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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Office for Victims of Crime
810 Seventh Street NW., Washington, DC 20531
The Office for Victims of Crime is a component of the Office of Justice Programs,
U.S. Department of Justice.
Office of Justice ProgramsOffice for Victims of Crime. Justice For Victims Justice for All.