The number of Latinos in Iowa is increasing rapidly. From 2000 to 2014 there has been a 110.5% increase in the Latino population in Iowa. This shows the importance of having a culturally specific organization to serve this population. Today, there are over 33,000 Latino families living in our state. Family is an important factor in the Latino culture, and the average household size is 3.92 versus the Iowan average of 2.97. The services LUNA provides correlate with these values, as we work with parents and families to promote safety and education in relationships. Despite these close ties, Latino families are more likely to experience poverty in their lifetime than white households. The average poverty rate of Latinos in Iowa is 12.2%. Those who fall under this category are considered to be “at risk.” Living in poverty can cause a strain in the family; this may lead to a higher prevalence of domestic violence. The largest population (almost 37,000) of Latinos in Iowa is found in Polk County. This area thus demonstrates the highest need to have a culturally specific organization addressing the problems of domestic violence and sexual assault. (Iowa Data Center 2014).
Latinas and Domestic Violence in America
According to the National Latino Network, one in three Latinas in the United States have experienced some form of domestic violence in their lifetime.
A study that included 2,000 Latinas found 63.1% of women who identified being victimized in their lifetime (i.e., interpersonal victimization such as, stalking, physical assaults, weapon assaults, physical assaults in childhood, threats, sexual assault, attempted sexual assault, etc). reported having experienced more than one victimization, with an average of 2.56 victimizations (Cuevas, C. A., Sabina, C., & Picard, E. H. 2010).
In a sample of over 300 pregnant Latinas, IPV during pregnancy was reported at 10% for physical abuse and 19% for emotional abuse (Martin, K. R., & Garcia, L. 2011).