Students of Color

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.

Students of Color

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 women of color.

 A lack of systematic understanding coupled with the unique stressors these communities face have led to marginalized and underserved populations of sexual violence survivors. SHARPP recognizes these differences and is committed to serve ­­­­­­communities of color by providing accessible, free, culturally competent, and confidential advocacy and direct services to all survivors and their allies.

Concerns

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 have Language Line Services free of charge when speaking with a sexual assault advocate both over the phone and in-person. 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, 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 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.

Statistics

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

UNH Resources

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.

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 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.

President’s Commission on the Status of People of Color http://www.unh.edu/cspc

UNH President's Commission on the Status of People of Color proposes, recommends, and evaluates programs, policies, and services aimed at enhancing diversity and supporting people of color within the UNH community. The commission acts to ensure implementation of goals to increase campus diversity through minority student, faculty, and staff recruitment and retention, and through curriculum development.

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

National 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