(WOMENSENEWS)– Latinos are likely to know a victim of domestic violence, but also likely to intervene, finds a telephone survey of 800 Latinos nationwide.
"The study, thus, represents not only the issues we face, but also the fortitude we can leverage to eliminate violence," Juan Carlos Areán, senior director of the National Latin@ Network, said in a press statement.
Findings will inform the launch of "NO MÁS," the first national awareness campaign engaging Latinos to end domestic violence and sexual assault.
Fifty-six percent of respondents know a victim of domestic violence and women tend to know more victims than do men, finds the April 21 report commissioned by The Avon Foundation for Women for the groups Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network and NO MORE.
Authors also find that 1-in-4 Latinos know someone who was sexually assaulted. These problems can be seen impacting the next generation because those under 30 years of age gave answers that were consistent with older respondents.
On a brighter note, authors find that at least 60 percent of those respondents who know victims intervened to help.
Men and women were just as likely to help victims and a majority of parents said they have discussed these issues with their children.
Fear of Deportation
Many Latino victims of violence do not seek help because they fear deportation as a result of any contact with authorities. Other reasons for underreporting include fear of further violence towards themselves and their families and fear of losing their children.
More than a third of the Latinos surveyed, however, said nothing would stop them from aiding someone they know personally who is a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault.
Authors said there are approximately 54 million Latinos in the U.S. and that no study of this magnitude had been conducted to understand how domestic violence and sexual assault are impacting the community. The report also seeks to understand the unique obstacles Latino survivors face when seeking help.
Respondents identified the misuse of drugs and alcohol as the biggest cause of domestic violence and sex assault, followed by bad parenting and a lack of education.
The report compares its findings with those from a 2013 online survey about domestic violence and sexual assault among teens and adults in the U.S. population at large. The survey interviewed 1,307 people.
Sex Assault Less Common
A comparison of the two studies shows that while U.S. Latinos are more likely than the U.S. population at large to know victims of domestic violence, for cases of sexual assault it’s the other way around: 28 percent of U.S. Latinas report knowing a victim of sexual assault versus 33 percent in the overall U.S. survey.
The comparison also shows that Latinos are talking more about the problem. While over half the U.S. Latinos report talking about domestic violence and sexual assault with their friends only 34 percent of those polled in the U.S. sampling said they have held such a conversation.
More than half of Latino parents say they have talked about the issues of domestic violence and sexual assault with their children, while only 29 percent of parents in the overall U.S. survey said they had ever held such a conversation.
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