SafeChoice addresses critical community needs with its domestic violence program
Tanika Siscoe, Domestic Violence Prevention Specialist and Ana Sifuentes, Bilingual Outreach Specialist and Legal Clinic Coordinator
The YWCA’s SafeChoice Domestic Violence Program, which supports Clark County residents affected by domestic violence, received a grant in 2018 to hire a full-time Bilingual Domestic Violence Outreach Specialist. The person hired, Ana Sifuentes, has surpassed all expectations in her first year.
Ana, who joined SafeChoice last September, came with a passion for defending and extending the rights of Latinas and Latinx. “That is the Latinx community’s greatest need: Rights!,” she says. “A community cannot start healing from the trauma suffered through violence and poverty if every day is a reminder of the very things that won’t allow them to heal.”
Incredible increase in Latinx survivors seeking services
From January 1 through June 30, 2019, the number of new Latinx survivors who sought services at SafeChoice increased by 46%. Ana’s strategy: actively spread the word about SafeChoice and other YWCA services throughout the Latinx community. In part she does this through a monthly legal clinic for survivors, and quarterly immigrant rights legal clinics. She also launched a Promontora Project, where she trains Latinx community members on domestic violence advocacy so they can support community members who are unlikely to seek services from YWCA.
“My role is a huge responsibility! But also a great honor,” she says. “There are so many areas of the Latinx community that can benefit from our outreach services.”