Foremost is the safety of victims of domestic and sexual abuse who can and/or will not access services outside of their communities. It has been widely known and documented that many victims from communities of color, Native communities, or those who identify as LGBTQ will not use a mainstream program for a variety of reasons, including bias, racism, and mistrust of systems based in historical systemic violence.
The combination of (1) CS programs having access to data regarding the communities they serve, (2) meaningful coordination with MPD district stations when violence occurs, and (3) increased awareness of CS programs’ presence and expertise in our communities builds an environment where victims of violence within culturally specific communities can access the resources they need to reach safety.
We envision a world where ALL survivors can have access to safety and live fully in their dignity with love and respect here in Milwaukee. As a part of that vision, we are working hard to make sure that our services are visible at multiple levels to ensure that survivors have the access they need to appropriate advocacy and support.
It is our hope that through this multicultural and intersectional initiative, all Milwaukee communities are aware that there continues to be diverse DV/SA victim services available to assist and support them. It is imperative that culturally specific communities know: We Are Here MKE.
We seek full access to available data on DV and SA victims in Milwaukee. This includes, most importantly, the demographics of DV and SA victims and communities these reports come from. Obtaining such information in an ongoing fashion informs how the collective can respond to the needs of victims in each community over time and in response to shifting determinants.
We seek to have meaningful coordination with MPD District stations in communities where CS programs are located and where we were created to serve culturally specific populations. For example, if police respond to a DV incident on 20th and Lapham on Milwaukee’s Southside, it makes sense that the Latina Resource Center is a referral option and may be called and utilized to provide appropriate services to the victim and family.
We seek support to develop and launch a campaign that amplifies and elevates the existence and expertise of CS programs to their respective communities. It is critical that DV, SA, and MMIWG victims and their families in communities of color, LGBTQ communities, and other cultures are aware of the options available to and created for them. This effort to increase awareness of CS services to victims, their families, and their communities directly impacts CS communities’ ability to access safety.