RESEARCHER: DR. CABAN-VAZQUEZ
Dedicated to the memory of my mother Maria Concepción
“Hija, tienes que ser la voz de justicia para la próxima generación.”~M.C.
In August, 2012 I launched my advocacy research study on domestic violence in the Dominican Republic. This Latina researcher examined how the epidemic of domestic violence follows many of the immigrant Dominican women that settle in the Washington Heights and Dyckman areas in New York City. Regrettably, many Manhattan women shelters and community outreach groups are not able to be culturally responsive to the unique and complex needs of this particular immigrant population. As a result, many of these battered women eventually go back to their abusers and face insurmountable obstacles to break the cycle of domestic violence in their lives.
The goal of this research project is to collaborate with a local grassroots organization in the Washington Heights area, and offer research findings that can steer and shape their organization action plans to better serve this population of battered women. Ultimately, a program evaluation can demonstrate how this grassroots organization is effectively meeting the needs of Dominican women and making a noteworthy impact. Similar to my research work and program evaluation of a Girls Rescue Shelter in Kenya, findings from this research study and program evaluation can help the grassroots organization seek and secure substantial grant funding from human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and/or the United Nations.
THE LATINA PROJECT: BREAKING THE SILENCE AND CYCLE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE is endorsed by President Hipolito Mejia and Senator Aristi-Castro of the Altagracia Province. During this trip, I had the honor of meeting with the aforementioned dignitaries to discuss public policy and potential channels for raising awareness to ratify change. With the help of several Dominican local community advocates such as former Councilman Victor Manuel Batista and Mr. Pena, I conducted focus groups and individual interviews with battered women in the town of Bonao. This field study helped me to better understand the multi-faceted phenomena of domestic violence in the Latino community.
None of this work would have been possible without the amazing support of Loida Pujols who has served as a UN consulate-general for the Dominican Republic. This global citizen and passionate Latina advocate helped pave the way to support and make my research dream come true. Thanks to Mrs. Pujols, SOCIAL CHANGERS WITHOUT BORDERS, INC is able to leave a research footprint of positive social change in our first Latin American country.