240964 Workplace sexual assault of indigenous farmworkers in Oregon: Qualitative and quantitative data analysis

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Nargess Shadbeh, JD , Farmworker Program, Oregon Law Center, Portland, OR
Mavel Morales, MEd, JD , Hillsboro Farmworker Office, Oregon Law Center, Hillsboro, OR
Marcelina Vega Martinez , Woodburn Farmworker Office, Oregon Law Center, Woodburn, OR
Cecilia De Jesus Luna , Hillsboro Farmworker Office, Oregon Law Center, Hillsboro, OR
The Project to Prevent Workplace Sexual Assault of Indigenous Farmworkers, a project of the Oregon Law Center, Virginia Garcia Medical Center and Pineros y Campesinos del Noroeste, aims to develop a model network of protective strategies and culturally appropriate care for victims of workplace sexual violence, with the ultimate aim of reducing the incidence of workplace sexual assault and harassment of indigenous farmworkers in Oregon. Indigenous farmworkers are workers who have migrated from communities that are indigenous to Mexico or Central America and have cultural and linguistic histories that are different from Latinos. Isolated by linguistic, cultural, and economic barriers, they often lack access to legal and health resources. To address these needs, the Project has developed a multi-track community education program, a model clinic protocol for screening and treating indigenous sexual assault victims, and a training curriculum for health providers, among other strategies. To address the paucity of data about this emerging population's exposure to sexual harassment in the workplace, the Project has conducted focus groups and a survey of 250 farmworker women in Oregon's Willamette Valley. The presenter will share key results that shed light on indigenous farmworkers' demographics, economic circumstances, and unique cultural characteristics and health care beliefs, as well as their experiences of sexual assault and harassment and their barriers to reporting these incidents and accessing health care and other services. The presenter will also share suggestions and lessons learned from the Project's efforts to improve the connections between indigenous farmworkers and health care providers.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
1) Name at least three cultural and demographic characteristics of indigenous farmworkers relevant to providing training and health services. 2) Discuss indigenous farmworkers’ own descriptions of their beliefs and experiences around issues of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace. 3) Highlight preliminary survey results quantifying the prevalence of workplace sexual harassment and assault of indigenous farmworkers.

Keywords: Access to Care, Sexual Assault

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Project Director for the Project and supervised the design and administration of the survey to be discussed during the presentation. I am the director of the Oregon Law Center's farmworker program, which includes a focus on community health education and access to health services.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.