Workshop on violence geared for Latinx
Hanncel Sanchez recently formed the nonprofit Mujeres in Action (MiA)—Women in Action—to educate and advocate for the Latinx—a gender inclusive term for Latina and Latino—community about violence against women and children in a culturally and linguistically appropriate way.
She is partnering with Lutheran Community Services (LCS) and the YWCA on a presentation, "Breaking the Silence: Violence in the Family"— "Rompe el Silencio: Violencia en la Familia"—from 6 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 26 at the Philanthropy Center, 1020 W. Riverside Ave.
It is co-sponsored by the Hispanic Business and Professional Association.
The keynote speaker is Gloria Ochoa-Bruck, director of multicultural affairs for the City of Spokane.
Workshop leaders are an immigration attorney at the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, an LCS representative, a YWCA domestic violence advocate and a survivor.
Hanncel was 13 when she came with her parents from Venezuela in 2002, first living with family in New York City and then moving to Orlando, Fla. Her father was a roofer, and her mother cleaned vacation villas.
For Christmas 2013, she and her husband participated when their church, Iglesia el Calvario, gathered gifts for children and women at a women's shelter.
"I was amazed that such a small gesture would bring such joy to children and mothers," said Hanncel.
After graduating from high school in 2007, she received funding for a year-and-a half of tuition at Seminole State College in Sanford, Fla.
Realizing she and her siblings had no future in Florida, she sold her cleaning business, her husband sold his landscaping business, and they moved in 2014 with her family to Seattle, where the Latino Educational Achievement Project (LEAP) helped her sister and brother qualify for college tuition.
In 2015, also through LEAP, she received funding for tuition at Eastern Washington University. Her parents and siblings stayed in Seattle. She started in February 2016 at Eastern Washington University's Women and Gender Studies program.
Hanncel did a research project on sexual assault. In 2017. she gave a presentation at a conference in Utah and began volunteering with LCS on victim sexual assault and domestic violence as a crime victim advocate.
"Sexual assault is about power, not about how someone dresses," she said.
Learning that few Latinx victims came to LCS or the YWCA, Hanncel, who graduates next spring, began a research project on what keeps people from seeking help.
"There is a taboo to talk about gender violence and sexual assault," she said, adding that immigration status and lack of Spanish resources are other factors.
"God put people in my path," she said, of LCS, the YWCA and the Comunidad Cristiana de Spokane in Spokane Valley.
In January, she and her husband began attending the church and connecting with more than 200 others in the Latinx community.
Hanncel, who works part-time as a caregiver, is also active in advocating for immigrant rights.
"I feel called by God to be a voice for the voiceless," she said.
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Copyright@ The Fig Tree, September, 2018