Hispanic-Focused Group Helps Domestic Abuse Victims

By Liz Collin, WCCO-TV

ST. PAUL (WCCO) — For almost 30 years, a Twin Cities organization has been working to end domestic violence in Minnesota’s Hispanic community.

This holiday season they’re asking others to help families who find themselves in abusive relationships.

Maria Alvarado was one of those women. She came to Casa de Esperanza a year ago looking for help. Alvarado spoke to WCCO-TV through a translator.

“I came to the organization because of domestic violence,” she said.

Alvarado finally ended things with her husband after he stabbed her seven times.

“It was very good because they really supported me. It was good and everything,” she said.

The organization aims to approach advocacy from a “Latina cultural context.”

That context can sometimes be complicated for mainstream organizations to understand. Many of Casa de Esperanza’s clients worry about reporting abuse because of immigration issues.

Eva Benavidez Clayton does marketing and communications work for Casa de Esperanza.

“Latinas might not know how to navigate systems here or figure out how to access systems,” said Clayton.

Through the Minnesota’s only bilingual crisis line, the organization helps women navigate it all.

“Strong and healthy communities are communities where people can get access to resources and information,” said Clayton.

Alvarado found safety at the shelter they offer. She takes part in classes with other women in similar circumstances.

“I would like to tell them that if they are in a situation of domestic violence that they can escape and that they can ask for help,” said Alvarado.

Casa de Esperanza hosts a holiday charity drive for families in need each Christmas, called Projecto Navidad. There are still some families waiting to be “adopted” this year. Donors can buy gifts and food for a family.

People who would like to help or know more about it can call (651) 646-5553 or visit Casa de Esperanza’s website. Victims should be careful about visiting the site on a computer their abuser has access to.

The Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women and the Minnesota Domestic Violence Crisis Line at 1-866-223-1111 are also good resources.

WCCO-TV’s Liz Collin Reports

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