NSVRC releases study on sexual violence prevention in Latin@ communities

July 1, 2013

Jill Laster, Language Access Specialist

717-909-0710, Ext. 111

National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC)



ENOLA, PA. – The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) has released its first comprehensive report detailing advocates’ needs related to sexual violence in Latin@* communities.

The assessment included personal interviews, focus groups and a national survey with more than 250 participants nationwide. Researchers from the University of Puerto Rico’s Center for Evaluation & Sociomedical Research communicated with advocates from local, state, national and culturally specific programs with a focus on primary prevention.

Preventing sexual violence in Latin@ communities: A national needs assessment is an exciting, informative report both for the field and for us as an agency,” said NSVRC director Karen Baker. “We’ll be using this data to inform our future work, and we hope others will be able to use it as well.”

A full version of the report can be accessed in English and in Spanish. A summary of findings and full-color infographic are also available in English and Spanish.

Among the findings:

  • While 91.4% of advocates who responded to the national survey said their organization has identified demographics of their intended service population, just 19.3% thought that their clients served matched those demographics.
  • Participants consistently discussed the importance of creating culturally specific materials that truly reflect the culture of Latin@ and/or Spanish-speaking communities.
  • Participants expressed an overwhelming desire to create more non-printed materials and focus more on in-person connections. In the national survey,  participants most often selected in-person discussions as an effective ways to make prevention information accessible to Latin@ and/or Spanish-speaking communities (57.8 % versus 40.7 % for brochures; 45.8 % said TV ads, 37.3 % said radio ads, and 27.1% said posters).
  • Participants noted frequently that services for Latin@ communities often fall to the Latin@ and/or Spanish-speaking staff members even when such responsibilities fall outside of the scope of their roles or job descriptions.
  • About three-quarters of national survey respondents said they received formal training on diversity, specifically how to work with different cultural groups.

In May, NSVRC will host two webinars related to the report’s findings. An English-language webinar will be on July 16, and a Spanish-language webinar will be on July 23.

The NSVRC plans to use the needs assessment’s findings in its work. The organization will conduct an internal assessment of its readiness to engage Latin@ communities, support spaces in which Latin@ and non-Latin@ advocates can connect, expand partnerships and continue to promote culturally relevant resources.

“The ultimate goal of this research is to demonstrate how we as a field can better serve our communities,” Baker said. “We must also look at ourselves as an agency and see how we can improve our services as well.”

*NOTE: The “@” symbol is used to represent the feminine and masculine versions of words and to ensure gender inclusion.

Founded by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape in 2000, NSVRC identifies, develops and disseminates resources regarding all aspects of sexual violence prevention and intervention. For more, visit www.nsvrc.org, www.facebook.com/nsvrc and www.twitter.com/nsvrc.


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