GRESHAM —  Dozens of service providers, community partners and domestic violence advocates are expected to descend on Gresham for the first summit of its kind in the Portland metro area.

Voces de la Comunidad is set for July 24-25 at St Henry Parish. Sessions will present an opportunity to learn about unique issues affecting the Oregon Latino community when it comes to domestic violence. Those attending will receive support, ideas and tools to help them better serve Latino survivors of violence.

The conference is organized by Catholic Charities El Programa Hispano Project UNICA. Staff at UNICA (A New Beginning to End Abuse) work with Spanish-speaking individuals and families who are affected by domestic violence and/or sexual assault. The program operates in a bilingual and culturally specific way to respond to the particular needs of members of the Latino community when they experience violence and abuse within the home and elsewhere. Notable achievements of the 20-year-old program include establishing the first Spanish-language, 24-hour crisis line for victims in Oregon.

Workshops at the conference will be offered in Spanish and English with interpretation services available.

Speakers include Angie Mejia of Portland State University discussing the link between depression and violence between intimate partners and Martha Granados and Leticia Villegas of Project UNICA describing how to work with male survivors of domestic violence. Other topics on the agenda include rural survivors, language interpretation, the importance of culturally specific prevention and intervention funding and the relationship between the Latino community and law enforcement agencies.