Sexual Violence in the Latin@ and Hispanic Community

Survivor Portrait

Sexual Violence in the Hispanic and Latin@ Community

Rape and sexual abuse affects millions of people each year in the United States. People of color, including folks in Hispanic and Latin@* communities, experience increased rates of sexual violence and often face complex barriers when seeking support.

Latin@ and Hispanic survivors in our community deserve to be believed and supported.  Cleveland Rape Crisis Center provides bilingual, culturally relevant prevention education, community outreach, and services for survivors of rape and sexual abuse and their loved ones.

Help spread awareness by reading and sharing the following facts about the prevalence of sexual violence, and the barriers faced by survivors of rape and sexual assault in this community.

* Latin@ is a gender-neutral term for Latino/Latina.


Six Things to Know

1. Latin@ and Hispanic women experience intimate partner violence at high rates.
“1 in 3 Latinas will experience intimate partner violence during her lifetime.” [i]

2. Risk of sexual violence forces many women to leave their home countries.
“64% of Central American women seeking asylum cite the risk of rape, assault, extortion, and other threats as their main reason for migrating to the U.S.” [ii]

3. During the migration process, Latin@ and Hispanic women and girls face an increased risk of rape and sexual assault.
“An estimated 60-80% of migrant women and girls experience rape and sexual assault during the migration process.” [iii]

4. Men and boys experience sexual violence, too.
“19% of Hispanic men have reported contact sexual violence.” [i]

5. Latin@ and Hispanic survivors face complex barriers to reporting rape and seeking support.
In addition to barriers faced by many survivors, including shame and fear of not being believed, survivors in these communities may experience language barriers, fear of deportation (of themselves and/or of loved ones), discrimination, and cultural stigma.

6. Support is available for survivors and their loved ones.
Cleveland Rape Crisis Center offers bilingual services for Hispanic and Latin@ survivors of all ages and genders. Our services are provided at no cost to the survivor, regardless of immigration status, and independent of law enforcement systems.


Need support?

Survivors and their loved ones can request an appointment for individual counseling or victim assistance right on our website:

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[i] (Smith, S.G., Chen, J., Basile, K.C., Gilbert, L.K., Merrick, M.T., Patel, N., Walling, M., & Jain, A. (2017). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010-2012 State Report. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)
[ii] (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. (2015). Women on the Run: First-Hand Accounts of Refugees Fleeing El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico)
[iii] (Dimmitt Gnam, Alyson L.; Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal. (2013). Mexico’s Missed Opportunities to Protect Irregular Women Transmigrants: Applying a Gender Lens to Migration Law Reform.)