Put the Focus on Victims
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Key Terms

Multicultural Terms

Acculturation: Adapting or borrowing traits from another culture. It includes merging of traditions as a result of prolonged contact. It should be noted that individuals from culturally diverse groups may desire varying degrees of acculturation into the dominant culture.6

Bicultural: The ability to understand and function effectively in two cultural environments.

Bilingual: The ability to speak effectively in two languages.

Cultural accessibility: Providing services that welcome members of specific cultures. Making services culturally accessible requires SARTs to value diversity, assess services for their application to specific populations, institutionalize culturally specific service delivery, and commit to ongoing training and collaboration with culturally specific organizations.

Cultural competence: An ongoing awareness, sensitivity, regard, and effective response to diverse populations. It requires developing cultural knowledge, resources, and agency flexibility to better meet the needs of underserved populations.

Culture: A system of shared beliefs, values, and customs that members of a society or group use to shape and influence their perceptions and behavior.7 Culture is "an integrated pattern of human behavior that includes thoughts, communications, languages, practices, beliefs, values, customs, courtesies, rituals, manners of interacting, and roles; relationships and expected behaviors of a racial, ethnic, religious, or social group; and the ability to transmit the above to succeeding generations."8

Disability: According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, individuals are considered to have a disability if they (1) have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; (2) have a record of such impairments; or (3) are regarded as having physical or mental conditions that limit the ability to perform a major life activity such as walking, breathing, seeing, hearing, thinking, or working.

Diversity: The differences or unique characteristics among individuals and within communities. Diversity includes differences of race, ethnicity, gender, ability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, religious beliefs, political beliefs, and status in society.

Ethnicity: A large group of people classified according to common racial, national, tribal, religious, linguistic, or cultural origin or background.

Holistic: A comprehensive approach that recognizes and addresses multiple components of victims' lives. A holistic SART response considers how the medical and legal choices of victims can directly affect their healing process. SARTs that consider a range of health care and legal options and address victims' physical, mental, and spiritual needs simultaneously provide holistic care.

Interpreter: An individual trained and certified in facilitating oral, written, or manual communication between two or more people who speak different languages.

Linguistic competence: The capacity to communicate effectively and convey information in a manner that is easily understood by diverse populations.

Multilingual: The ability to speak effectively in two or more languages.

Race: A tribe, people, or nation. The concept of race as used by the U.S. Census Bureau reflects self-identification by people according to the race or races with which they most closely identify.

Underserved: A group of people identified through statistics, strategic planning, or other systematic processes as having a need for and not presently receiving adequate information, services, or support.