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Final Report: Sexual Assault Among Latinas (SALAS) Study

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2010
187 pages
A national sample of 2,000 adult Latino women living in high-density Latino neighborhoods participated in this study, entitled Sexual Assault Among Latinas (SALAS), which determined the prevalence of sexual victimization among these women, as well as the overlap of sexual victimization with other types of victimization, along with victims' formal and informal help-seeking responses.
The study found that 17.2 percent of the women in the sample had been sexually victimized at some point in their lives. A completed sexual assault was experienced by 8.8 percent of the sample; 8.9 percent experienced an attempted sexual assault, and 11.4 percent experienced fondling or forced touch. At least one sexual assault as an adult was experienced by 7.6 percent of the sample, and 12.2 percent had experienced at least one sexual assault as a child. Perpetrators of sexual violence against the women in adulthood were mostly by individuals known to the victim, such as a partner or spouse. Childhood sexual assault was perpetrated mostly by relatives and non-family persons known to the victim. Of those who experienced sexual assault, 87.5 percent experienced at least one other type of victimization; physical violence was the most common form of co-occurring victimization (60.2 percent). Of the women who had been sexually victimized, 66.5 percent sought some form of help. Approximately 21 percent sought one or more types of formal help, with the most common type of help being medical services. Only 6.6 percent of the women contacted police; 7.1 percent obtained a restraining order, and 6.1 percent pressed criminal charges. The study recommends using medical settings as an intervention point for educating the larger Latino community about available services. Trained professionals from an experienced survey research firm conducted phone interviews in either English or Spanish from May through September 2008. 29 tables, approximately 118 references, and appended SALAS survey and research methodology description

Date Published: April 1, 2010