by Ivonne Ortiz, Training and Education Specialist for the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence
October marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), a time when as advocates we work hard to bring attention to an issue that continues to affect our communities. Beyond raising awareness, DVAM brings a national spotlight to the issue of domestic violence, creating an opportunity to elevate conversations about its root causes, which stem from a culture of oppression and privilege. We know that domestic violence is linked to a web of oppressive systems such as racism, xenophobia, classism, ableism, sexism, and heterosexism. And while domestic violence occurs in every culture regardless of socioeconomic, educational, and religious background, we must address the fact that violence disproportionately affects marginalized groups, especially those who experience multiple forms of oppression. In response to the importance of bringing a racial justice framework to our work, we bring a focus to the experiences of women of color, who experience domestic violence at high rates and continue to encounter barriers when trying to access supportive services.
by Maria Jirau-Torres, Language Access Coordinator for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center
According to the National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC), a culturally competent organization and its employees should “have the capacity to value diversity, conduct a self-assessment, manage the dynamics of difference, acquire and institutionalize cultural knowledge, and adapt to diversity and the cultural contexts of the communities they serve” (Goode, Jones and Mason, 2002; The Workgroup on Adapting Latino Services, 2008).
Studies have found that Latin@ survivors experience more barriers in seeking services than non-Latin@s and do not seek formal or informal help as frequently. The NSVRC, in partnership with the University of Puerto Rico Center for Evaluation and Sociomedical Research (CIES), conducted a National Needs Assessment in 2013 to begin conversations exploring prevention across languages and cultures and learn about the particular barriers Latin@ communities experience. A common theme that emerged among participants was the desire to partner with other organizations working with Latin@/Hispanic communities and a need for space to connect and network with other advocates. Findings from this study show a need for greater systemic and coordinated efforts to improve prevention and intervention services for Latin@/Hispanic communities. Read more…
by Karen Stahl of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center
Learning that their child has been sexually abused would rank as one of the worst days in most parents’ lives. A parent’s reaction to this news can vary greatly as people respond to crises in many ways from shock, to denial, to anger and fear. While some advocates work directly with children, others may not, but supporting the parent/caregiver is necessary so that they in turn can support their child through a recovery process. Here, advocacy is guided by the notion that supporting and educating a parent can provide a lifetime of support for the child.
by Amanda Manes of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence in partnership with the Tahirih Justice Center
What is forced marriage?
A forced marriage, by definition, takes place without the full and free consent of one or both parties, and typically involves force, coercion, and deception. Forced marriages can happen to individuals of any gender, age, socio-economic, ethnic or religious background. There are thousands of victims living in the U.S., some of whom were forced into marriages overseas, and others of whom were forced into marriage on U.S. soil (Tahirih Justice Center, 2015).
By Jennifer Grove, Prevention Outreach Coordinator at the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC)
Many non-profit organizations are tasked with showing funders that their sexual violence prevention work is making a difference. Over the past several years, more programs are coming to understand the role that evaluation plays in carrying out effective, culturally-relevant prevention strategies. Programs are at various levels when it comes to their commitment to evaluation; however, organizational commitment plays a key and vital role. Some see the need to do evaluation, but it seems so big and overwhelming that they don’t know where to start. The NSVRC has developed some great resources to help programs in their evaluation efforts. For example, the online learning course, Evaluating Sexual Violence Prevention Programs: Steps and strategies for preventionists, is an evaluation 101 course specific to sexual violence prevention.
by Amanda Manes of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence
The issue of abusive spouses preventing survivors of Jewish faith from obtaining a religious divorce (get) is just one example of how religion and faith can play a major role in the lives of survivors of domestic violence. To learn more about the intersection of domestic violence and religion, access VAWnet Special Collection Domestic Violence and Religion.
What is a get?
A get is a document needed to terminate a marriage between two Jewish people and certifies the fact that each individual is now free to remarry in accordance with Jewish law. It is important to note that there are a number of sects within Judaism, not all of which require a get in the event of divorce. Typically, the get is required within more observant sects, such as the Orthodox movement.