Language Access for Survivors of Abuse in Philadelphia

Posted by City of Philadelphia on October 25, 2022

Everyone in Philadelphia is entitled to City services in the language they are most comfortable speaking. This means that all City departments must plan for language access. These plans can include live interpretation, on the phone, zoom or in-person, and translation of documents.

Language access is especially important for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, or trafficking who do not speak English. Chi-Ser Tran, Staff Attorney for the Language Access Project and SSI Unit at Community Legal Services says, “Language access is an access to justice issue. It can also mean the difference between life and death in certain situations, including for survivors of abuse.”

Talking about frightening or traumatic experiences is difficult in any language. Survivors with limited English may find healthcare, courts, housing, child welfare, and other systems confusing. Interpretation is critical for survivors to successfully communicate with these systems.

Learn more about language access supports and resources for survivors.

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