You are on page 1of 8

Whitehead 1

Cameron Whitehead

Professor Mequette Sorenson

Mexican American Culture

May 2, 2017

There are many issues that plague the Mexican American community. Theres the

problem with alcohol addiction, the problem with educational limitations, and many more issues

that surround part of being in a minority. But what if you dont have the resources to get the help

that you need. This is where my proposed plan comes in.

In the Mexican American community, there is little resources for people that dont speak

English very well. This causes a problem for people that need to reach out for their own safety.

What Im discussing is the need for people that dont speak English to get the resources to be

safe from domestic violence. Domestic violence in the Mexican American community affects 1

in 3 Latinas. This is higher than the national average of 1 in 4 women. One of the more

surprising facts about domestic violence is that the rates for domestic violence were lower for

immigrants rather than non-immigrants (Aldarondo, Kantor, & Jasinski, 2002). Even with these

strange findings, there are more non-immigrant Latinas that seek resources over immigrants. In a

study of 2,000 Latinas, 63% reported that they were victimized multiple times. The average

being around 2 to 3 times per individual (Cuevas, Sabina, & Picard, 2010). One of the more

difficult problems with this population is that there are more concerning issues that prevent their

cases from being reported. Some of the abuse is psychological or emotional. There have been

cases of threatening of deportation from the abuser, denying access to civil privileges like

drivers licenses and I.D.s, and some even go to the extent of lying about childcare arrangements

so they can have more control over their children. These abuses can create a heavy toll on the
Whitehead 2

victim that cant easily be seen on the surface. You wouldnt be able to know about what types of

things they are dealing with unless they trusted you and talked to you about it.

My plan is to create pamphlets that can be understood in both English and Spanish. This

creates the accessibility for non-English speaking immigrants to get the resources that they need

to get them out of a tough situation. The pamphlets would include information on where some

safe houses are located around the Utah valley as well as hotlines that they can call if they only

need somebody to talk to. In terms of hotlines, there is the Utah Domestic Violence Hotline and

the National Domestic Violence Hotline that people may call. Both of these hotlines also have a

Spanish speaking option to provide the accessibility to the demographic that I am trying to help.

For the safe houses, there is the YWCA women in Jeopardy, the South Valley Services, and The

Peace House located in Park City. South Valley Services also offers Spanish speaking support

groups for people that would benefit from a group experience as opposed to the more private

therapy sessions. My pamphlets would also list legal resources that the targeted demographic

may use in the case that their reports gets the attention of I.C.E. I also hope to provide an excerpt

from the Violence Against Women Act which provides legal protection from deportation for

people who report domestic violence from a citizen of the United States. Im not sure whether

this covers the case if it is unregistered immigrant on unregistered immigrant.

I hope to distribute this pamphlet in a myriad of ways. I hope to get the local Catholic

churches involved to have a stand to allow churchgoers the ability to take one as they pass by.

Another location that I would like to have the pamphlets is in local supermarkets. I hope to target

the locations that everyday people are going to visit so that there is a chance that they will see the

brochures when the abuser isnt around. I was told about an idea for an intelligent location for

the brochures to be displayed that I hadnt thought of. I am not going to take credit for the idea
Whitehead 3

since it was a classmate with a similar topic and plan that told me about her solution. She

suggested that you put the brochures up in the womens bathrooms. This prevents any

heterosexual abuser from being able to stop the victim from having access to the resources. Most

male abusers wouldnt follow a female victim into the bathrooms. The bathrooms are an

unsuspecting safe haven for the victims.

There are a few potential costs that you would have to worry about in order to implement

this brochure. You would have to pay for the copying and distribution of the brochures. Most big

business copying companies charge around the same rate for large quantities of brochures. Both

Vista print and Staples are in the $350 to $400 range for 1,000 copies of a brochure. I also looked

into FedExs prices for 1,000 brochures and was disappointed with the high price of $1200. It

would be inefficient to go with FedExs prices as thats about $1.20 per copy, whereas Vista print

and Staples are around $0.35 to $0.40 per copy. Almost three times less than what it would cost

from FedEx.

Another potential cost would be distribution of the brochure. Some companies might

believe that you are self-promoting a certain organization over others and feel like they should

charge you for simply displaying your brochure. They would probably be thinking that you are

making the brochures commercially instead of for helping out others. There isnt much of a point

for you to display the brochures at these locations because they wouldnt be supportive of what

resources I am trying to provide. That is why I would like to lean more towards the religious

groups and the local markets that try to instill a positive sense of community for those in need.

Having the support of the people that are displaying the brochures would go a long way in

helping the targeted demographic from further receiving the help that they need. Organizations
Whitehead 4

that are behind the cause might even have supplemental information that they could provide to

people that are trying to get help.

There is a lot to be said about the current political arguments that are going on around the

new president and his personal values on how this country should be run. His position on

immigration is creating a public panic among the Mexican American community that could

easily hinder the progress towards dealing with any issues involving the Mexican American

community. With President Trumps heightened grip on deportation of unregistered immigrants,

there is less of an incentive for people to trust the government regarding their own personal

safety. This is made more prevalent with the fear of deportation because you reported domestic

violence just to keep your family safe. This new change of leadership is a large barrier that is

preventing a large amount of families from reporting their domestic violence issues.

Another potential issue with this proposed plan is the lack of funding options available.

The only funding for this proposed plan might have to come from the Violence Against Women

Act, which provides funding for preventative measures to decrease the amount of domestic

violence in the United States. The Violence Against Women Act was initially signed into action

in 1994 by Bill Clinton. It received generally little changes until a larger overhaul in 2013 by

President Obama. The Violence Against Women Act does provide protection from deportation

for immigrants to the United States from citizens that are abusers. Although this part of the act

sounds like it would entice a lot more victims to report their cases, it could also cause more

people to be concerned with reporting especially after the election of our new president. The

reason people are concerned more with reporting is the general distrust of the new change in

government. Immigrants that report would have their names put into a database. This causes fear
Whitehead 5

for the reporting immigrants since the government would then have a way to track them down

and deport them or their family at the whim of the I.C.E.

Another potential risk is the fears that the abuser would get a hold of the materials. Some

domestic violence situations involve the abuser psychologically controlling the victim and being

in constant proximity for a majority of their life. The proposed plan might cause more damage

than good if the abuser found out about the victims desire to get resources. The problem with

having brochures for the victims is the potential that the abuser to get ahold of the paperwork if it

wasnt disposed of effectively. Even if the victim puts the brochures in the trash at home, the

abuser could determine the victims motives. Since the abuser is the largest issue with safely

distributing the material, there needs to be a large amount of thought put into how we handle the

distribution of the materials.

Another area for concern is the thought that we would have to distribute the materials out

of individuals free will and kindness. Some businesses might not want to even display the

brochures since there is no monetary gain involved for the business. They would also have no

incentive to take care of the material and thus might disregard maintenance on a display case of

any sort. This sort of issue decreases the amount of widespread availability of the materials and

thus decreases the amount of victims that are getting the help that they need.

For my interview, I talked with the clinical director for the Childrens Center, Jennifer

Mitchell. The Childrens Center is a therapeutic preschool that specializes in helping preschool

aged children that need more one on one attention to handle their different situations. Since the

Childrens Center is a nonprofit organization, they rely heavily on grants and other government

funding to take care of the facility. This reliance on government funding does provide more
Whitehead 6

services to the Mexican American community and even helps out to the extent of undocumented

immigrants because they arent run by the government.

My first question for the clinical director was whether they have mandatory reporting for

domestic violence cases that dont involve the child but do involve one of the parents. Her

answer was that the legal action involved with reporting cases with adults is different from

reporting for children. Although any case of domestic violence is required by law to be reported,

a large number of the Mexican American immigrants have refrained from disclosing their cases

because of the fear of deportation. The clinical director stated that the amount of cases that they

have been told about have decreased in the past few months ever since President Trump came

into office.

My next question involved whether the Childrens Center provides resources to families

that are dealing with I.C.E. because of a disclosure of domestic violence. The clinical director

told me that they dont have the resources personally, but they always provide access to the

resources to help out those that are dealing with I.C.E. They always discuss with clients in

advance that they cant guarantee that their disclosure would protect them from I.C.E. but they

provide the resources and information upfront in the event that they do choose to disclose any

information.

I then asked the clinical director whether they provide any Spanish speaking resources to

those that dont speak English. The clinical director said that they provide materials that are in

both Spanish and English to help reach both target demographics.

My last question for the clinical director was whether they provide any opportunities or

resources for people that have to hide their domestic violence since their abuser is always

looming over their life. She told me that she likes to provide opportunities for clients that they
Whitehead 7

suspect have domestic violence against one of the parents to talk about what they need. These

opportunities include providing separate sessions for the parents and reaching out to the personal

cell phones of the parent that they believe are being abused. She did disclose that they have to be

careful and use different interventions with differing cases since the outreach by the Childrens

Center could cause more harm than good.

Domestic violence is an issue among the majority population of Americans alone. The

number of cases increases for the minority group. This is why it is crucial for us to continue to

try to implement differing interventions for this target population. We could potentially save

many lives and not just physically, but psychologically and emotionally as well.
Whitehead 8

Works Cited

Aldarondo, E., Kantor, G. K., & Jasinski, J.L. (2002). A risk marker analysis of wife assault in

Latino families. Violence Against Women

Barcaglioni, J. (2010, August 31). Domestic Violence in the Hispanic Community [Web log post].

Retrieved from http://safeharborsc.org

Cuevas, C. A., Sabina, C., & Picard, E. H. (2010). Interpersonal Victimization Patterns and

Psychopathology Among Latino Women: Results From the SALAS Study. Psychological

Trauma-Theory Research Practice and Policy, 2(4), 296-306. doi: 10.1037/a0020099

Mitchell, J. (2017, May 3). Personal Interview

Utah Domestic Violence Coalition, (2016). Immigrant Communities. Retrieved from

http://udvc.org