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February 16, 2012

Talking About Sex and Sexual Abuse with Latinas

Olga in discussion about Olga in discussion about "The Sum of My Parts"

In Latino culture you aren’t supposed to talk about your problems. You aren’t supposed to think about yourself if you are a woman. You are supposed to think about your family and care for them. Discussions around consensual sex are not engaged in very easily.

So what happens when you bring a group of women together who are originally from all over Central and South America to talk about sexual assault, child sexual abuse, trauma and DID?

Well, its an interesting conversation with all sorts of indirect communication through body language, people thanking you for coming in the hopes that they can shut down the discussion, when in fact you are in the middle of your discussion. Generational divides happen. Class divides become more obvious. A frank discussion about rape, abuse, trauma, DID and sex after violence happens. In this room, we did what some were afraid to do and we did it because one woman wanted to know and I wanted to answer as if it were a normal thing to talk about.

At one point several of us had a discussion about the word for disorder in Spanish. Does it even mean what we use it for in English? Most of the women in the room took their cues from me. If I was comfortable talking about it they would try. So we went all day talking about all sorts of taboo topics. And finally at the end, several of the women talked about their own experiences as victims of child sexual abuse and rape, depression and in the discussion we cried, and wondered how we would all talk about this again, with Latinas. Their solution, a book club, where they would choose books that helped them discuss the realities of their lives.

It was magical and sad. In my community I am very different and I want to show others the way.
 

 

1 comment for "Talking About Sex and Sexual Abuse with Latinas"

arleth acosta's Gravatar

Me da mucho gusto que estes entablando platicas sobre el abuso sexual con la comunidad latina. Mis amigas y yo, que por sierto tenemos estas platicas regularmente opinamos que este tipo de libros y platicas es loque nuestra comunidad esta necesitando con tanta urjencia. La verdad no e leido tu libro pero estaba lellendo una parte de tu blog. Opino que el trabajo que estas llebando acabo no solo te esta alludando a ti a poder sobrellebar tu diacnostico sino alabes alludas a tantas personas a salir de su carsel en la que viven dia a dia. Senalas que en ocasiones te sientes expuesta, pero desgraciada mente el aberte expuesto de esa manera es la rason por la cual la jente puede asubes realmente abrirse tambien y tomar el toro de los cuernos y desir no esta tan mal del otro lado y entender que aun si salen ala luz y declaran que ellos tambien tienen sus problemas y sus secretos escondidos no pasa nada. Lo mas probable es que otros tambien salgamos ala luz y podamos todos juntos encontrar una solucion a esta cituacin que esta danando a tantos ninos. Especialmente en nuestra cultura. Ese es mi umilde comentario gracias por todo tu esfuerso y sige adelante. sinseramente una ex victima NO MAS NO MAS

arleth acosta wrote on March 07, 2012 at 02:24 PM
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