Understanding Domestic Violence and Intimate Partner Violence in the Latino Community



Domestic Violence and Intimate Partner Violence makes no distinction to race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. It is essential to understand that Domestic Violence and Intimate Partner Violence is a behavior with the primary goal of maintaining control over the partner, physically, emotionally, and sometimes financially. This power dynamic can be further emphasized in cultures where gender roles often defer to traditional norms, such as those represented within the Hispanic community.


Based on the statistics provided by the U.S Census Bureau 2010, Hispanics are among the largest and fastest-growing populations in the U.S. According to The National Latin Network (a project of Casa de Esperanza), 34.4% (1 in 3) Latinas will experience domestic violence or intimate partner violence during their lifetime. Some of the most common factors contributing to this trend within the Latino community are financial challenges, customs, country of origin, level of acculturation, language barrier, mental health, and cultural identity. The National Latin Network reported that 50% of Latinas who experienced abuse never reported it. The reason behind this alarming statistic varies primarily based on the individual's unique circumstances, as detailed by the Women of Color Network. They note that most of the under-reporting can be attributed to the submission to their household's established hierarchy, fear of being deported and/or separated from children, religious beliefs, and the distress of being rejected by friends and family.


While the number of Domestic Violence and Intimate Partner Violence is growing at a startling rate, it is the case for developing resources available in the community, such as El Concilio Kalamazoo.


At Strong Therapy and Community Support, I specialize in working with the Spanish-speaking community If you need support don’t hesitate to reach out.



Maribel Diaz LaForge, MS, LMHC, LPC

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