Abuse in Migrant Communities

More than 40 percent of California women experience intimate partner violence (IPV) in their lifetime, according to the recent California Women’s Health Survey. According to Casa de Esperanza, a national Latina organization, 1 in 4 (or 25 percent) Latina women that have experienced IPV in their lifetime.

Farmworker women throughout California are particularly vulnerable to sexual assault and domestic violence due to social, economic, political, language, and cultural barriers. All too often, agencies providing services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault have been unsuccessful meeting the needs of this segment of our population because these women often work in remote and isolated areas.

According to the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALASA), cultural taboos and language barriers play a big part in why these women often do not seek help when they are assaulted. Also, these women are not always familiar with their rights and have been threatened by their abusers that they will be deported if they report the abuse.

A recent study by the Migrant Clinicians Network found that 20 percent of the 1,001-farmworker women surveyed had experienced either physical or sexual abuse. Women farmworkers are also often forced into sexual relationships with supervisors, or others who have authority, in order to maintain their employment.

You can get help. To locate a rape crisis center in your area, please visit http:// calcasa.org/members/.

Domestic Violence Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence. Often, domestic violence is used as a way to control and establish power over someone through abuse of some kind. Behaviors can include psychological, emotional, verbal, sexual, financial, spiritual, and physical abuse, as well as stalking and threatening behaviors. These behaviors can occur frequently or infrequently and generally escalate over time.

If you are in an abusive relationship and need immediate assistance, dial 911.

If you would like to talk to someone, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Someone is available to help you 24 hours a day to listen and provide information to help you get safe. They can give you the name and phone number for assistance in your community.