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Domestic Violence Targeted by New Campaign That Looks to Empower Women and Men in the Latino Community

First Posted: Apr 26, 2015 02:00 PM EDT
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Domestic Violence

Photo : Marina D. Sandoval

Domestic violence, the horrendous pattern of abusive behavior whereby an intimate partner inflicts violence on their significant other, is impacting women and men across the U.S. But, Latinos are ready to challenge domestic violence victimization.

Intimate partner violence manifests in many forms, including physical, emotional, verbal, economic and sexual abuse; ranging from subtle forms of coercion to physical abuse or death.

In a new report, commissioned by The Avon Foundation for Women for the groups Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network and NO MORE, more than 800 Latinos nationwide were surveyed, revealing that many Latinos have experienced or know of victims of domestic violence.

No other studies have ever demonstrated such a sizable research to comprehend the domestic violence and sexual violence experience by men and women in the Latino American community. It also exposed unique obstacles faced by Latino survivors who seek help.

Approximately 56 percent of respondents know a victim of domestic violence and women tend to know more domestic violence victims than men, according to the report. The authors also found that 25 percent of Latinos know sexual assault victims, and that number was consistent among respondents under the age of 30 and older respondents.

A happy piece of insight revealed in the report was that at least 60 percent of respondents who knew a victim claimed intervening to help. Also, the report said men and women were just as likely to help victims and most parents discussed domestic violence with their children. Furthermore, more than a third stated that nothing would stop them from aiding a personal acquaintance, family member or friend who was a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault.

On a larger scale, the study results communicated a desire to not only address the troubles many face, but it also represents the "fortitude we can leverage to eliminate violence," Juan Carlos Areán, senior director of the National Latin@ Network, said in a press statement.

The report's release coincides with the upcoming launch of the first national awareness campaign engaging Latinos to put an end to sexual assault and domestic violence, "NO MáS."

Too often, Latino victims of violence fail to seek help because they fear reporting will result in deportation, thus they don't reach out to authorities. Also, underreporting is reinforced by fear of further violence against themselves or their family. Additionally, many fear they might lose custody of their children.

Study respondents named the misuse of alcohol and drugs as the lead contributor to sexual assault and domestic violence, followed by the lack of education and parenting.

The recent report results, and findings published from a report 2013 on domestic violence and sexual assault, yielded similar responses. In both cases U.S. Latinos were more likely than other others to know victims of domestic violence, but less likely to know victims of sexual assault.

Likewise, Latinos indicated they were likely to talk about the problem, though less actually carried out such a conversation. The recent reports indicated that more than half of Latino parents have talked about sexual assault and domestic violence with their child.

NO MáS, the new Spanish-language site, offers important resources to women and men to address sexual assault and domestic violence in the Latino community. Some other important statistics and facts can be found at the following links:

Intimate Partner Violence, Sexual Violence & Stalking (CDC)

Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Crime Victimization Survey

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

National Data on Intimate Partner Violence, Sexual Violence, and Stalking

National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey Summary Report (2010)

Prevalence and Characteristics of Sexual Violence, Stalking, and Intimate Partner Violence Victimization - National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, United States, 2011

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