Domestic violence is an issue that affects women and men of any age, race, cultural or even economical background. Those in the Latino communities face cultural boundaries when they find themselves in an abusive relationship/marriage. Many Latinos identify as Catholic or being raised Catholic, whom do not believe in divorce. Often time’s men are identified as the leader of the family and women are expected to obey their husbands. Latinos who are middle class or low income families find themselves financially strapped to the abuser, with no way out literally. According to this week’s readings the community development model “has five functions that communities should serve to include: Production-distribution-consumption of goods and services-that are a part of daily living; socialization-which is a process that society transmits prevailing knowledge or social values; social control-where a group influences the behaviors of its members; social participation- which is the level of involvement of people in social, political and economic processes; and lastly mutual support-which involves encouragement, assistance and cooperation of people in the community” (Kirst-Ashman, 2011, pg. 437). This developmental model is important to most domestic violence causes because the assistance must be readily available both physically and monetarily, plus knowledge of such resources needs to be made known both in English and Spanish so that women have a way out. If society could change people’s behavior towards domestic violence (i.e. reducing stereotypes like she will never leave), and encourage people to seek help this would be a lot less prevalent in Latino communities.
There needs to be support and encouragement given to these women that it is indeed ok to leave. The children who are caught in between a physically abusive parent and non-abusive parent need more laws to protect them. There is so much more knowledge out there today about signs of domestic violence and where to start getting help in a local community yet the one thing that holds many women back is the children. Courts often times tie up cases, put the victim at risk, allow the children into potentially dangerous situations and then bash a woman for not leaving her abuser. (I am focusing on women being beaten by men because it is more prevalent even though I am aware that men can be beaten too). Many of these places are underfunded because much of the money is aimed at awareness, but many of these women leave with practically nothing. The community development model is a good tool yet like social actions while it brings issues to light or creating organizations to deal with the issue but it get stuck along the way (Holman, 2011, pg.65). Holman said it best regarding social action “To become truly empowered, a community must move beyond reaction and assert its own agenda, cultivating the internal assets that can provide its members with a high quality life” (2011, pg. 65). With domestic violence a woman needs to be empowered and given the opportunity to move on with her life. But it shouldn’t stop there, some of these women do give back to others of to the domestic violence organizations to ensure this vital asset always remains available to others in need. Communities must become self-sufficient and they are only as good as they believe they are.
Kirst-Ashman, K. K. (2011). Human behavior in the macro social environment. Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole Publishing Company. Homan, M. S. (2011). Promoting community change: Making it happen in the real world. Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole Publishing Company.