Numerous national dialogues, surveys, focus groups, and community assessments conducted by Alianza have made clear the widespread need for culturally and linguistically appropriate outreach, information, and resources. The findings have helped us to better understand that:
Many Latinas/os remain unclear about what constitutes domestic violence, even if they have witnessed or experienced it; have an overall sense that it is inevitable; and believe that it is a private or family matter that must be maintained as a family secret.
Many survivors, their friends and family, are still unaware of existing resources and services. They also don’t know what to do if they encounter or witness domestic violence.
Unless directly affected by it, domestic violence is not a high priority for many Latinas/os.
Alianza has set the following goals and objectives aimed at engaging multiple sectors of our communities in preventing and eliminating domestic violence:
Raise the Level of Awareness about domestic violence in Latino communities: its existence, prevalence, nature, and its damaging effects, and provide information about individual rights, available options, resources, and services.
Create an Attitude Shift and generate community concern about the issue and resolve to not accept it. Get people to think about domestic violence in a new way: It’s not normal; it’s inherently wrong. It’s not how people should treat one another. It’s not love, it’s not respect, and it’s not healthy.
Create Behavioral Change. Motivate targeted communities to do something about it: Call for information; get personal help; help a friend, a relative, or coworker; discuss the issue at home, school, work, church, and within other community venues.
Alianza’s Key initiatives in this area have included:
1Work with the Media: Developing and Placing articles and columns in local and national newspapers and magazines; participating in radio and television talk shows; and working with media partners to develop and air radio and television public services announcements (PSAs).
Lifetime Television and Univision 41 helped us develop a number of Spanish language PSAs. Lifetime developed a radio PSA that aired in five major cities across the nation in February and March 2004, and created a TV PSA for us in March 2005 that features the Mexican-American singer, Lila Downs.
Univision 41 shot 3 TV PSAs which aired in May 2005 in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York (featuring Victor Rivers and Commissioner Yolanda Jimenez, from the NYC Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence).
We helped the Hispanic Communications Network, develop radio capsules for a nation-wide, Spanish-language radio campaign (No Mas Silencio) during the month of October 2006 and helped them host live (question and answer) radio shows in four major cities with large Latino populations. The campaign was funded by the Mary Kay Ash Foundation.
The publicity generated by these efforts have encouraged survivors and batterers to seek help and brought thousands of visitors to our website where they have been able to download information and resources that would assist them in their efforts to prevent and end violence.
In 2008, Alianza staff and board members helped with the production of two major Spanish language shows on Univision (Don Francisco Presenta and El Show de Cristina) which aired in October as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
In addition to having survivors and experts as guests, Don Francisco Presenta featured public service announcements by two popular Latino singers, Gilberto Santa Rosa and Juan Luis Guerra. El Show de Cristina featured the stories of several survivors, including seven celebrities who star on popular television telenovelas (soap operas), as well as Victor Rivers Rivas, the actor, author and domestic violence advocate. The show sent the message that anyone can be the victim of abuse and that you can find help, survive abuse, and live a full and happy life.
As a result of the shows, the National Domestic Violence Hotline received hundreds of additional calls the nights the shows aired and during the following days. The DV hotline operated by the Violence Intervention Program (VIP) in New York City also received hundreds of calls during the two days following Don Francisco Presenta. Calls came in from across the country, many of them from older women who, for the first time in their lives, were inspired to take some form of action.
In April 2005 and April 2006, we organized two media events in New York City involving men—Latino Men Speak Out Against Domestic Violence. The events, which featured high-profile Latino men including community leaders, politicians, actors, and survivors of family violence, garnered major media coverage. We had a third Latino Men Speak Out in New Mexico, in June 2007, which brought together city and state elected officials, judges, prosecutors, survivors and domestic violence and child protection advocates.
Brides March Against Domestic Violence: Since 2001, Alianza has worked with the New York Latinas Against Domestic Violence to organize an annual Brides March Against Domestic Violence in New York City. In 2006, we also helped the Milwaukee Mujeres Against Violence organize the first Brides March in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 2010, as part of its national conference activities, Alianza helped to organize a Brides March in Miami, Florida. The marches generate much public attention in local communities where they take place and regionally via wide media coverage.
The Bride's March Against Domestic Violence is an event which is held annually in remembrance of Gladys Ricart, a Dominican woman, who was murdered in New Jersey on September 26, 1999, by a former abusive boyfriend on the day she was to wed someone else.
Alianza has created a How to Organize a Brides March booklet, that provides a step by step guide on how to organize a march in your own city or town. Alianza staff is also available to answer any questions you might have or to provide any further guidance which you might need.