El Arte de Sobrevivir

A couple pose for the camera.

Promoting healthy relationships and preventing intimate partner violence in Texas through Community Health Workers.

El Arte de Sobrevivir (The Art of Surviving) uses Community Health Workers (CHWs) to promote healthy relationships and prevent intimate partner violence in Starr County, Texas. The program primary focuses on providing support for low-income and Spanish-speaking Latinas, and aims to eliminate gaps in services for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence through outreach, referrals for services, and art-based support groups.

Outreach is conducted near the region’s predominantly Latino and Hispanic neighborhoods, known as colonias. This allows for the program to remain accessible to residents who may not have reliable access to transportation. Once program participants are enrolled, they are invited to join a support group for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and/or stalking. The support groups are led by Community Health Workers and occur over the course of eight weeks.

El Arte de Sobrevivir seeks to eliminate gaps in service for survivors of sexual assault.

All group sessions and activities are conducted in Spanish, and located at convenient and comfortable locations for participants. The shared cultural background between Community Health Workers and program participants allows for the establishment of a trusting relationship, a critical component in any support group. As the support group’s facilitators are also peers, they can appropriately address any cultural barriers. 28 support groups are offered over the course of the program period.  The support groups are highly localized, and take place directly inside the region’s colonias, participant homes, or a location convienent to the program participants.

Additionally, ten community leaders are selected by the community and trained by MHP Salud alongside our partner Mujeres Unidas (Women Together) to serve as a permanent resource within the community. These community leaders are actively involved in all aspects of the program.

El Arte de Sobrevivir began in October 2016 and will conclude in September, 2019. We are partnered with Mujeres Unidas and the South Texas Empowerment of Women Center.

This project was supported by Grant No. 2016-WR-AX-0040 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice.  The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.

For more information on this program, please email info@mhpsalud.org