Hispanics More Likely to Intervene in Sexual Assault, Study Finds

Hispanics are more likely than the general U.S. population to discuss domestic violence and sexual assault and more likely to intervene to help victims, a report commissioned by the Avon Foundation for Women for Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network and NO MORE finds.

Based on a survey of Latina/o adults, The NO MÁS Study: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault in the U.S. Latin@ Community (51 pages, PDF) found that 56 percent of respondents said they knew a victim of domestic violence, while 28 percent said they knew a victim of sexual assault. The survey also found that Latina/o respondents tended to see domestic violence and sexual assault as a greater problem in U.S. society at large than in the Latina/o community; were more likely than the overall U.S. population to report discussing sexual assault and domestic violence with their friends (57 percent vs. 34 percent) and their children (54 percent vs. 29 percent); and were more likely to intervene to help a victim of domestic violence (61 percent vs. 51 percent) or sexual assault (60 percent vs 29 percent). In addition, the survey found that 41 percent of respondents saw fear of deportation as the greatest barrier preventing Latina/o victims of domestic violence and sexual assault from seeking help, followed by fear of more violence against themselves and their families (39 percent) and fear of their children being taken away (39 percent).

Issued in conjunction with the launch of "NO MÁS," the first national Latina/o awareness campaign aimed at ending domestic violence and sexual assault, the report found that 60 percent of respondents were willing to get involved in efforts to address the problem by talking to children about healthy relationships (83 percent); speaking up if they saw youth behaving disrespectfully to the opposite gender (79 percent); sharing information about sexual assault and domestic violence with family, friends, or neighbors (78 percent); and providing support to a survivor (70 percent).

"This groundbreaking study demonstrates that sexual assault and domestic violence are prevalent issues in the Latin@ community, which too often faces a number of barriers the general population does not experience," said Juan Carlos Areán, senior director of the National Latin@ Network. "However, the NO MÁS study also reveals the community's enormous strength and willingness to put an end to these problems. The study, thus, represents not only the issues we face, but also the fortitude we can leverage to eliminate violence."