Chicanos Por La Causa: De Colores Women’s Shelter
General Mailing Address:
PO BOX 6553
Phoenix, AZ 85005
Office: (602) 269-1515
Fax: (602) 352-5992
ASU Student Involvement:
Students can choose to donate money, clothing, shoes, furniture, toiletries, or their time to fulfill one of the shelter’s client’s wish list and volunteer by cleaning, cooking, sorting donations, and site maintenance. Internships are also available by application to students majoring in social work, criminal justice, and counseling.
The Multicultural Perspective
Women and families that are victimized by domestic violence put their lives at risk when they make the choice to escape their detrimental situation and seek refuge. There are several shelters in the Phoenix metropolitan area that provide assistance for those leaving a violent relationship but are limited in their range of multicultural services, which can halt a woman in her tracks if she does not feel she will be understood or possibly blamed. In a recent study, it was determined that ethnic minorities often underutilize intervention services in part because their help seeking behaviors and treatment needs differ from those of the dominant culture and these clients avoid seeking services because of the lack of cultural sensitivity and mistrust of a practice that is essentially geared toward white, middle-class America (Sumter 2006). De Colores is a safe home, in Phoenix, for women and children who have been forced to flee their homes due to domestic violence and is the only shelter to exclusively offer a bilingual and bicultural environment (Causa 2008). This shelter is unique because it mainly serves the Hispanic community due to its bilingual programs and offers to serve similar shelters across state lines in California and Colorado who are helping Spanish speaking only clients (Castro 2010).
In order to reach the local community of Phoenix, De Colores challenges itself to educate the people about the meaning of domestic violence and the reasons why it is unacceptable. The organization is resilient to call themselves feminists due to the stigma and misunderstanding of the term by the Hispanic community, but their goal to empower women to say no to domestic violence has feminism written all over it. The shelter is faced with the unique circumstances from their clientele of women in fear of being deported and losing custody of their children due to their immigrant status. Some immigrant women’s dilemma is compounded by the fact that they may only have citizenship through marriage, limiting their ability to lave the abuser for fear of losing their citizenship. The literature has noted that health care service providers perceive immigrant women as “accepting” of domestic violence, claiming that they bring this belief and culture of acceptance with them. Due to the isolation their abuser creates, immigrant women are also more likely to lack a social network making it easier for the abuser to cause psychological damage and have complete control (Anderson 2006). De Colores, therefore seeks to ensure and educate that it is necessary and safe to contact police services and demand respect for themselves and their children.
Programs such as De Colores are the pioneers to a greatly ignored sector of domestic violence in regards to minorities. It is pertinent that shelters and programs extend themselves and offer services to cater to the neglected communities in order to stop the vicious cycle of domestic violence. De Colores thrives on the support of the community as well as all who wish to help a cause aimed at the empowerment of women.
Anderson, T. a. (2006). Diverse Faces of Domestic Violence. The ABNF Journal , 130.
Causa, C. P. (2008). De Colores. Retrieved 2010, from Chicanos Por La Causa: www.cplc.org/social-services/domestic-violence-prevention.aspx
Castro, M. (2010, November 8). De Colores. (M. Cabrera, & J. Gomez, Interviewers)
Sumter, M. (2006). Domestic Violence and Diversity: A Call for Multicultural Services. Journal of Health and Human Services Administration , 179.