Posts

dvam-heidi-notario300

How I See DV: Heidi Notario

dvam-heidi-notarioOne goal of our “How I See DV” campaign has been to show that people have unique views of domestic violence, specific to their community, their experiences and their own personal situation. We are proud of our many allies in the movement to end abuse, especially the work done by Casa de Esperanza, the National Latin@ Domestic Violence Resource Center whose mission is to mobilize Latinas and Latin@ communities to end domestic violence. Today we hear from Heidi Notario, Training & Technical Assistance Coordinator at Casa de Esperanza as she shares how she sees domestic violence.

I welcome each October as a great opportunity to highlight the work of culturally specific organizations in the context of ending violence against women. All of us in the anti-violence field hear about trauma-informed approaches and evidenced-based practices. These are the buzz words of our times. For some, these concepts seem new, intimidating, and out of their realm as advocates and survivors. “I’m not a researcher”- I hear time and time again.

And yet, many culturally specific organizations have historically provided services that are trauma-informed and carry strong evidence to support their efficacy. A key element to defining trauma- informed approaches relates to the way in which relationships are established between those in a supportive role, and those seeking support. These relationships are based on mutuality and respect. In these instances, helpers do not have the “expert” role as mere prescribers of services. Women and their families are not the “receivers” of such prescriptions in a passive manner. Rather, this is a fluid process where all are constantly learning from one another. In this context, supporting and fostering leadership skills among survivors is crucial in the work to end violence in Latin@ communities.

The work of the Líderes and promotoras/promotores are examples of culturally specific approaches to engage communities while utilizing their natural strength and shared wisdom. The impact of both approaches is long lasting and transformative. Both share the vision of maximizing community resources and supporting the development of leadership from within the communities.

Developed by Casa de Esperanza, the Líderes Program or the Latina Peer Education Initiative is a strategy that taps into the natural leadership among individuals, families and communities to share critical resources, build community and promote healthy relationships. The initiative is led by the women who serve as Líderes (Peer Educators). Líderes develop the trainings and tools that will be used in workshops; they recruit participants, and promote the workshops in the community. The goals of the project are accomplished by recruiting, training and supporting Latina Líderes to engage other individuals and families to acquire knowledge, skills and resources for immediate and long-term health and stability. This program has been adapted by a number of Latin@ organizations in the U.S.

Promotoras and Promotores are also community Líderes and their approach is equally effective. Promotoras started in Latin America as a way of reaching communities from within, on issues mostly related to health and wellness. Promotoras serve as liaisons between their community, health professionals, and others. As liaisons, they often play the roles of educator, mentor, outreach worker, advocate and role model. This approach has been very effective in Latin America and its strength is also evident in communities across the U.S.

What both approaches have in common is a deep recognition of the strengths of Latinas as community leaders, respect for their wisdom, and the belief that living with dignity is a birthright.

Watch:  I am a leader– video.  This inspiring 3 minutes and 49 seconds video describes the experiences of Latina women from Guatemala as they realized their inner leadership potential. This video is a great example of the strength of Latinas and Latin@ communities as resources for social change. Advocates from La Paz, a Latin@ organization in Chattanooga, TN, adapted the Líderes curriculum developed by Casa de Esperanza for this work. La Paz is an organization that works to empower and engage Chattanooga’s Latino population through advocacy, education and inclusion.

About Our Contributor
Heidi Notario, M.A. serves as the Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator of the National  Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities, a project of Casa de Esperanza. Prior to joining Casa’s team, Heidi was the Training Specialist at the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV). She has advocated for the rights of persons with disabilities and Deaf individuals for more than ten years, working closely at the intersections of disabilities and violence against women. Heidi’s interests include a wide variety of issues related to the treatment afforded to survivors of violence with disabilities and Deaf survivors by the criminal justice system, service providers, and society at large. Heidi keeps on the forefront of her anti-oppression work the elimination of barriers that impact immigrant survivors and the LGBTQ community. Heidi views “accessibility” from a human rights framework and is committed to bringing this perspective into her work and personal life. Heidi is originally from Cuba and has resided in the U.S. since 1995. Heidi holds a Masters’ Degree in Sociology from Lehigh University.

 

announcement

National Domestic Violence Hotline Projects Three Million Calls One Year Earlier Than Expected

Washington, DC – The National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) announced that it expects to reach a critical milestone nearly one year earlier than expected – answering three million calls since the hotline’s inception in 1996. Today’s announcement was made at a special congressional briefing to highlight the important role the NDVH plays in assisting all victims of domestic violence.

The NDVH is a nationwide organization staffed by highly trained advocates who give victims of abuse lifesaving tools and referrals to programs that can immediately help. Unlike hotlines serving only one state or geographic area, the NDVH provides access to the largest national network of resources and shelters and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week in 170 languages. Last year, the hotline received 265,000 calls from victims, survivors, their families and friends, service providers and abusers.

“The positive news is that more people in crisis are accessing the hotline for help and utilizing the services and resources we provide,” said Katie Ray-Jones, President of the NDVH. “But it’s also a sad and sobering reminder that domestic violence continues to be a national health problem in our country.”

The congressional briefing brought together a panel of experts to discuss the issue of domestic violence — what it means and how best to tackle the growing need for services and technology to support victims of abuse. The panel included representatives from the NDVH, Casa de Esperanza and Verizon Wireless.

“Because one in four Latinas will experience domestic violence in their lifetime and Hispanics comprise over 20 percent of the callers to the hotline, we believe that greater access to information and resources like the NDVH for Latino communities is vital in our outreach and support of victims,” said Amy Sanchez, chief executive officer for external relations of Casa de Esperanza.

The NDVH provides help to members of all communities regardless of race, age, gender or sexual orientation. As a non-profit organization, the hotline relies on the generous support of individuals, private gifts from corporations and foundations as well as federal grants.

“Today’s announcement underscores the need for strong public/private partnerships and corporate resources to increase awareness of domestic violence and further prevention efforts,” said Elva Lima, executive director of public relations for Verizon Wireless. “We are honored to be a part of today’s panel and committed to our partnership with the NDVH.”

Exclusive to Verizon, HopeLine puts Verizon technology and the nation’s most reliable and largest wireless network to work in communities by turning no-longer-used wireless phones and accessories into support for victims and survivors of domestic violence and helps protect the environment by disposing of wireless phones and accessories in an environmentally sound way. Those seeking help can also dial #HOPE from their Verizon wireless phones to be connected directly to the NDVH.

Callers to the hotline may be experiencing physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional/verbal abuse, addiction and abuse, financial abuse, reproductive coercion and many other complex circumstances and situations.

“Unlike other important milestones, like birthdays or anniversaries, responding to three million calls at the hotline is not a cause for celebration.” said Dyanne Purcell, chief executive officer of the NDVH.   “Our hope is that today’s announcement and discussion elevate the dialogue and heighten awareness about the issue of domestic violence.”

About The National Domestic Violence Hotline

Operating around the clock seven days a week, 24/7, confidential and free of cost, the National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) provides crisis intervention, information and referral services to victims of domestic violence, their friends and families and even their abusers. Callers to the emergency hotline, 1-800-799-SAFE, can expect highly-trained experienced advocates to offer compassionate support, counseling and instruction for finding safety. Visitors to www.NDVH.org can find information about domestic violence, safety planning, local resources, and ways to support the organization. The NDVH has the largest nationwide network of programs and expert resources and regularly shares insight about domestic violence with government officials, law enforcement agencies, media and the general public. The NDVH is a non-profit organization established in 1996 as a component of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). It relies on the generous support of individuals, private gifts from corporations and foundations and federal grants. For more information, visit www.NDVH.org or call 512.794.1133.

announcement

Our Three Millionth Call Will Come One Year Earlier Than Expected

Today The Hotline is announcing that we expect to reach a critical milestone nearly one year earlier than expected — answering three million calls since The Hotline’s inception in 1996. Today’s announcement was made at a special congressional briefing to highlight the important role The Hotline plays in assisting victims of domestic violence.

“The positive news is that more people in crisis are accessing The Hotline for help and utilizing the services and resources we provide,” said Katie Ray-Jones, president of The Hotline. “But it’s also a sad and sobering reminder that domestic violence continues to be a national health problem in our country.”

The congressional briefing brought together a panel of experts to discuss the issue of domestic violence — what it means and how best to tackle the growing need for services and technology to support victims of abuse. The panel included representatives from the The Hotline, Casa de Esperanza and Verizon Wireless.

“Because one in four Latinas will experience domestic violence in their lifetime and Hispanics comprise over 20 percent of the callers to The Hotline, we believe that greater access to information and resources like The Hotline for Latino communities is vital in our outreach and support of victims,” said Amy Sanchez, chief executive officer for external relations of Casa de Esperanza.

The Hotline provides help to members of all communities regardless of race, age, gender or sexual orientation. As a non-profit organization, we rely on the generous support of individuals, private gifts from corporations and foundations as well as federal grants.

“Today’s announcement underscores the need for strong public/private partnerships and corporate resources to increase awareness of domestic violence and further prevention efforts,” said Elva Lima, executive director of public relations for Verizon Wireless. “We are honored to be a part of today’s panel and committed to our partnership with the The Hotline.”

Exclusive to Verizon, HopeLine puts Verizon technology and the nation’s most reliable and largest wireless network to work in communities by turning no-longer-used wireless phones and accessories into support for victims and survivors of domestic violence and helps protect the environment by disposing of wireless phones and accessories in an environmentally sound way. Those seeking help can also dial #HOPE from their Verizon wireless phones to be connected directly to The Hotline.

Callers to The Hotline may be experiencing physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional/verbal abuse, addiction and abuse, financial abuse, reproductive coercion and many other complex circumstances and situations.

“Unlike other important milestones, like birthdays or anniversaries, responding to three million calls at the hotline is not a cause for celebration,” said Dyanne Purcell, chief executive officer of The Hotline. “Our hope is that today’s announcement and discussion will heighten the dialogue and awareness about the issue of domestic violence.”