Voces de Cambio, Voices of Change
Community organizing and advocacy have been a central part of Center for Domestic Peace’s work to promote social justice and community accountability around the problem of domestic violence and violence against women. Voces de Cambio (Voices of Change) is one such group, active in outreach, education, and organizing within the Spanish-speaking community and to other underserved and underrepresented communities in Marin and beyond. It is made up of domestic violence survivors and advocates.
If you are a survivor and interested in learning more about becoming a member, please contact Luz Alvarado, 415.526.2549
Here are a few examples of recent work they have done:
Voces has adopted four strategies that are focused on reaching diverse and traditionally underserved victims:
1) Enhancing cultural competency around serving LGBTQ communities and reaching out to these communities:
- Voces is helping increase outreach to LGBTQ communities in Marin. Voces members have participated in two webinars by the NW Network, which works to end abuse in LGBTQ communities. Voces members learned about the obstacles LGBTQ victims face when attempting to seek services or leave an abusive relationship.
- Following the webinar, Voces held a focus group to bring together their learnings and plan future strategies of outreach to LGBTQ communities. Voces members set the goal of helping Latino LGBTQ members open up to their families and communities members. At the same time, Voces is working to build the capacity of straight Latinos to trust and accept their LGBTQ family and community members.
- Voces participate in the Marin Pride event, coordinated by the Spahr Center, Marin County’s nonprofit dedicated to serving, supporting, and empowering the LGBTQ community and those living with and affected by HIV. Voces hosted a table and distributed resources.
2) Organizing and attending community events to educate the public about DV:
- In October 2017, Voces coordinated their annual “Day of the Dead” event to honor those killed because of domestic violence, those who survived, and the advocates who helped them. A total of 65 community members attended, including domestic violence survivors and their children, community partners, C4DP staff and volunteers, and a member of the Marin County Board of Supervisors. Incorporating elements of Hispanic/Latino culture into the ceremony, Voces created an altar honoring the dead, along with a poster with their names, which were read aloud, and also shared bread and food with attendees. This event is open to the public and held every year on the last Friday in October.
- In April 2018, Voces hosted the “Clothesline Project Workshop” in partnership with the sexual assault agency, Community Violence Solutions,” to recognize Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April. Community members attended and created anti-abuse messages on t-shirts, which were displayed at C4DP’s emergency shelter and transitional housing project.
- Voces presented on the relationship between alcohol and domestic violence at a Spanish-speaking Alcoholics Anonymous meeting this past spring. Voces gave local stats on domestic violence, including the fact that 80% of domestic violence arrests in Marin involve alcohol, and clarified that alcohol does not cause domestic violence but rather acts as an inhibitor that causes the abuser to lose control. Attendees were actively engaged, asking Voces a number of questions.
3) Distributing resources about domestic violence broadly throughout the community:
- Over the last year, Voces distributed approx. 1,000 copies of various resource materials in the community (flash drives, post its, fliers, brochures, resource cards, etc.). Recently, Voces began distribution of new flash drives that include the “You Are Not Alone” booklet in four different languages (English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Portuguese) and the “Healthy and Equal Relating” audio content in Spanish and English.
4) Participating as victim representatives for the CCR to DV Network:
- Voces members attended CCR Network meetings, and also determined to engage organizations participating in the CCR Network in helping distribute multi-lingual resources to the broader community, including law enforcement, health and mental health, Marin County Health & Human Services, and other community service providers.