By Esperanza United and Latinas Represent
Did you know that approximately one in three Latinas will experience intimate partner violence during their lifetime? It’s a startling statistic that underscores the prevalence of domestic violence in our communities.
Now, here’s another statistic that also demands our attention: Latinas, who make up about 9.3% of the population, represent less than 3% of officeholders in statewide executive offices, Congress, and state legislatures. And even more disheartening is the current reality that Latina survivors of domestic violence face even greater underrepresentation in public service.
This October, during National Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, Esperanza United is partnering with Latinas Represent to highlight this pressing issue. In our upcoming virtual event and below, we explore why we need more Latina survivors in public office and how they can drive positive change in our communities and beyond.
Why do we need more Latina survivors in elected office?
Due to their lived experience, Latina survivors of domestic violence have many of the skills that would make them successful in elected office. They also have vital perspectives and unique insights to bring to the policymaking process.
In elected office, Latina survivors can serve as powerful advocates for policies aimed at preventing and addressing domestic violence. Specifically, Latina survivors can speak directly to the need of bolstering financial support for shelters, enhancing accessibility to healthcare and mental health services, and fortifying educational programs dedicated to the prevention of domestic violence.
The power of representation
When Latina survivors hold positions in elected offices, not only do they govern effectively, but they also inspire and empower others who have endured similar experiences. Their presence sends a strong message that it is possible to overcome adversity and step into positions of leadership and influence. This visibility can encourage other survivors to come forward, seek help, and become advocates for change themselves.
That is why Latinas Represent is committed to supporting Latinas seeking public service opportunities by offering free online resources, trainings, and mentorship opportunities that will prepare them to successfully launch well-run, issue-based campaigns. Additionally, Esperanza United is dedicated to mobilizing Latinas and Latin@ communities to end gender-based violence through a variety of programs, projects, and initiatives.
Within these leadership opportunities and networks, Latina survivors will find reassurance that they’re not alone on this public service journey and that they are fully prepared to embark on their path to running for office.
To support Latina voices in elected office, we invite you to join us on November 2nd for ‘Latina Voices Against Domestic Violence,’ a virtual event co-hosted by Esperanza United and Latinas Represent. During this event, we will discuss the profound impact of domestic violence on the Latin@ community and the actionable steps elected officials and communities can take to stand by survivors.
Register here to learn from policy experts, elected officials, and advocates from across the country who are working tirelessly to protect and support survivors of gender-based violence.