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Hear Us. See Us. Believe Us. Respect Us.: Latina Farmworker Experiences of Sexual Violence in Rural Washington

SVJI staff partnered with community-based advocacy organizations in two states to implement a community-led research project to explore the experiences of adult victim/survivors of sexual violence. We sought out participants who have had experiences with law enforcement and victim advocates in rural culturally and/or language specific communities.

SVJI staff developed this pilot project, with the support of OVW and Asian Pacific Institute on Gender Based Violence, after identifying gaps in information. We found that the voices of people in rural and culturally/language-specific communities are not well represented in our understanding of victims/survivors’ experiences with the system response to sexual violence. We also realized that the best information collector for this project was someone who was local, experienced in community-based advocacy, and shared the culture and language of the community. SVJI staff needed to partner to get good information in a culturally responsive process. As a result, SVJI staff designed a project to provide the frame, training, support, and materials to community-based researchers. Partners identified the target audience, recruited participants, co-created tools, conducted interviews, and interpreted the data.

Participants were recruited by community-based advocates that shared their culture and language. Participants have all experienced sexual violence as adults and sought out help from law enforcement and/or advocacy. Many had experience with nurse examiners and prosecution as well. All participants identified as Latinx1 (most pinpointing Mexico as their nation of origin), farmworkers, and women, including one trans-identified woman. Eight participants engaged in an individual in-depth interview and other four people participated in a group interview. SVJI staff worked with the community interviewers to develop tools that were based in findings from a literature review. The community researchers conducted the interviews in Spanish and, then, translated and organized the information. They worked with SVJI staff to analyze and make meaning of the data. Data was also reviewed by Latinx advocates in Minnesota.

Advocacy, Sexual Assault Response Teams Advocates, Responders to Sexual Violence, Sexual Assault Response Teams National

Last modified: 6/29/2022