Culturally Specific Advocacy

Culturally Specific Advocacy

Culturally-specific advocacy is built upon the framework of designing programs that cater to ethnic or identity-specific groups while considering their language, history, identity, and the context of their historical marginalization and oppression. Advocates draw upon their understanding and connection to their community’s social, political, cultural, and gender issues.

Three Domains of Culture

Culture is often narrowly defined as just ethnic culture, but in reality, we all exist within multiple cultures simultaneously. To be effective, it is essential to comprehend which cultures we are operating in at any given moment.

Culture of Domestic Violence and Gender Inequality

The presence of domestic violence tells us about the presence of inequality in a relationship; the extent of the violence tells us about the extent of the inequality.

All cultures have gender inequality; the degree of inequality differs, the space to push against the boundaries differs and the rigidity with which these structures are maintained differs.

Equality does not imply everything is perfectly divided in half all the time. Rather, it is the space where both members of a couple can negotiate those divisions fairly, without fear.

Culture of Familial and Community Values and Norms

Familial cultural values within relationships should be viewed as being on a continuum where they keep shifting rather than being absolute, fixed positions. E.g., expectations of children’s obedience will vary between parents, at different times, in different places (such as when visiting grandparents).

How family norms operate differs in relationships and changes within relationships.

Cultural norms in communities are dynamic, changing; not confined to one culture but present in all, with different forms of expression and adaptation. E.g., in European culture, arranged marriages are now only sporadically practiced between upper classes to keep or consolidate family wealth or virtue; amongst South Asians, they are practiced traditionally (parents arranging a match) and in modernized form (a global dating service).

This is not to minimize how harmful traditional cultural norms can be but to be reminded about who defines, changes and subverts them.

Culture of Systems

Systems have their own culture – victims/survivors have to function within the culture of shelters, of the courts, of the criminal and civil legal system, immigration system, child welfare system, etc.

The culture of systems can be so prescriptive as to not meet people’s needs. E.g., in a shelter, excessive rules can make refuge and rest impossible.

Systems’ policies and procedures often put the onus on victims instead of providing resources or justice. E.g., in the child welfare system, a worker’s difficulty in addressing paternal violence can result in punitive maternal compliance plans.



Culturally Specific Advocacy Organizations

Please locate community-based organizations below that provide culturally-specific advocacy in our area. These organizations address gender-based violence with a focus on the unique types and dynamics present in specific communities. They aim to challenge stigma and discrimination within both community and systemic contexts while also valuing the healing potential of cultural and spiritual practices. Their approach involves collaboration with service systems to promote accessibility, rather than creating barriers, and acknowledges the impact of historical trauma on these systems.

Deaf / Hard of Hearing Resources

All Deaf individuals, including those with any type of hearing loss, need a safe environment. People with hearing loss are at higher risk of being long-term victims of domestic violence and sexual assault due to the lack of accessible services and resources. Utahns are fortunate to have access to Sego Lily, an advocacy agency culturally and linguistically designed to meet the specific needs of Deaf/Blind and Hard of Hearing victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Sego Lily (SLCAD) provides direct services to victims (finding safe shelter; legal advocacy, counseling, support groups, parenting classes, etc.), support to survivors, inservice training to professionals, education to the Deaf community, and collaboration with service providers.

Please visit the Sego Lily website for more information

Contact Sego Lily:

Main Office Video Phone: 385-474-2083 (daytime)

After Hours Video Phone: 1-855-812-1001 (after hours)



Below are additional resources for the deaf, hard of hearing and blind:

National Deaf Hotline

TTY: 1-800-787-3224

Video Phone: 1-855-812-1001

IM: DeafHotline


Live Chat:

InterWest Interpreting Sign Language

InterWest Interpreting Sign Language provides sign language interpreting for government agencies, healthcare providers, legal and courtroom situations, religious settings, business meetings, mental health settings, theatre and entertainment, conference, educational settings, and other environments.

Phone: (866)224-7683

Video Relay Services (VRS):


Sorenson VRS

Sorenson Relay connects people by delivering video relay and in-person, on-demand interpreting for people who are Deaf and use American Sign Language.

Videophone: 611

Phone: (801) 386-8500


Sanderson Center

The Division of Services of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing elevates, unifies, and empower the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Deafblind Utahns by building an inclusive community with full communication access. This organization provides Case Management Employment Services, Hard of Hearing Services, Outreach and Technology, Utah Interpreter Program.

Phone: (801) 263-4860


Native American Resources

Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women

In the State of Utah, there are 8 federally recognized Tribes. Each Sovereign Nation is located in rural and often isolated areas in Utah. The geographic location of these Nations, as well as a lack of accessible resources available for Native communities, contribute to the barriers that victims face as they seek domestic violence support.

We are fortunate in Utah to have a Tribal sister coalition, Restoring Ancestral Winds (RAW), who is the tribal DV/SA coalition representing the 8 federally recognized Tribes in Utah. RAW provides technical assistance, education, and training for Tribal Nations and Native urban communities in the Great Basin region. They are the coordinating agency in addressing the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, leading the statewide task force to create awareness, build comprehensive and holistic change, and protect Native communities.

Resources for individuals, education, information training for domestic violence programs:

Restoring Ancestral Winds

Restoring Ancestral Winds mission is to support healing in our indigenous communities. We will: advocate for healthy relationships; educate our communities on issues surrounding stalking, domestic, sexual, dating and family violence; collaborate with Great Basin community members and stakeholders; honor and strengthen traditional values of all our relations.  We are always striving to make a difference, and invite you to learn more and lend your support.

Phone: (435) 356-6161


Urban Indian Center of Salt Lake

UICSL is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) look-alike, and is classified by Indian Health Services (IHS) as a Limited- Health Care, and Outreach Referral Service of the Urban Indian Health Organization.  We are able to serve the Utah tribal populations of: Ute, Paiute, Goshute, Dine’/Navajo, Shoshoni, and Arapaho, Oglala Sioux, Cheyenne River Sioux, Wind River Shoshone, Cherokee, and Rosebud Sioux from neighboring states.

Phone: (801) 486-4877


National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center

Dedicated to Restoring Sovereignty and Safeguarding Native Women and Children.

Phone: (855)649-7299


Strong Hearts Native Helpline

Strong Hearts Native Helpline 1-844-7NATIVE (762-8483) is a 24/7 safe, confidential and anonymous domestic, dating and sexual violence helpline for American Indians and Alaska Natives, offering culturally-appropriate support and advocacy.

Phone: 1-844-7NATIVE (762-8483)


ICWA (Indian Child Welfare Act)

The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) of 1978 is Federal law that governs the removal and out-of-home placement of American Indian children. The law was enacted after recognition by the Federal Government that American Indian children were being removed from their homes and communities at a much higher rate than non-Native children. ICWA established standards for the placement of Indian children in foster and adoptive homes and enabled Tribes and families to be involved in child welfare cases. Find resources related to ICWA on their website.


Tribal Law and Policy Institute

The TLPI is a Native American operated non-profit dedicated to providing free publication resources, comprehensive training, and technical assistance for Native nations and tribal justice systems in pursuit of our vision to empower Native communities to create and control their own institutions for the benefit of all community members, now, and for future generations.

Website: Tribal Law and Policy Institute

Assisting Immigrants

Immigrant survivors of domestic and sexual violence often face significant challenges in seeking help, including cultural and linguistic barriers, limited knowledge of their rights, and difficulty navigating complex systems such as immigration, housing, benefits, health care, and legal services. Furthermore, many immigrants fear retaliation from their abusers or deportation if they seek help, which further complicates their situation.

To address these challenges, a number of organizations provide specialized services to support immigrant survivors of domestic and sexual violence. These organizations typically offer culturally competent services in multiple languages, and may provide legal assistance, case management, counseling, and emergency shelter. They also work to educate immigrant communities about their rights and provide training to professionals working with immigrant populations.


Immigration status is often one of those barriers that they consider and is used as a tactic of abuse and may appear in some of these forms:

    • Isolation: Preventing someone from learning English or communicating with friends, family, or others. Moving to places where transportation is not available.
    • Threats: Threatening deportation or withdrawal of petitions for legal status.
    • Intimidation: Destroying legal documents or papers needed in this country, such as passports, resident cards, health insurance, or driver’s licenses.
    • Manipulation Regarding Citizenship or Residency: Withdrawing or refusing to file immigration papers, threatening loss of legal status if abuse is reported.
    • Economic Abuse: Withholding documents to be able to work, making false reports to employers regarding immigration status.
    • Using Children: Threatening to hurt children here or in their home country, threatening to send children away if the police are contacted.

Service providers who understand a survivor’s culture can help the survivor work toward safety and stability in a way that meets the survivor’s unique needs. Many service providers employ staff who are bi-lingual and/or bi-cultural, in order to address the barriers immigrants may face when accessing services, as well as to promote the comfort and safety of immigrants seeking services.

Services & Resources for Immigrants in our communities:

LOCAL Direct Service Providers:

Catholic Community Services

Since 1945, Catholic Community Services of Utah has been empowering people in need along the Wasatch Front to reach self-sufficiency. By giving strength to the weakest in our midst, CCS is able to lovingly serve and provide hope to those with the greatest need in our community regardless of race, religion or personal circumstance.

Phone: (801) 977-9119


For DV related questions, DACA and general consult
Emily McKenzie, Senior Immigration Attorney
(801) 428-1259

707 24th Street Suite 1B
Ogden, Utah
Languages: English & Spanish

Comunidades Unidas

Comunidades Unidas (CU) is an organization founded in 1999 that fights to build the social and political power of people who identify as Latinx immigrants(including undocumented folks) living in Utah. We defend the human rights of our community by connecting them to the social service programs they need to prosper and with opportunities to organize to transform themselves and their community.

At CU we are transforming ourselves to create Utah, a state where our Latinx and immigrant community has the courage to take and use their social and political power in favor of their collective interests. To create a state where our community can live being authentic and true to themselves. We want to make Utah a place where immigrants’ humanity is recognized and immigrants can find a path towards their liberation.

Phone: (801) 487-4143 
Immigration Help Line: (801) 793-7704

Website: https://www.cuutah.orgf
Languages: English & Spanish

Holy Cross Ministries

Holy Cross Ministries is a non-profit organization in Utah that responds to the underserved community’s need for health and well-being. We provide health, education and justice services in collaboration with partners, donors, volunteers, grantors, and the Sisters of the Holy Cross, to ensure that the needs of the most vulnerable among us do not go overlooked.

Phone: (801) 261-3440


International Rescue Committee

The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover and gain control of their future. In more than 40 countries and over 20 U.S. cities, our dedicated teams provide clean water, shelter, health care, education and empowerment support to refugees and displaced people.

Phone: 801-328-1091


Mexican Consulate

Si eres víctima de violencia doméstica y estás encerrada con tu agresor, el Consulado de México pone a tu disposición la ventanilla de Atención Integral a la Mujer (VAIM) la cual brinda los siguientes servicios:

1. El teléfono de emergencias del Consulado funciona 24/7 para atender tus necesidades: (801) 971-7305, puedes enviarnos un mensaje de texto (SMS) o WhatsApp con la palabra SOS . Si nos llamas y te encuentras en peligro puedes simular que estás pidiendo medicamentos a la farmacia o una pizza, nosotros entenderemos de inmediato.

Llama el número para otros servicios. 801-521-8502

Phone: 801-521-8502

For emergency protections: 801-971-7305

Acércate al Departamento de Protección del Consulado de México o comunícate a la línea de emergencias 24/7: 801-971-7305


Moab Multicultural Center

The Moab Valley Multicultural Center’s mission is to build bridges across language and culture through family support, community collaboration and education.

Phone: (435) 259-5444


Refugee & Immigrant Center- Asian Association of Utah

The mission of the Refugee & Immigrant Center is to improve the quality of life for refugees and immigrants in Utah. This program helps victims of trafficking, parolees, asylees, migrants, immigrants and refugees.

This program provides:
– Strengths-based management model
– Empowerment and education about navigating systems independently
– Linguistically and culturally appropriate service
– 8 case managers, 14 languages/dialects spoken, many with refugee backgrounds

Populations served: Refugee,  immigrants, undocumented, limited english, Asian, human trafficking survivors.

Phone: 801-467-6060



Local Legal Services:

Immigrant Legal Services

We are an organization not motivated by profit but with a goal to provide immigrants access to legal help regardless of their ability to pay or the complexity of their case.

Phone: (801) 888-9186


Timpanogos Legal Center

Timpanogos Legal Center is a group of attorneys who provide free legal assistance. TLC’s purpose is to provide legal services and lift those counseled in improving their lives. We hold free legal clinics throughout the state and provide a free legal advice hotline. We primarily seek to serve victims of domestic violence and those without monetary means to retain an attorney for their case.



Mental Health Services:

Multicultural Counseling Center

The mission statement of Multicultural Counseling Center is to provide quality short-term services in a dignified environment and to involve family members in the therapeutic process with the goal of individuals gaining the skills they need to continue to live fulfilling lives. All services are available in English and Spanish

  • Individual therapy
  • Couples therapy
  • Children and adolescents
  • Tele-health counseling
  • Case management and peer support
  • Victims of crime
  • Substance use
  • Groups
  • Immigration evaluation

Call or text: (801) 915 0359


Latino Behavioral Health Services

LBHS is a nonprofit, grassroots organization created to minimize the disparities in access to mental health services among the underserved Latino population of Utah. As a peer run organization, Latino Behavioral Health Services exists to enhance the mental health awareness and well-being of people with mental illness, their care-givers and loved ones through support, education, empowerment, facilitation of resources and services with competent responsiveness to cultural, socio-economic and linguistics characteristics.

Phone: (801) 935-4447


National Services:

Some examples of organizations that provide support to immigrant survivors of domestic and sexual violence include:

  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline: This hotline provides crisis counseling, safety planning, and referrals to local resources for survivors of domestic violence, including those who are immigrants. The hotline is available 24/7 and can provide assistance in over 200 languages.

  • Casa de Esperanza: This national organization provides culturally specific services to Latinx communities impacted by domestic and sexual violence. Casa de Esperanza offers training and technical assistance to organizations working with Latinx communities, and operates a National Latin@ Network that focuses on policy advocacy and research.

  • Tahirih Justice Center: This organization provides legal and social services to immigrant survivors of gender-based violence. Tahirih also advocates for policy changes to protect immigrant survivors and works to raise awareness about the unique challenges that immigrant survivors face.

  • Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence: This organization provides technical assistance, training, and resources to organizations serving Asian and Pacific Islander communities impacted by gender-based violence. The API Institute also advocates for policy changes to address the needs of immigrant survivors and provides leadership development opportunities for survivors and advocates.

By providing specialized support to immigrant survivors of domestic and sexual violence, these organizations help to ensure that survivors can access the resources and services they need to heal and rebuild their lives.


Multi Cultural Resources

International Rescue Committee

The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover and gain control of their future. In more than 40 countries and over 20 U.S. cities, our dedicated teams provide clean water, shelter, health care, education and empowerment support to refugees and displaced people.

Phone: 801-328-1091



Empowered Living Services provide direct services: online support groups, online education, Case Managers and CHW’s. 24/7 no barriers, wrap around services in language when needed English, Spanish, Tongan, Samoan, Marshallese, Pohnpei, Chuukese, Yapese, Krosian and others. Translation services provided and cultural relevant education outreach.

Phone: (801) 793-4639

For Services:


Pride Center LGBTQIA+ Mental Heath Services & More

The Utah Pride Center’s Community Counseling practices an affirmative approach to psychotherapy, working with our young and older folks to uncover their interpersonal concerns within the context of their gender identity or sexual orientation.

Phone: 801-539-8800



Refugee & Immigrant Center- Asian Association of Utah

 The mission of the Refugee & Immigrant Center is to improve the quality of life for refugees and immigrants in Utah. This program helps victims of trafficking, parolees, asylees, migrants, immigrants and refugees.

This program provides:
– Strengths-based management model
– Empowerment and education about navigating systems independently
– Linguistically and culturally appropriate service
– 8 case managers, 14 languages/dialects spoken, many with refugee backgrounds

Populations served: Refugee,  immigrants, undocumented, limited english, Asian, human trafficking survivors.

Phone: 801-467-6060


Sojourner Group 

Sojourner Group focuses on education and awareness specifically for the American Black Woman, as well as education and training opportunities to broaden and deepen advocates and community members’ understanding of the American Black survivor’s experience through a historical context.

Phone: (801) 810-4827



Cherish Families

Communities practicing polygamy have a history of marginalization, criminalization, and isolation, which has led to distrust of government agencies and service providers. This marginalization creates obstacles for those seeking assistance in times of crisis. Cherish Families aims to bridge this gap by offering culturally sensitive support services for survivors of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault from polygamous (plural) families and communities. These services include crime victim advocacy, legal advocacy, mental health services, assistance finding secure housing, self-defense classes, parenting classes, financial literacy, and peer mentoring. Cherish Families also provides cultural competence training to professionals serving survivors from polygamous (plural) communities. 

Phone: (928) 875-0969



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