and confidential services in Spanish.

Three Options for Sharing Information

  1. For state coalitions with bilingual staff—
    To speak with someone regarding the services available in Spanish for victims of sexual violence in [NAME OF STATE], press [####].
  2. For a recorded list of centers that offer services in Spanish—
    For more information regarding the services available in Spanish for victims of sexual violence in [NAME OF STATE], press [####].
  3. For a recorded list of national hotlines—
    To listen to a recording regarding the national help lines available 24 hours per day, press [####].

    The National Domestic Violence Hotline has bilingual staff to answer your questions and provide information about services available in Spanish to survivors of domestic and sexual violence. The number is 1-800-799-7233.

    The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network will redirect your call to your local rape crisis center. The number is 1-800-656-4673.

    All survivors deserve help and support; we are here to help. Thank you for calling.

Related Resources

OVC Topic Pages

(Links to publications, forum discussions, FAQs, and more)

OVC Resources in Spanish

Federal Publications

Organizations



1 See term used at Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Planned Parenthood en Español: Glosario Web page (accessed March 1, 2011).

2 See term used at the Office of the Attorney General of Texas’ Web page Prevención de agresión sexual y servicios de crisis (accessed March 1, 2011).

3 See term used at WomensLaw.org’s Web page Leyes de VAWA para Víctimas del Abuso (accessed March 1, 2011).

4See term used at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’s Web page, Ayuda de victimas hoja informativa (accessed March 2, 2011).

5See term used in MacDonnell, Margaret, 2002, El tráfico global de personas: Una forma moderna de esclavitud, Washington, DC: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

6"Taller" in Spanish refers to a workshop, so a "taller clandestino de costura" would reference a sewing sweatshop. "Maquila" is the slang version of "maquiladora": a factory or assembly and processing plant operated in Mexico under preferential tariff programs established by the United States and Mexican Governments. The sweatshop association is due to exploitive and abusive conditions that have been discovered in some of these "maquiladoras."

7"Criadas" or "criados" may be asked or forced to perform chores in exchange for food, lodging, clothing, and, in some cases, schooling. These children often end up as exploited child servants. In some Latin American communities, the term "criada" also refers to a maid.

8"Trata de blancas" originally referred to white slavery, or the trafficking of European women to Latin America for sexual exploitation purposes at the end of the 19th century. See term used in Organización Internacional del Trabajo, 2001, Alto al trabajo forzoso: informe global con arreglo al seguimiento de la Declaración de la OIT relativa a los principios y derechos fundamentales en el trabajo Conferencia Internacional del Trabajo. Informe del Director-General, 2001, Geneva, Switzerland: United Nations, OrganizaciÓn Internacional del Trabajo [International Labour Organization].

 

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