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Join Alianza in Commemorating November 25 International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women -- the Start of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence

By resolution 54/134 of 17 December 1999, the UN General Assembly designated November 25 as International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and invited governments, international organizations and NGOs to organize activities designated to raise public awareness about this critical issue. November 25 has been observed by activists against violence since 1981. On this day in 1960, 3 young women--Minerva, Patria, and Maria Teresa Mirabal, were brutally assassinated in the Dominican Republic at the behest of the Dictator Rafael Leónidas Trujillo.


Ineavelle Ruiz, left, of the Daniel Torres Hispanic Center and Christine Gilfillan of Berks Women in Crisis on Wednesday announced that the groups are collaborating on a program to stem domestic violence in the Latino community.

Written by: Kate Wilcox
Originally Published: 10/28/2010 - Reading Eagle (Reading Pennsylvania)

The Daniel Torres Hispanic Center and Berks Women in Crisis announced Wednesday that they have launched a joint effort to step up the fight against domestic violence in the Latino community.

A $300,000 grant from the Office on Violence Against Women is funding the program, which officially started about six months ago. The goal is increasing awareness in the Latino community about domestic violence and increasing access to support services for Latinas who are victims of domestic violence.

Ineavelle Ruiz, the Hispanic Center's prevention educator, praised BWIC for doing an excellent job with a staff that already is 40 percent Latino.

But she added, "We need to be more connected and they realized a connection was necessary and valuable."

In addition to expanding the collaboration between the Hispanic Center and BWIC, there are several other components to the program: community outreach, training social service providers about sexual and domestic violence, a public awareness campaign and the new Men & Boys Outreach.


Obama1On October 27, Adelita M. Medina, Alianza's Executive Director, traveled to Washington, DC, to join dozens of advocates at an event in the White House marking Domestic Violence Awareness Month. During the event, President Barack Obama and Vice President Biden highlighted the Obama Administration's unprecedented coordination and cooperation across the entire government to protect victims of domestic and sexual violence and enable survivors to break the cycle of abuse.

Among the luminaries in attendance were Valerie Jarett, Senior Advisor to the President and Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls and Lynn Rosenthal, White House Advisor on Domestic Violence, Joe Torre, legendary baseball manager and founder of the Safe at Home Foundation, Mariska Hargitay star of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, and founder of the Joyful Heart Foundation (an organization dedicated to providing healing, education and empowerment to survivors), and Victor Rivers, actor, author and long-time domestic violence advocate.

The audience was diverse and included survivors and advocates from big cities and small towns, from tribes, women's organizations, fatherhood programs, law enforcement agencies, and faith communities, all joined by a common purpose- to end violence against women.


Graciela Beines endured two years of abuse by her ex-boyfriend out of fear of deportation. Now she wants others to know about the U visa, which permits immigrant victims of crimes to escape the violence and stay in the U.S.

NEW YORK (WOMENSENEWS)--Graciela Beines received a letter not long ago, which her lawyer says indicates she'll soon have her permanent residency status.

"I cried for happiness; I've suffered so much," said Beines, who left her native Argentina 10 years ago and arrived in New York undocumented, unmarried, without children and barely speaking English.

Shortly after her arrival, Beines, 50, became the subject of brutal domestic violence that lasted for two years.

Many undocumented women who suffer similarly don't know they have options and fail to report domestic violence because of fear of deportation, said Evelyn García of the Violence Intervention Program, a New York City-based Latina organization that promotes nonviolent partner relationships and offers services for victims of domestic violence.


For nearly 10 years, the National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence (Alianza) has created important inroads and made significant contributions that are changing how gender-based violence is addressed, not only in Latino communities, but in the domestic violence field in general. We are developing our own research, programs, training materials, and healing approaches.

From the beginning, we have recognized that in order to be effective in ending violence and creating families and relationships that are safe, healthy, and nurturing, we have to develop "truly transforming structured methods and models that reflect who we are, and that are respectful of our traditions, our cultures, and our diversity."


Alianza's 2010 conference, "Healing Generations and Transforming Communities; Si se puede, yes we can", was held March 17-19th at the Newport Beachside Resort in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida. More than 170 people from diverse parts of the country attended the conference.

Dolores Huerta, a strong advocate and a leading voice in the Latino community, was our featured keynote speaker. Conference attendees joined Dolores in the familiar and widely popular chant: Si se puede, yes we can! Other keynote speakers included Debra-Romero-Seeley, Special Domestic Violence Commission, 2nd District Court, NM and Dr. Carmen Inoa Vazquez, Board Certified Clinical and Forensic Clinical Psychologist-Resources for Cross-Cultural & Immigrant Mental Health, NY. Presenters from around the country provided various strategies regarding topics such as Domestic Violence and Latinos, Teen Dating Violence, LGBTQ & Latinos, Sexual Assault & Stalking, Immigration, Coordinated Response, Working with Men & Boys and Culture & Healing.

In addition to the conference, Alianza organized A Domestic Violence Bridal March along the beach on the first day. The first Brides’ March Against Domestic Violence was organized in 2001, in New York City, to remember Gladys Ricart, a young Dominican Woman, who was murdered by her former abusive boyfriend on the day she was to marry someone else.

A special thank you to the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice, who made this conference possible (through Grant number 2009-TA-AX-K026). The opinions, findings, conclusions and recommendations expressed in this program are those of the organizers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.


Immigration rights advocates convened this week to discuss the needs of female immigrants in the United States. One major recommendation was to speed up the family visa application process.

Irasema Garza addresses the audience

NEW YORK (WOMENSENEWS)--As immigrant women approach parity with men in terms of population, advocates at a forum this week said it's important to understand the different reasons that often draw them to the United States so their rights can be better addressed by reform efforts.

The Obama administration addressed one of these issues later that day when the Department of Homeland Security issued a ruling that adds domestic violence to the list of possible reasons for granting asylum to female immigrants.

Agnes Maldonado, executive director of the National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence, based in Albuquerque, N.M., heralded the news.

"We have had a number of cases dealing with immigrant women facing serious domestic violence situations," she said in an e-mail. "The numbers are limited in scope relative to other issues, but the cases are complicated to deal with, thus involving a large amount of time and resources. We look forward to specific guidance from the Obama administration."


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