Serving communities of color
The impact of sexual violence including stalking, domestic violence, and relationship abuse effects all people no matter their identity. However, survivors of color often face a lack of culturally appropriate services as well as supportive resources in diverse languages.
People of color may have experienced racism in the past, and this may cause them to distrust the institutions that are designed to help survivors. At hospitals or police stations, people of color may be treated with less respect or less priority than white people and may face even more victim-blaming and disbelief than white people do at the same institutions.
If people of color do choose to seek counseling, they risk facing racism within the system of sexual assault counseling, or, at the very least, they face a system whose primary clients and therapists are white, many of whom may not be educated about the special concerns of people of color.
A lack of systematic understanding coupled with the unique stressors these communities face has led to marginalized and underserved populations of sexual violence survivors. SHARPP recognizes these differences and is committed to serving communities of color by providing accessible, free, culturally competent, and confidential advocacy and direct services to all survivors and their allies.
All survivors that use SHARPP services have the right to respectful treatment of confidential information. All information and records pertaining to you will be kept confidential in accordance with NH RSA 173-C.
At the University of New Hampshire, we are a predominantly white institution (PWI) which comes with its own set of challenges for communities of color. These challenges range from hostile environments to societal issues. One of the major challenges for students of color is the campus environment. Currently, PWIs across the nation fail to provide students of color with an environment that values them on a consistent basis.
In the case of a language barrier, survivors have the right to be provided with Language Line Services free of charge to speak with a sexual assault advocate over the phone or in-person in their primary language. These arrangements can be made in the immediate or planned in advance.
Each community of color has challenges and circumstances that are unique to its community. However, there are common factors that account for many of the barriers survivors of color face as they seek help.
- Cultural and/or religious beliefs that restrain the survivor from leaving the abusive relationship or involving outsiders.
- Strong loyalty binds to race, culture, and family.
- Distrust of law enforcement, the criminal justice system, and social services.
- Lack of service providers that look like the survivor or share common experiences.
- Lack of culturally and linguistically appropriate services.
- Lack of trust based on a history of racism and classism in the United States.
- Fear that their experience will reflect on or confirm the stereotypes placed on their ethnicity.
- Assumptions of providers based on ethnicity.
- Attitudes and stereotypes about the prevalence of domestic violence and sexual assault in communities of color.
- Legal status in the U.S. of the survivor and/or the batterer.
African American females experience intimate partner violence at a rate 35% higher than that of white females, and about 2.5 times the rate of women of other races, however, they are less likely than white women to use social services, battered women’s programs, or go to the hospital because of domestic violence.source: Women of Color and Reproductive Justice: African American Women
In a study conducted by the Asian Task Force against Domestic Violence, 47% of Cambodians interviewed said they knew of a woman who experienced domestic violence.
According to NVAWS, 37.5% of Native American women are victimized by IPV in a lifetime, defined by rape, physical assault, or stalking.source: National Crime against Women Survey, 2006
48% of Latinas in one study reported that their partner’s violence against them had increased since they immigrated to the US.source: Dutton, Mary; Leslye Orloff, and Giselle Aguilar Hass. 2000, Characteristics of help-seeking behaviors, resources, and services needs of battered immigrant Latinas: Legal and Policy Implications. Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy. 7(2)
A survey of immigrant Korean women found that 60% had been battered by their husbands.source: Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Violence against Women: Findings from the NVAWS
Sexual Harassment & Rape Prevention Program (SHARPP) www.unh.edu/sharpp 603-862-3494
SHARPP works to eliminate sexual and intimate partner violence. SHARPP's mission is accomplished in two parts: by providing free and confidential advocacy and direct services to all survivors and their allies; and by offering culturally competent awareness and prevention programs to the University of New Hampshire community.
Psychological and Counseling Services (PACS) www.unh.edu/pacs/
PACS is committed to serving UNH’s diverse campus community by providing students with support and education for their person and academic success through confidential counseling, psychiatric consultation, and outreach and prevention services.
Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA) www.unh.edu/omsa
The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs provides support, advising, advocacy, and student development for African American/Black/African/Caribbean, Hispanic/Latino/a, Asian/Asian American/Pacific Islanders, Native American/Indigenous/First Nations, Arab/Middle Eastern/Middle Eastern American, Biracial/Multiracial students, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning students, and First Generation College Students, as well as Ally students is at the heart of our work.
Diversity Support Coalition https://wildcatlink.unh.edu/organization/DSC
The Diversity Support Coalition (DSC) seeks to promote, educate, and support multiculturalism, diversity, and equality at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) through programming and support of the DSC and its current member groups. The DSC strives to keep the acceptance of multiculturalism, diversity, and equality at the forefront of the university culture. These ideas and concepts are supported by the student-run DSC itself and its current member groups (Alliance, The Black Student Union, Hillel, Mosaico, The Native American Cultural Association, and The United Asian Coalition). The DSC is open to all students who are interested in fostering inclusion and equity at UNH.
Affirmative Action and Equity Office http://www.unh.edu/affirmativeaction
Responsible for oversight of the University’s compliance efforts in regard to affirmative action, Title IX, disability laws and regulations, equal employment laws, and campus initiatives aimed at creating a diverse, welcoming and equitable campus.
To see a list of other places SHARPP refers to check out www.unh.edu/sharpp/resources
Women of Color Network: http://www.wocninc.org/
The Women of Color Network (WOCN), a project of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV) is a national grassroots initiative dedicated to building the capacity of women of color advocates and activists responding to violence against women in communities of color. Through trainings, technical assistance, and advocacy, WOCN helps foster Women of Color in the advancement of their anti-violence work and leadership.Created in collaboration with: The President’s Commission on the Status of People of Color