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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Mujeres Unidas Family Justice Center: Improving Hispanic community environments through a comprehensive service center for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking

Julie Ann Parrish, MA, MPH1, Petra Reyna, MEd1, Estella DeAnda, LCSW2, Samih A. Hasan3, and James N. Burdine, Dr PH4. (1) Community Health Development Program, Texas A&M University System School of Rural Public Health, 701 E. Vermont Avenue, Suite 135, McAllen, TX 78503-1733, 956-668-6322, japarrish@srph.tamushsc.edu, (2) Women Together/Mujeres Unidas, 420 North 21st, McAllen, TX 78501, (3) Community Health Development Program, School of Rural Public Health, 1103 University Drive East, Suite 100, College Station, TX 77840, (4) Community Health Development Program, School of Rural Public Health, Texas A&M University, 1103 University Drive, Suite 100, College Station, TX 77840

In Texas, domestic violence affects 5.2 million Hispanics—with 39% of Hispanic Texas females experiencing severe abuse and 18% reporting being forced to have sex. Alarmingly, 40% of Hispanic Texans experiencing domestic violence took no action due to fear, lack of knowledge, or access to community services. In Hidalgo and Starr Counties—with 88% of the population being Hispanic—less than 18% of domestic violence cases result in protective orders. This abstract describes the establishment of a Family Justice Center whose goal remains to bring together existing community services for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking so that a client may access needed services in one convenient and safe location.

This project has three main activities: 1) expand current collaborative efforts between local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and non-profit advocacy groups; 2) develop policies, educational programs, and training in police departments to improve tracking of cases of domestic violence; and 3) educate judges/courts about domestic violence in combination with providing legal assistance for victims. An existing non-profit agency—Women Together/Mujeres Unidas—is currently seeking funds with multiple project partners to establish the Mujeres Unidas Family Justice Center: a comprehensive center of diverse services—legal, social, job training and referrals, housing, medical, protective, educational, ministerial, and other services—for victims of family violence, sexual assault, and stalking in the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas. The target population includes: Hispanics, immigrants/undocumented battered women, monolingual Spanish speakers, and female victims of the international sex-slave trade industry.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant in this session will be able to

Keywords: Domestic Violence, Access and Services

Related Web page: mujeresunidas.org/

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Innovative Strategies to Promote Access to Services

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA