June 28, 2018 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 2 Comments


Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden community based domestic violence program has begun a new group focusing on the Immigrant Latina survivor of intimate partner violence.

Stemming from research conducted by Catherine Marrs-Fuschel, Secret Garden has adopted portions of a curriculum, “Si, yo Puedo.”

This program is meant to work with the immigrant Latina to understand aspects of healthy vs unhealthy relationships and works to improve self-awareness and self-esteem in the Latina immigrant woman. In much of her research Marrs-Fuschel identified various aspects of group care that would make it difficult for Latina immigrant women to be able to benefit from the group setting.

Through her research she identified self-awareness, self-esteem and general knowledge about healthy relationships within the Latinx culture as important factors to address among survivors of intimate partner violence. She noticed that much of the protocol available was not having a great impact on this specific group.

The Secret Garden group is run over the course of 11 weeks. The group focuses on the self and our beliefs, culture identity and self-esteem. The focus of the group is to help women begin to think about their self-identities in relation to their environments and other relationships.

The group discusses important cultural ideas such as “machisimo,” “Marianismo,” and “familismo.” The goal is that over time the participants begin to grow their self-esteem and confidence and be able to decide what are important core values and beliefs.

Secret Garden has adopted various different aspects of the program, has a group running off site on Monday afternoons, and hopes to continue to provide a safe enough place for vulnerable populations.


  1. Maria 2 years Reply

    I was a domestic violence and now I am looking for my own place to live

    • Barrier Free Living 2 years Reply

      call 212 533 4358

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