Our immigration team here at Grassroots Leadership has a Hutto Detention Center program which advocates for human rights monitoring by trained visitation volunteers and lifting the voices of women who dare to speak out. We are in need of assistance with the following situation:
A woman from El Salvador who is seeking asylum and currently detained at the T. Don Hutto detention center in Taylor, Texas would like to visit with someone who has training in mental health. She has courageously decided to speak out about being sexually assaulted by a guard there and is facing retaliation and verbal harassment from guards inside, and the perpetrator of the assault remains employed there. We are looking for someone who speaks Spanish fluently who could go visit with her regularly at the detention center in a mental health capacity (you would be officially entering as her "friend") in the visitation room.
The detention center approaches mental health in an extremely retaliatory way, often by placing people in solitary confinement, so she does not feel comfortable speaking with the facility psychologist or anyone else connected to the detention center, particularly with the increased surveillance she is currently under.
I am not sure if you have any resources to Spanish-Speaking mental health providers OR someone with lived experience that can volunteer to support or counsel her in a confidential and non-clinical capacity. We also are leading a letter campaign to offer support.
If you have any ideas, suggestions, or referrals to offer we would be very grateful. Please contact Latasha and copy Sofia, Bethany and Claudia in the email to discuss further at:
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Thank you for always supporting our community.
Latasha D. Taylor
Mental Health Organizer