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Resources by NSVRC

The NSVRC collects information and resources to assist those working to prevent sexual violence and to improve resources, outreach and response strategies. This page lists resources on this website that have been developed by NSVRC staff.

Just as people must be able to communicate in the language most comfortable for them, it’s vital that people are able to choose the words and terms used to define them. Language access includes accessibility to gender identity terms, consent language, and even legal vocabulary that pertain to survivor’s rights and options. For example, without the sufficient language,  children suffering from sexual abuse may not know how to make sense of what’s happening, how to identify, express or talk about it. Similar can be said for adults- who may have never been supported in processing traumatic

When we speak on language access, many people automatically assume there must be a non-English language involved. This is incorrect.  For English speakers, the literacy rate for adults across the U.S. averages 88%. This means there is a larger population of people who are unable to access the key takeaways from vital content like safety instructions, resource lists, and shelter applications. As our partners at PCAR state, “People with low reading and writing skills often have less control over their own lives, less understanding of their legal rights, low self-esteem… and ultimately a

There are more than 350 languages spoken in the United States other than English, spoken by one in five Americans. 75% of all English speakers in the world are non-native speakers.  And yet, despite how common non-English and English as a Second Language (ESL) speakers are and the foundation of the United States as an immigrant nation, significant discrimination exists and pervades. As Wesley Cheung writes, “Accent discrimination is a universal yet socially accepted form of prejudice.”  Non-English speakers are more likely to identify as people of color. As such, in addition to

Language is not just words- it’s also culture. Concerns of access don’t encompass linguistic understanding only, but must also include awareness of the social norms within a community that may create unique issues or barriers. When we assume that all groups of people experience and heal from harm in the same way, it not only excludes specific demographics of people but also affirms racist ideas that white, western, mainstream culture are universal. Each community has its own history and cultural realities which contribute to risk factors, barriers to seeking help, and intervention efficacy.

  Non-Verbal, Deaf and DeafBlind Survivors Throughout our history, the most vulnerable among us have been left out of important violence prevention conversations due to real or perceived barriers to language access. People with disabilities have been among the most highly impacted by inadequate language access, including but not limited to non-verbal survivors, deafblind, and hearing impaired communities. Every language access plan should include resources and protocols for working with non-verbal, deaf, hard of hearing or deafblind communities.  Non-verbal survivors experience

According to the U.S. Census, over 22 million people living in the United States speak a language other than English at home. This means that if non-English speakers all lived in one state, they would be the third most populated state in the country.  That’s more people than  Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Delaware, Montana, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, Hawaii, West Virginia, Idaho, Nebraska, New Mexico and Kansas put together. When we visualize this data outside of just statistical numbers, it’s easier to grasp why language access is so vital to equity building

Highlighted Resource The following resources are a must have for rape crisis centers and advocates to have available in their center to make it easier to understand what a person’s first language is. They can be shown to a survivor who can then point to their language.  The use of these tools can minimize the discomfort a survivor may feel when trying to communicate and can take the pressure off them to tell you what language they speak in a way you can understand.  Examples like these help streamline the process for identifying the correct interpreter.  Language identifier

This brief provides information on how Rape Prevention and Education funded programs connect the dots between health equity and anti-oppression work.

This brief provides information on the impact of COVID-19 on Rape Prevention and Education programs and how they adapted during the first year of the pandemic. 

This publication includes a description of the background for NSVRC National Strengths and Needs Assessments and the methodology for the 2021 survey administered to Rape Prevention and Education funded programs and agencies.