A news update from the National Latin@ Network
Table of Contents

VAWA Makes a Difference: The facts

Services supported by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) make a difference to victims every day.
  • When a survivor chooses to obtain a protective order - a critical safety remedy supported by VAWA - more often than not, it reduces violence.
  • Threats to kill or harm decreased nearly 50 percent. Moderate physical abuse decreased 61 percent and severe physical abuse decreased nearly 50 percent. Protective orders reduce all types of intimate partner violence: psychological, financial, physical, and sexual. Reauthorizing VAWA is not only the right thing to do, it's the smart thing to do - making sure federal dollars go to highest priorities, address gaps, and have maximum impact.
  • In one 24-hour period, local domestic violence programs served more than 67,000 victims.
Click here  for more facts about VAWA's impact

**Trigger warning: Sexual Assault**

The  National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence survey of 2010, states that 1 in 7 Latinas experience rape at some point in their lifetime.

I am one of the seven.

When I share my history of childhood sexual abuse, I am often asked if my brother ever asked for forgiveness or why I still engage with my family? Frankly, I never gave a fuck about an apology for such a gross violent act. Additionally, I, like many incest survivors, struggle with family and guilt, because I never wanted to let go of my family. Most of my thoughts were stuck on the "why's," and "what if's." As for forgiving myself, this is a life-long process. Forgiveness is complicated by all of the societal sanctioned victim-blaming that occurs on a daily basis. I did forgive myself for thinking that these horrific violations happened to me because in my family, I was "La Prieta" ("the Dark One").

Click here to read the rest of this blog by Luz Marquez-Benbow
Blog Talk Radio: A Personal Journey Revealed

April 17, 2017
12pm - 12:30pm Central Time

Survivors are often encouraged to talk about their experience as a way of healing and by way of helping others. But doing so can be vulnerable. Olga Trujillo has been talking about her experience of violence and trauma for the past 20 years. She's shared about her experience of growing up in a home where her father perpetrated physical and sexual violence against her and her mother to the revelations that she was diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder. In this Blog Talk Radio, Jose Juan Lara explores with Olga what was behind her decision of revealing these aspects of her life, how and why she continues to share her experiences.

Listen Live!
12pm Central Time

This presentation will discuss the results of an in-depth, qualitative study of 15 Latina U Visa recipients who are survivors of intimate partner violence, and five service providers. 

The aim of this study of was to better understand the experience of Latinas who have their U Visa and have been victims of domestic violence. While obtaining legal documentation is critical to becoming economically self-sufficient, a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges that women might face will provide researchers and social service providers with the necessary evidence to design effective public health interventions to meet the needs of women as they move towards emotional, social and economic stability.

Shireen Rajaram, Ph.D., University of Nebraska Medical Center; 
Maria Mendoza, Justice for Our Neighbors - Nebraska

Click here to register for this webinar.
Social Security Administration offers identity protection/new Social Security numbers for domestic violence survivors

Long-term safety for survivors of domestic violence includes creating long-term financial safety plans and protections. The Social Security Administration (SSA) understands this important aspect, and offers resources to prevent abusers from gaining unwanted access to victims' and survivors' personal information.

For example, SSA offers a unique lifeline to victims of harassment, abuse, or if someone's life is in danger by allowing them to request getting a new Social Security number. This resource, New Numbers for Domestic Violence Victims, explains the circumstances for which a victim may request this service, and what he or she would need to do.

SSA also allows people to choose to block electronic access to their Social Security record. Doing so will disallow anyone else to see or change someone else's personal information online or through the SSA automated telephone service. This is especially relevant to people who have experienced domestic violence, have been a victim of identity theft, or want to keep their records unavailable for any reason. The SSA also allows people to unblock their account at any time for any reason.

For more information, visit this page in English . Para más información, visita a esta página web en español .
Building Collarborative Responses to Trafficked Victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
May 16-18, 2017 
Cleveland, OH
Deadline to apply is March 31

**PENDING OVW Approval, applications are now being accepted.

This 2.5-day training will provide participants with effective skills on how to identify and assist domestic violence and sexual assault victims who may also be human trafficking victims/survivors. This training will focus on improving collaborative responses to adult foreign-born trafficked victims/survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Who may attend?
OVW grantees are highly encouraged to apply in multidisciplinary teams composed of organizations in their communities ("teams" of 3-4 individuals) 
  • domestic violence/sexual assault program staff
  • attorneys
  • law enforcement
  • human trafficking task force members
  • immigration legal service providers
  • labor/worker rights organizations
  • civil law enforcement agencies
  • immigrant rights and refugee resettlement organizations
  • health care providers 
One member of each team must be an OVW grantee.  OVW grantees and their OVW grantee partners can participate and use their OVW travel funds to send grant-funded staff and partners to this training, with prior approval from their OVW Program Manager.

To apply online, please visit https://www.survymonkey.com/r/HTcollaborations17

Questions? Contact Mónica Arenas at marenas@futureswithoutviolence.org, or 415-678-5519.
Sustainable Restoration Conference
Sex trafficking is increasingly becoming a major issue in metro-Denver and often goes undetected by community members. Communities are better served when members are actively engaged and engagement isn't easy. They need to know what is going on in their communities, both good and bad. Their sense of pride comes from having a cohesive community which comes also from working together to solve issues that negatively impact them. Thus Restoration Project International will hold a conference to educate communities/institutions on their role in the healing, rehab, & restorative process; give skills that will help them identify traffickers, and protect vulnerable/at-risk girls, and take action for social change. RPI will invite the best qualified speakers & professionsals to address the challenges inherent in the restoration process and partnerships that foster sustainable restoration.

Click here for more information and to register.
Registration now open for the 2017 Healthy Men and Boys Summit

Raising emotionally and socially connected boys: Exploring intersections of gender, race and trauma

June 14, 2017 
College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA
  • This one-day summit is perfect for those in Social Work, Early Childhood development, Public Health, Education, Mental Health, Parenting, Violence Prevention, and more
  • Workshops will explore masculinity and intersections of race, trauma and gender identity
  • Morning and afternoon facilitated table conversations
  • Eligible for 5 NASW CEU's or 5 early childhood training hours 
  • Affordable registration fees: $50 student / $75 early / $100 standard
Click here for more information and to register
Click here for all network news and resources
In partnership with JWI's National Alliance to End Domestic Abuse, we will be providing two webinars. The first is through JWI, available to members and also to the public for $25. The second is hosted by FORGE and is free to all victim service providers and allied professionals.

Working with Transgender Survivors: Core Information for Domestic Violence and Allied Professional 
March 31, 2017 @  11am CT

This fast-paced webinar is designed to assist domestic violence advocates and other victim service providers in better serving transgender survivors. Many providers are committed to serving transgender clients, but seek additional information in order to provide more competent and sensitive services. This webinar will primarily focus on basic transgender concepts, but will include content specifically geared towards advocates. 

Integrating Transgender Survivors into Shelter and Support Groups
April 7, 2017 @ 11am CT

This webinar will explore two common support services for domestic violence survivors that are often not accessible for transgender victims: shelters and support groups. 
Learn more
Deadline: May 11, 2017
Posted: MARCH 23, 2017

Although many systems exist to respond to child and youth victimization issues, these systems often fail to communicate and collaborate effectively to get to the root of the problem.

The competitively awarded state-level demonstration sites will bring all of the relevant systems and professionals together to establish a coordinated approach. This approach will ensure that every child entering these systems is assessed for victimization, that children and their families are provided comprehensive and coordinated services to fully address their needs, and that practices and policies are established to sustain this approach long term.

The project will be conducted in two phases-Ph ase 1: Planning (15 months) and Phase 2: Implementation (5 years).

OVC expects to make up to two awards of up to $500,000 each through this demonstration initiative.

Apply by May 11, 2017
Casa de Esperanza: Family Advocate - DASC

Family Advocates assist women and children who are survivors of domestic violence to develop, pursue and achieve their goals to live free of violence while promoting Casa de Esperanza's mission. The DASC Advocate is located at the Hennepin County Domestic Abuse Service Center (DASC) in downtown Minneapolis. 

Jewish Women International: Spring-Summer 2017 Policy & Advocacy Fellowship

Jewish Women International (JWI) is a non-profit organization working to ensure that all women and girls thrive in healthy relationships, control their financial futures, and realize the full potential of their personal strength. JWI seeks a graduate student for a part-time policy and advocacy fellowship in our
Programs Department. The fellow will work primarily on federal policy issues, including reproductive rights, economic justice, workplace policy, sexual assault, and domestic violence. This fellowship is a great opportunity for a motivated student to gain significant experience in federal policy, women's issues, and progressive interfaith work. Responsibilities include researching legislation, drafting fact sheets, writing action alerts and press releases, planning online advocacy campaigns, attending coalition meetings, briefings, and hearings, as well as coordinating and attending meetings on the Hill. Graduate students with a demonstrated interest in women's issues and federal policy are strongly encouraged to apply. The fellowship is 10 hours per week and based in JWI's Washington, DC office. The fellowship will begin as soon as a candidate is selected, and run through August 2017. A stipend is available. 

To apply, please send a resume, cover letter, and brief writing sample to Ilana Flemming, Manager of Advocacy Initiatives, at iflemming@jwi.org. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.
South Middlesex Opportunity Council: Director for Voices Against Violence

Voices Against Violence, (VAV) a component of the South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC) a multi-service anti-poverty agency, is looking for a  Director to oversee the operations of its domestic violence and rape crisis programs. The ideal candidate will be a demonstrated social justice leader with significant experience working with survivors and leading a team as well as operationally experienced running federal and state funded programs. 

Now accepting submissions

We welcome submissions on a number of topics pertaining to domestic violence, family violence, and gender-based violence. These topics include, but are not limited to:
  • Gender-based violence intervention and prevention programs that are culturally specific
  • Working with Latin@ youth
  • Working with immigrant Latin@s
  • Health care and gender-based violence
  • LGBTQ Latin@ communities
  • Children and domestic violence
  • Building Latin@ leadership in Latin@ communities
  • Elder abuse
We also welcome photography, video, resources, and other digital material that organizations or people wish to share with our network.

If you're interested in submitting a blog post,  click here to email Rebecca De Leon, Communications and Marketing Coordinator


The National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities is a network of individuals and organizations committed to improving the health and well-being of Latin@ communities. The National Latin@ Network is led by Casa de Esperanza, a national Latina organization whose mission is to mobilize Latinas and Latin@ communities to end domestic violence. The National Latin@Network for Healthy Families and Communities builds on Casa de Esperanza´s experience working in local communities to support families, end domestic violence, and increase meaningful access to services for Latina@s and incorporates a research center, public policy initiative, and training.

National Latin@ Network | http://www.nationallatinonetwork.org | 651.646.5553