They come from all walks of life. Some had everything, some have nothing. Some know God, some still seek Him.
Since May 2001, Las Valientes has helped people from different age groups and ethnic cultures. From teens wanting to leave abusive relationships, to grandmothers finally deciding to leave their abusive partners of many years, we have helped people from different countries, cultures, ethnicities and religions. Las Valientes is a project of God’s Heart Ministry, founded by Ana Serrano as a way to provide assistance and support to Hispanic women in San Diego County. We assist women in the Latino community to break free of the chains of violence that bind them.
Our goal is to serve, educate and support MEN and WOMEN in their decision to live a violence free life.
We believe that one of the main causes of domestic violence is a lack of knowledge and information. Because our clients come from male dominated cultures (where women have little or no rights) our clients will often stay in abusive situations because they do not know what their rights are concerning family law issues, immigration issues, and how to access the legal system.
- It takes an average of six months from start to finish for an abused woman to realize that she made the right decision to take action, because she and her children deserve to live a life free of violence.
- During these 6 months Las Valientes will have provided counseling and encouragement to an abused woman by phone and personal contact. Las Valientes staff will accompany her to court appearances, help her with document preparation, and help her in understanding the court process.
- During the process, Las Valientes staff will have referred her to other agencies and resources to help her with other needs she and her children may have.
- Most of all, Las Valientes will stand by her side, helping her each step of the way to become the strong, safe, and confident in her new life away from the abusive person and environment.
Many of our Hispanic ladies believe that “abandono de hogar” (abandoning the home) exists here in San Diego CA.
When we explain to our clients that this is not a law here, and explain that their abuser cannot just walk into court and take their kids away from them, they are more likely to leave the abusive situation because they now understand what the law is here in San Diego. We help these ladies understand how to access the legal system and explain their rights within the court system. When we let them know that we are by their sides; they are more likely to leave the abusive situation and move on with their lives.
The approach that Las Valientes uses is one of advocacy and friendship.
We connect with our clients on a personal level. Having lived through domestic violence ourselves, we understand the need to have someone by their sides to help them through the legal process.
Because many of our clients fear the legal system and do not know how to access it, our hands-on approach has helped many women obtain the legal services they need to break free of the violence that binds them. We believe this approach works best with our clients because it gives them the strength and security they need to stop the violence affecting their lives and safety. Through their relationship with us, our clients don’t feel alone. They have someone to help them with everything from translation and to maneuvering through the court system.
We feel it necessary to use this more friendly hands-on approach over the more commonly used form of empowerment, due to the fact that empowerment simply gives women the phone numbers to other resources, or simply sends the client to the courthouse alone to find the services they need. Typically, that method only leaves women frustrated, alone, and vulnerable. Many simply give up, go home and remain with their abuser.
So break the abusive chain today, and click the button below to get help!