Isabella Becomes a Leader in Her Community Through Caminar Latino

Photograph of a beautiful Latina woman.“Thanks for transforming our lives!” exclaimed Isabella. With the support of Caminar Latino, Isabella, a survivor, learned that domestic violence is not a part of a healthy marriage, and that everyone deserves to live happily and free from violence.

When she was first married, Isabella and her husband were very much in love, giving birth to two children. Later on, everything changed. Name-calling, slapping, pushing and beatings became an ongoing aspect of her married life, and this deeply affected her children. Feeling isolated and on her own, Isabella did not know where to go for help; she did not have family nearby, and she did not speak English. Then, one day, Isabella learned about Caminar Latino.

Caminar Latino is a non-profit domestic violence intervention and prevention program, whose mission is to create opportunities for Latino families affected by violence to transform their lives and their communities. Caminar Latino (Latino Journey) is the only Spanish speaking, culturally-specific domestic violence program in the Atlanta metro area that provides services for women, men, and children.

At Caminar Latino, the staff welcomed Isabella in her own language, and invited her to participate in support groups for herself and her children. Advocates taught her about domestic violence and its impact on children. Through Caminar Latino, Isabella learned about her rights, took parenting classes, and received individual therapy. They helped her with legal matters, and, perhaps most importantly—they provided her with the support she needed to better every day. In fact, Isabel and her family feel so at home at Caminar Latino that she and her children have been involved with the program for 6 years now.

Today, Isabella volunteers as the co-coordinator of the Líderes Comunitarias (Community Leaders) program, adapted from Casa de Esperanza in 2011. The program draws on women’s natural strengths and creates an opportunity for Latina survivors of domestic violence to be actively involved in making changes in their community. As a líder, Isabella is learning how to be an advocate for women and survivors of domestic violence. 

For the past 22 years, Caminar Latino has provided support and information to Latina survivors of domestic violence about their rights, options, and available resources to assist them in increasing their safety and quality of life.  As a member of the National Latin@ Network coordinated by FYSB grantee Casa de Esperanza, Caminar Latino works with other like-minded organizations to provide timely and relevant information and resources to people working to prevent and eliminate domestic violence within Latin@ communities.

For more information about Caminar Latino and its programs, find them on the web at www.caminarlatino.org.

For information about Casa de Esperanza and the network of national resource centers supported by the Family Violence Prevention and Services Program (FVPSP), visit the FVPSP website.