SPOTLIGHT ON: Casa de Esperanza

Casa de Esperanza – National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities is the national institute on domestic violence focusing on Latin@ communities. As a leading, national Latin@ organization, Casa de Esperanza puts community at the center of everything we do. Founded in 1982 to provide emergency shelter for Latinas and other women and children experiencing domestic violence, today, we continue providing critical and innovative services and support in our Minnesota Twin Cities communities, ranging from family advocacy and shelter services to leadership development and community engagement opportunities for Latin@ youth, women and men, to informing the work of the National Latin@ Network to shape public policy, research, and best practices in the field.
The National Latin@ Network provides training and consultations to practitioners and activists throughout the US, as well as in Latin America. We engage in federal and state public policy advocacy and conduct research on issues that affect Latin@s in the US and abroad. We produce practical publications and tools for the field, disseminate relevant, up-to-date information and facilitate an online learning community that supports practitioners, policy makers and researchers who are working to end domestic violence.

PROMISING PRACTICES: Ayuda’s Victim Services Interpreter Bank

Deaf woman communicating with another woman
On March 1, 2019, Ayuda, a legal, social, and language access provider in Washington D.C., who is also a subject-matter expert providing support on the National Resource Center for Reaching Victims, launched a Victim Services Interpreter Bank (VSIB) in Maryland with funding from the Maryland Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention. There are many limited-English proficient and Deaf/Hard of Hearing residents in Maryland who fall victim to sexual assault, domestic violence, human trafficking, hate crimes, the death of a loved one due to homicide, and many other crimes. These individuals may need a forensic medical exam, therapy, counseling, safety planning, relocation assistance, and other vital services. Ayuda believes that a language barrier should not prevent these survivors from receiving compassionate and thorough assistance. 
VSIB is made up of victim-centered, trauma-informed interpreters who are potentially available 24 hours a day to assist in delivering required services. VSIB also arranges to have documents translated for victim service nonprofits when communicating with clients in writing in languages other than English. VSIB was created to help remove linguistic barriers so that the needs of LEP/Deaf crime victims could be effectively met. 
If you would like to know more about Ayuda’s work and model you can visit Ayuda’s website and Ayuda’s Language Access Program’s Facebook page. You can also contact Ayuda’s Language Access Program at