Alianza Latina en contra la Agresión Sexual
The national Latinx alliance against sexual violence since 2004.
The Symbolism of the Name
The letters in the acronym "ALAS" spell out the word for "wings" in Spanish. A group discussion of the word pepó which in Guaraní (one of the primary native languages still spoken in Paraguay) means to "give your child wings" for development, independence, and advancement - led to unanimous confirmation of the name.
The Alianza Latina en contra la Agresión Sexual (ALAS) is a national Latinx-led membership network of victim advocates working to address and prevent sexual violence. Through collaborative efforts and cyberactivism, ALAS promotes the leadership of Latinx victim advocates and develops models, resources and policies to empower communities and eliminate access barriers for survivors. ALAS honors the diversity of the Latinx culture by respecting the similarities and differences of our languages and histories.
In addition to representation from most of the states with large, or fast-growing Latinx populations, ALAS membership also represents the rich diversity of Latin American communities in the U.S.. Current ALAS members have Latin American cultural roots in Brazil, Cuba, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Argentina, and El Salvador.
Since its inception, 80 Latinx victim advocates, promotoras,
survivors and allies have joined ALAS. While ALAS membership has mirrored the sporadic nature of Latinx victim advocacy positions, ALAS members have continued to advocate for both Latinx outreach and inclusion, and victim rights as human rights.
Fourteen state coalitions have been represented in ALAS:
• Florida Council Against Sexual Violence
• Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault
• Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence
• Michigan Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
• New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault
• North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence
• North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault
• Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence
• Oregon Coalition Against Sexual Assault
• PCAR/National Sexual Violence Resource Center
• Tennessee Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual VViolence
• Texas Association Against Sexual Assault
• Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs
• Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Since its very first online collaboration for a national position statement on eliminating language barrier for Latinx victims of gender-based violence, ALAS has offered the following position statements, official letter, and campaign to respond to issues and inform victim outreach, programming and training.
The position statement on eliminating language barriers. (2004)
The Existe Ayuda Toolkit now available on the OVC website (2011)
Creation of the #YoSoySAAM campaign in 2015 and Twitter chat in 2016
Advocacy, Training, and Activism
ALAS Member Agencies,
Coalitions, & Websites
Since coming together online as a group on February 26, in 2004, ALAS members have worked tirelessly to eliminate language barriers in all aspects of victim advocacy work. We have advocated for more bilingual victim assistance hotline volunteers, more full-time bilingual/bicultural staff, more online information for Spanish-speaking communities, and more Spanish language training opportunities for victim advocates and prevention specialists.
Written by former ALAS member Aline Jesus Rafi, this essay describes the necessary activist nature of ALAS work.
In October 2017, ALAS members did another national review of Spanish language content on state sexual assault, domestic violence, and dual coalition websites. The findings were striking, especially in regions with large Spanish-speaking populations.
The Modern Language Association Language Map can help victim advocates eliminate language barriers for survivors in their state by gaging the number of residents that speak languages
other than English.