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What Do Women Need? A 2 0 1 0 R e po rt o n S L O Co un ty Wo m en an d G irls

P r e pa r e d b y t h e W o m e n ’ s L e g a c y F u n d an endowment held at the SLO County Community Foundation


A b o u t t h e W o m e n ’ s L e gac y F u n d

The Women’s Legacy Fund was created in 2003 by the Board of Directors of the San Luis Obispo County Community Foundation. It is the only endowment in the county exclusively dedicated to increasing and perpetuating financial support for community programs that specifically address the needs of women and girls. The Women’s Legacy Fund also aims to raise women’s awareness of their philanthropic potential. We recognize that gender-specific issues have been barriers to women leading successful, fulfilling lives. We aim to address these issues by focusing our grant making on education, health, economic independence, the social environment and women’s role in society.


What Do Women Need? A 2 0 1 0 R e p o r t o n S L O C o u n t y W o m e n a n d G i rls

Ta b l e o f C o n t e n t s Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 1—2

Executive Summary  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 3—4

Survey of College Women . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 5—12

Survey of Senior Women . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 13—18

Survey of Latinas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 19—26

Latinas: In Their Own Words . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 27—28

Survey of Non-Profit Organizations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 29—30

Relevant Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 31—42

Guide to Relevant Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 43—44

Survey Methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 45—46

For Survey Instruments, Data Table Index and Data Tables, please go online to www.sloccf.org/wlf


INT R ODU C TION

Introduction

To better understand the needs of women in San Luis Obispo County, the Women’s Legacy Fund set out to gather and review all the available data on the status of women and girls here. That data sparked our interest in three distinct populations: college women, Latinas and women over 60. We surveyed these groups in February and March 2010; over 750 women responded. We also surveyed local non-profit organizations serving girls and women. We report here on what they told us about women’s needs and the obstacles women face in finding help. This report also includes a compendium of data from various sources on the status of girls and women in San Luis Obispo County. We collected and reviewed all of this information with the purpose of informing our grant making. We are also sharing this information with local policy makers, legislators, service providers, advocates and the public. It is our hope that this report will result in more strategic funding and programming to improve the lives of women and girls in San Luis Obispo County. It should be noted that there are limitations to these surveys; the research findings cannot be generalized to the entire population of the county, as the sample demographics do not match, in all aspects, the demographics of the county’s population. Nonetheless, it is our hope that this report will educate the public and the policy makers, and will serve as a social action tool.


INT R ODU C TION

This report was developed by women from many arenas in San Luis Obispo County. We are grateful beyond measure for their wise counsel and hard work. We would like to thank: Barbara Bell, Advisory Committee Member, Women’s Legacy Fund Paulette Claire, Commission on the Status of Women Marty Claus, Advisory Committee Member, Women’s Legacy Fund Robyn Letters, Principal, Opinion Studies Jane Morgan, PhD, Chair of Social Sciences, Cuesta College Missy Reitner-Cameron, Principal, iii DESiGN Ann Robinson, Chairperson, Women’s Legacy Fund Sara Shaw, Program Assistant and Survey Coordinator, Women’s Legacy Fund Estella Vasquez, ESL Outreach and Retention Specialist, Cuesta College Janice Fong Wolf, Director of Grants and Programs, SLO County Community Foundation

With special appreciation to Sara Shaw for her hard work in designing the surveys, collecting secondary data, and coordinating the survey process.

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E X E C UTI V E

S UMM A R Y

Revealing statistics Earlier this year, to inform our grant-making, the San Luis Obispo County Community Foundation’s Women’s Legacy Fund gathered data from the Web, surveyed local non-profit organizations, and surveyed three key populations in San Luis Obispo County: college women, senior women and Latinas. More than 750 women replied to our surveys. The findings confirm that there is strong demand for services and programs that specifically address the needs of women and girls. There is clearly a need to communicate what help is available, as well as the need to help women and girls overcome the barriers to access. We are sharing our findings with local policy makers, legislators, service providers, advocates and the public. It is our hope that this information will result in more strategic funding and programming to improve the lives of women and girls in San Luis Obispo County. It should be noted that there are limitations to this research; it cannot be generalized for the entire population of the county, as the sample demographics do not match in all aspects the demographics of the county’s population. Nonetheless, it is our hope that this single resource of quantitative and qualitative data will educate the public and the policy makers, and will serve as a social action tool.

We scoured the Web for the most current regional and state data about women and girls. Among our findings: - Drinking among teenage girls has increased significantly since 1999, with 11th-grade girls now reporting higher rates of alcohol use than their male peers, 44% vs. 38%. (SLO County Community Wide Results Report, 2007) - The forcible-rape crime rate per 100,000 is 39.3 in SLO County vs. 23.3 statewide. (Office of the Attorney General, Criminal Justice Statistics Center, 2008) - The percentage of adult females who indicated they needed help for emotional/mental health problems or use of alcohol/drugs in the past year is 23.7% in SLO County and 19.6% statewide. (California Health Interview Survey, 2007) Our complete report includes a compendium of such information, organized in the categories of demographics, economic stability, education, health and safety. We also provide a guide to relevant resources on the Web.

Critical issues In all four of our local surveys —college women, senior women, Latinas and non-profit organizations— we asked respondents to rank the top five issues (from a list of 22) they believe need to be addressed in order to improve the lives of women and girls in San Luis Obispo County. This question asked about improving the lives of SLO County females in general, and thus reflects a broader perspective of needs. “Basic needs” (defined as food, clothing, housing, employment) and education were among the top five issues in every survey. Adequate, affordable child care was among the top five issues for all except college women, and even with this group, it was important. Each survey also brought some different issues to the forefront. For college students issues were self-esteem, sexual assault and substance abuse; for seniors issues were elderly needs and transportation; and for Latinas teenage pregnancy and lack of opportunities. All three groups of women were asked if they felt they have reasonable access to any help they may need (from a list of 11 areas). Financial management, legal assistance, affordable housing, and health care were among the top six areas in every survey population.


Among Latinas, an overwhelming majority (70.4%) said they did not have reasonable access to help with financial management; affordable housing (62.3%); legal assistance (58.7%); mental-health services (54.2%); and health care (52.2%). Among senior women, 31.7% said they did not have reasonable access to help with affordable housing; mental-health services (28.2%); transportation (26.5%); financial management (25.9%), health care (23.3%); and legal assistance (22.4%). These findings point to a need for organizations to work on increasing their accessibility by overcoming the barriers unique to each group.

Distinct populations, distinct needs While common issues and needs exist among the three groups, unique questions were also posed to each of the study populations. Seniors and Latinas were asked about what prevents them from getting the help they need. Seniors cited finances as the biggest barrier, followed by not knowing what services are available and not knowing how to access them. Not knowing what services are available and not knowing how to access them appeared to be a problem across all income levels. Latinas also cited finances as the biggest barrier, followed closely by language. A third of the Latinas cited not knowing what services are available, and over a quarter cited not knowing how to access them. Being “intimidated and/or hesitant to ask for help” was also cited as a barrier. Latinas and seniors were also asked about their personal sense of security —financially, emotionally and physically. Overall, respondents felt secure emotionally and physically. Financial security is a different issue: 66.5% of Latinas and 23.4% of seniors reported feeling not secure at all, or slightly secure financially. Latinas were asked how often they had faced discrimination in the past year: 10.7% said very often, 18.3% said often, 30.5% said occasionally, 25.4% said rarely and 15.2% said never. Latinas also were asked, if they had faced discrimination in the past year, to what degree it had negatively influenced their lives: 42.5% said not at all, 39.2% said somewhat and 18.3% said greatly.

E X E C UTI V E S UMM A R Y

Among college students, 46.6% said they did not have reasonable access to help with financial management; legal assistance (44.7%); affordable housing (43.5%); health care (36.4%); and affordable, adequate child care (33.3%).

Focus groups with Latinas showed their concerns were centered on their families’ ability to succeed. Obtaining a good education for their children, safe after-school programs, and preventing teenage pregnancy were priorities. Many Latinas acknowledged that they and their children suffer from issues related to low self-esteem, due in part to their limited job skills and/or their inability to speak fluent English. Cultural attitudes toward women, espoused by their husbands and families of origin, were cited as barriers to their education. College women were asked about lifestyle behaviors, including alcohol and drug use and sexual-health practices. Over one-quarter of the college women reported that they drink two or more times a week. How often they drink did not seem to be influenced by whether they are of legal age. When asked about sexual activity, 78.2% said they had been sexually active in the past year. Of those who had been sexually active, 68.1% said they had engaged in some type of unprotected sex. Nearly a quarter said they seek medical assistance or would seek medical assistance from organizations not associated with their school. These findings point to a need for preventive health education and services for college students. Non-profit organizations surveyed were keenly aware of the negative impact of the current economy on women and girls. They cited poverty and self-esteem among the top five issues. They said basic needs must be met before other issues can be addressed. One respondent said, “Poverty is an underlying cause of most of the issues.” In this economy, they said, they are seeing women who had not sought help previously. “Some women need help who have never needed it before,” one respondent said. “They’re embarrassed, they don’t know where to go, and they struggle with how to improve their situation.” Throughout the survey process, it was clear that women appreciated the opportunity to be heard and non-profit organizations valued the opportunity to share their thoughts. Their feedback confirms the need for existing programs, identifies the need for expanded programs, and the need for more effective community outreach to educate residents about existing programs. It is our hope that policy makers, legislators and service providers will use this information to reassess their strategies to improve the lives of women and girls in San Luis Obispo County.

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S U R V EY O F C O L L E G E W OMEN

WHO WE SURVEYED We received responses from 297 female college students who reside in San Luis Obispo County; about half were Cal Poly students and half were Cuesta College students. Nearly three-quarters lived in the city of San Luis Obispo. More than three-quarters were 25 or younger. Most of the students listed their income as under $15,000. Most were undergraduates, but a few had completed undergraduate degrees and two had master’s degrees.

What do college women see as the issues?

Question: Rank the top five issues, using only the (22) options below, that you believe need to be addressed in order to improve the lives of women and girls in San Luis Obispo County. When asked to rank the top five issues, “basic needs” (defined as food, clothing, housing and employment) was ranked most often as the first choice (18.1%). In descending order, the following issues were also ranked as first choice, education (13.9%); self-esteem (10.8%); sexual assault (10.8%); and child care (8.1%). When all choices were combined, self-esteem was the one issue mentioned most often, with over half (55.9%) of those who answered this question ranking it among the top five issues. The other four most often mentioned issues were education (43.5%), basic needs (42.2%), sexual assault (39.6%) and substance abuse (34.7%).


C O L L E G E W OMEN

Iss u e s Affordable, adequate child care Basic needs (food, clothing, housing, employment)

S U R V EY O F

Domestic violence Education Elderly needs Financial literacy Fragmentation of services Hopelessness Lack of mentors Lack of opportunities Lack of role models Pay inequality Peer pressure Poverty Resources Self-esteem Sexual assault Substance abuse Teenage pregnancy Traditional gender roles Transportation Violence (in general)

“When all choices were combined, self-esteem was the one issue mentioned most often...” A 2 0 1 0 RE P ORT ON S L O COUNTY W OMEN AND GIR L S

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S U R V EY O F C O L L E G E W OMEN

Do college women feel they have reasonable access to help?

Question: Do you feel you have reasonable access to any help you may need in the following areas?

Do college women seek help or would they seek help off-campus?

Question: Do you seek help or assistance ‌ from any organizations not associated with your school in San Luis Obispo? Question: If answered yes, or would like to, ‌ what types of help or assistance do you, or would you, seek from those organizations?


C O L L E G E W OMEN

Although the number of students indicating they don’t have reasonable access to services was small, there was a difference between Cal Poly and Cuesta responses. In every area mentioned (except access to food or meals and access to legal assistance), Cuesta students indicated they felt they had less access to help than Cal Poly students indicated. Of those who said they don’t have reasonable access to services, approximately two-thirds were from Cuesta and one-third from Cal Poly.

S e rv i c e A r e as Affordable housing Childcare Domestic violence Drug/alcohol treatment Education

S U R V EY O F

The largest percentage (46.6%) said they do not have reasonable access to help with financial management; followed by legal assistance (44.7%); affordable housing (43.5%); health care (36.4%); and child care (33.3%).

Financial management Food/meals Health care Legal assistance Mental health services Transportation

Almost half the students said they seek help outside school or would seek help outside school. Of students indicating they seek or would seek help off campus, 57.5% were from Cuesta. Medical help is most often cited, with 24.2% indicating they seek or would seek medical help offcampus; 19.9% seek or would seek financial help off-campus, and 17.2% seek or would seek help with employment services off-campus. For basic needs and for reproductive health, 14.8% seek or would seek help off-campus.

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S U R V EY O F C O L L E G E W OMEN

Lifestyle: Drinking

Question: On average, how often do you drink alcohol? About one third (33.2%) of the students said they never drink or drink less than once a month. Slightly more (39.2%) indicated they drink two to four times a month. More than one-quarter (27.5%) drink two or more times a week. Of those who said they never drink or drink less than once a month, 60.5% are Cuesta students. Of those who drink two or more times a week, 59.4% are Cal Poly students. How often they drink does not seem to be influenced by whether they are of legal age. Among those who drink, the most common reason given was “to have more fun,” followed by “to relax or relieve stress,” “to meet people/make friends,” “because it is normal to drink in college” and “because it is something to do.” The only noticeable difference between the colleges regarding reasons to drink was with respondents who said they drink “because it is normal to drink in college,” “to meet people/make friends,” or “because it is something to do.” Cal Poly students chose those reasons more often than Cuesta students did, a difference of about 60% to 40% for each of the three choices


C O L L E G E W OMEN S U R V EY O F

33% 28%

39%

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S U R V EY O F C O L L E G E W OMEN

Lifestyle: Drug use

Question: On average, how often do you use drugs (other than alcohol) recreationally? More than two-thirds (68.8%) of all respondents said they have never used drugs other than alcohol. There are no significant differences between Cuesta and Cal Poly students with regard to drug use, and there was no difference in usage by age.

Lifestyle: Sexual activity

Question: Have you been sexually active within the past year? Question: If yes ‌ Have you ever engaged in any type of unprotected sex (including vaginal, anal and oral)? Question: If yes ... Why did you engage in unprotected sex? Over three-quarters (78.2%) said they have been sexually active in the past year. More Cuesta students (87.1%) said they had been sexually active in the past year than students at Cal Poly (70.0%). Of those who said they had been sexually active in the past year, over two-thirds (68.1%) said they had engaged in some type of unprotected sex. The most common reason given for unprotected sex was being in a long-term relationship; over one-third (36.0%) gave that as a reason. Other reasons: 9.1% said they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and 8.4% said there was no protection available at the time.


C O L L E G E W OMEN

7% 9%

S U R V EY O F

15%

69%

Quality of life

Question: On a scale from 1-10 (1 being poor and 10 being excellent), how would you rate the overall quality of life here in San Luis Obispo County for you and your household? The average was 7.6.

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S U R V EY O F S ENIO R W OMEN

WHO WE SURVEYED We received responses from 257 senior women (women over 60). Nearly two-thirds had a household income of $75,000 or less. More than threequarters lived in their own home or with family. Over half had a bachelor’s degree or higher; over one-quarter had a master’s degree or higher. Women from the North Coast were somewhat overrepresented in this survey population, as were women from the city of San Luis Obispo; women in South County were underrepresented.

What do senior women see as the issues?

Question: Please rank the top five issues, using only the options from the list below, that you believe need to be addressed in order to improve the lives of women and girls in San Luis Obispo County.


S ENIO R W OMEN

Iss u e s Affordable, adequate child care

S U R V EY O F

Basic needs (food, clothing, housing, employment) Domestic violence Education Elderly needs Financial literacy Fragmentation of services Hopelessness Lack of mentors Lack of opportunities Lack of role models Pay inequality Peer pressure Poverty Resources Self-esteem Sexual assault Substance abuse Teenage pregnancy Traditional gender roles Transportation Violence (in general)

When asked to rank the top five issues, “basic needs� (defined as food, clothing, housing and employment) was ranked by over a third (34.8%)of the respondents as the first choice. In descending order, the following issues were also ranked as first choice: affordable, adequate child care (11.6%); elderly needs (10.1%); education (7.2%); and poverty (6.3%). When all choices were combined, basic needs was the one issue mentioned most often, with almost two-thirds (64.5%) of those who answered this question ranking it among the top five issues. More than half the respondents (51.4%) chose it as their first or second choice. The other four most often mentioned issues were elderly needs (47.8%), education (39.4%), affordable, adequate child care (38.6%) and transportation (33.1%).

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S U R V EY O F S ENIO R W OMEN

Do senior women feel they have reasonable access to help?

Question: Do you feel you have reasonable access to any help you may need in the following (11) areas? The largest percentage (31.7%) said they do not have reasonable access to help with affordable housing; followed by mental health services (28.2%); transportation (26.5%); financial management (25.9%); health care (23.3%) and legal assistance (22.4%).

What are the barriers to getting help?

Question: What are the barriers, if any, preventing you from getting the help you may need? Finances were mentioned as the biggest barrier to getting help, cited by 29.6%. Next most often mentioned was not knowing what services are available (24.1%), and third most often mentioned was not knowing how to access services (14.8%). Knowledge of available services and how to access them appears to be a problem across all income levels.


S ENIO R W OMEN

s e rv i c e ar e as Affordable housing Childcare Domestic violence Drug/ alcohol treatment

S U R V EY O F

Education Financial management Food/meals Health care Legal assistance Mental health services Transportation

Barr i e r C h o i c e s Finances Transportation Staff/family barriers Don’t know how to access services Don’t know what services are available Intimidated and/or hesitant to ask for help Other Don’t know

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S U R V EY O F S ENIO R W OMEN

How secure do senior women feel – physically, emotionally and financially?

Question: How secure do you feel in the following areas: physically, emotionally and financially? Over two-thirds of senior women said they feel very secure or extremely secure physically (68.1%) and emotionally (67.6%). Fewer than 10 percent feel only slightly secure or not secure at all physically (8.6%) and emotionally (8.1%). Financial security is a different issue. Less than half (48.3%) said they feel very secure or extremely secure financially. Nearly one-quarter (23.4%) said they feel slightly secure or not at all secure financially.

Quality of life

Question: On a scale from 1-10 (1 being poor and 10 being excellent), how would you rate the overall quality of life here in San Luis Obispo County for you and your household? The average was 8.1.


S ENIO R W OMEN S U R V EY O F

“Less than half (48.3%) said they feel very secure or extremely secure financially...” A 2 0 1 0 RE P ORT ON S L O COUNTY W OMEN AND GIR L S

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S U R V EY O F L A TIN A S

SURVEY OF LATINAS To survey Latinas, we provided questionnaires in English and Spanish, and we conducted focus groups with bilingual facilitators so participants could talk about their needs in Spanish and English. The expectation was that Latinas would be more comfortable using their own words. Information from the focus groups is consistent with information from the questionnaires. The questionnaire data is summarized below, followed by a report on the focus groups.

WHO WE SURVEYED We received responses from 223 women, 96.9% of whom identified themselves as primarily Hispanic. Nearly half (107) used the Spanish version of the survey. About a third of the respondents lived in South County, and about a third in North County. Over three-quarters were 45 or younger, with the average age being about 34. With regard to educational attainment, 20.6% had not finished high school, 30.4% had a high school degree, 33.0% attended some college or earned a two-year degree and 16.0% had a bachelor’s degree or higher. On average, there were 2.39 adults 18 or older in the household, and 1.75 children under 18.

What do Latinas see as the issues?

Question: Rank the top five issues, using only the (22) options below, that you believe need to be addressed in order to improve the lives of women and girls in San Luis Obispo County.


L A TIN A S

Iss u e s Affordable, adequate child care

S U R V EY O F

Basic needs (food, clothing, housing, employment) Domestic violence Education Elderly needs Financial literacy Fragmentation of services Hopelessness Lack of mentors Lack of opportunities Lack of role models Pay inequality Peer pressure Poverty Resources Self-esteem Sexual assault Substance abuse Teenage pregnancy Traditional gender roles Transportation Violence (in general)

When asked to rank the top five issues, affordable, adequate child care was ranked most often as the first choice (24.0%). In descending order, the following issues were also ranked as first choice, “basic needs� (defined as food, clothing, housing, employment) (19.0%); education (16.8%); teenage pregnancy (11.2%); and domestic violence (6.3%). When all choices were combined, education was the one issue mentioned most often, with almost two-thirds (63.8%) of those who answered this question ranking it among the top five issues. The other four most often mentioned issues were basic needs (49.0%), child care (44.0%), teenage pregnancy (41.5%) and lack of opportunities (30.7%). Substance abuse, domestic violence and self-esteem were said to be among the top five issues by at least one-quarter of the Latinas.

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S U R V EY O F L A TIN A S

Do Latinas feel they have reasonable access to help?

Question: Do you feel you have reasonable access to any help you may need in the following areas? Several areas of need were cited by more than half of the Latina respondents. The largest percentage (70.4%) said they do not have reasonable access to help with financial management; followed by affordable housing (62.3%); legal assistance (58.7%); mental health services (54.2%); and health care (52.2%).

What are the barriers to getting help?

Question: What are the barriers, if any, preventing you from getting the help you may need? Respondents cited finances as the biggest barrier to getting help; 43.0% cited finances, followed by language (40.4%), not knowing what services are available (33.6%) and not knowing how to access services (28.7%). A quarter (25.6%) said they are “intimidated and/or hesitant to ask for help,� and a quarter (25.1%) said education is a barrier. Transportation and finances appeared to be larger barriers in North County than elsewhere. Family barriers appeared to be a larger issue in South County than elsewhere. Language appeared to be less of a barrier among South County Latinas.


S e rv i c e A r e as Affordable housing L A TIN A S

Childcare Domestic violence Drug/alcohol treatment

S U R V EY O F

Education Financial management Food/meals Health care Legal assistance Mental health services Transportation

Barr i e r C h o i c e s Finances Transportation Staff/family barriers Don’t know how to access services Don’t know what services are available Intimidated and/or hesitant to ask for help Other Don’t know

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S U R V EY O F L A TIN A S

How secure do Latinas feel – physically, emotionally and financially?

Question: How secure do you feel in the following areas: physically, emotionally and financially? Three-quarters said they feel secure or extremely secure physically (76.0%) and emotionally (76.7%). Those with a high school diploma or less reported feeling less secure physically than those with more education. Education did not appear to make a difference in emotional security.

Regarding financial security, two-thirds (66.5%) said they feel slightly secure or not secure at all; one-third (33.5%) said they feel secure, very secure or extremely secure. Of those who feel insecure financially, 72.4% indicated they do not have reasonable access to affordable housing, 61.3% do not have reasonable access to health care and 64.6% do not have reasonable access to mentalhealth services. Essentially half (49.3%) of those not feeling secure financially indicated they do not have reasonable access to substance-abuse services.

Quality of life

Question: On a scale from 1-10 (1 being poor and 10 being excellent), how would you rate the overall quality of life here in San Luis Obispo County for you and your household? The average was 7.2.


L A TIN A S S U R V EY O F

“Regarding financial security, two-thirds said they feel slightly secure or not secure at all” A 2 0 1 0 RE P ORT ON S L O COUNTY W OMEN AND GIR L S

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Discrimination

S U R V EY O F L A TIN A S

Question: As a Latina, how often have you faced any type of discrimination in the past year? Over half (59.4%) said they face discrimination very often (10.7%); often (18.3%); or occasionally (30.5%). On the other hand, well over one-third said they rarely (25.4%) or never (15.2%) face discrimination.

Question: If you have faced discrimination in the past year, to what degree has it negatively influenced your life? Of those who have faced discrimination in the past year, 18.3% said it had negatively influenced their life greatly, 39.2% said it had a somewhat negative influence and 42.5% said it had not negatively influenced their life. There appears to be a relationship between frequency and impact on their life; the more often they faced discrimination, the more negatively it influenced their life. By far the majority (82.4%) said they feel accepted as a community member in San Luis Obispo County.


L A TIN A S S U R V EY O F 18.3%

42.5%

“By far the majority said they feel accepted as a community member in San Luis Obispo County”

39.2%

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A Summary of Focus Group Discussions with Latinas

IN THEI R O W N W O R D S

Who participated Five focus groups were conducted in various neighborhoods. Three sessions were conducted in Spanish, and two in both Spanish and English. Participants, aged 18 to 60, came from varying backgrounds. A few were born in the United States; most elsewhere. Some have lived in San Luis Obispo County for many years, others arrived recently. Some are from Mexico and others are from Chile, Guatemala, Peru, Colombia and Spain. Some had little formal education while others earned degrees in their native countries or in the United States. Most were married, and nearly all had children.

What they said generally Participants expressed gratitude for being in San Luis Obispo County, but identified many barriers to success for Latinas here. These barriers ranged from the area’s high cost of living and limited public transportation system to issues like self doubt, cultural conflicts, and cultural biases against women’s independence.

What they said about their children Above all else, participants voiced concerns about the well-being of their children. Most believe that their children are safer and better off in San Luis Obispo County than they would be elsewhere, but many noted that parents are not always equipped to help children address the challenges they face. Among their top concerns were motivating their children to stay in school and do well in school, and helping them navigate between two sometimes conflicting cultures. “We are here in this country because we want our children to get a decent education,” said several participants. But, another observed, “My son acts like a robot sometimes when it comes to going to school. He suffers from low selfesteem because he doesn’t fit in very well, so it is hard to get him to focus.” She added, “The values and customs taught in our home are not the same as those taught at school. He doesn’t know where he belongs and sometimes he feels like he doesn’t belong anywhere.” Another said, “My daughter does not know whether she is Mexican or American. She isn’t comfortable with either group.” Participants observed that these and other factors have led to an

alarmingly high drop-out rate for Latino students, which parents feel helpless to stem. Some mothers expressed a wish for more programs like the Parent Institute for Quality Education, to teach parents how to help children stay in school and obtain higher education. Several said their children feel demeaned because they come from cultures that have little visibility in San Luis Obispo County. They noted that there are few Latinos in positions of authority here, and that schools and communities do little to promote an appreciation of Latino cultures. As one woman said, “It would be nice if we had a way to get together to know each other and to celebrate and embrace our differences.” Another said, “People in the county sometimes act like Latinos don’t live here.” She and others observed that it would be helpful to have more bilingual and bicultural personnel in schools, community centers, hospitals and government offices. “I have to take my 14-year-old son to interpret for me, even when I go to the doctor,” said one woman. They also said it would be helpful if more forms and information brochures were available in Spanish. Preventing teen pregnancy was a major concern. One woman observed: “It seems there are lots of services here for girls once they get pregnant, but there aren’t many services to help them prevent it.” And another woman described taking her daughter to Planned Parenthood to get her “set up with birth control,” most expressed uncertainty about how to discuss sex, abstinence and birth control with their sons and daughters. One woman said, “I want to learn how to talk to my kids so they don’t become parents at an early age. I don’t know how to talk to my daughter about those topics (sex and birth control). It’s not something we talk about in our culture. My mother never talked to me about sex, and I don’t know what to say to my daughter. And I really don’t know what to say to my son.” One woman expressed concern about the American custom of teenage parties. “In Mexico, when we go to a party, the invitation is for the whole family, but here in the United States, most teenagers like to go alone or with their friends to parties, and the family is not included. Who knows what happens at those parties.” Participants were concerned about finding constructive after-school activities for their children. Because parents are often working two or more jobs, teenagers are not always supervised after school. Supervised and affordable recreational options are limited, so teenagers often end up watching TV or playing video games or “hanging out in groups.” Several women said


What they said about themselves The Latinas also discussed barriers in their own lives. Many suffer (like their children do) from low self-esteem due to limited language skills or job skills. One woman reported that her son won’t let her go to school with him because he is embarrassed by her poor English and her clothing. Participants generally said they have the potential to do better than they are doing and they see education (for themselves as well as their children) as the key to unlocking that potential. However, getting more education and training is difficult, given their work schedules, child-care restraints, lack of transportation and limited resources in the community. Several noted cultural attitudes toward women espoused by their husbands and families stand between themselves and more education. Asked how they would change their world if they could, one woman said she would “change her husband’s ideas.” She said, “In my country, men hold women back. Men believe that women only need to know how to cook and clean, not how to do anything else.” Another said her parents asked her to quit school and go to work, reasoning that she would get married and have children so her education was unimportant. Another said she is the oldest of 10 children and that her parents’ attitudes toward education have changed over time. “When I was young, my parents told me it wasn’t important for me to go to college. Today, my mother thinks differently. She is making sure that my youngest sister stays in school and goes to college.” All acknowledged that becoming fluent in English is essential to improving their lives. Without fluency, their job options are limited to working in the fields

More than one participant talked about a need for ESL and training programs (particularly in computer technology) before or after work or on their lunch breaks, at or near their places of employment. For most, this would be more practical than trying to take classes in the evening, or at another location. Several participants reported incidents of discrimination in San Luis Obispo County. One woman talked about being in a restaurant with her family and being virtually ignored while waiters catered to non-Latino families. Another talked about visiting a retailer with cash in hand A 2 0 1 0 RE P ORT ON S L O COUNTY W OMEN AND GIR L S

to purchase a major household item. “Not even one sales clerk came up to me to ask if they could help or even say hello,” she said. Others talked about discrimination at their places of employment. Some incidents involved customers; others involved actions by their employers. One participant said she felt her employer was taking advantage of her illegal status by paying her less than minimum wage; uncertain of her legal rights and fearful of losing her job, she was reluctant to report the employer to the authorities. Others said they, too, are uncertain about their legal rights and where to get legal information and support if and when they need it. In general, older Latinas reported more incidents of discrimination. All reported struggling with financial issues and some with abject poverty. Some hold down multiple jobs, but many do not understand how to manage their finances or how to establish credit. Most were unaware of services that could help them with high school and college costs. More than one woman admitted she did not know the difference between a loan and a scholarship. Another said she did not know about the state law that allows undocumented students to pay instate tuition if they have spent at least three years at a California high school, and graduated from a California high school or received a GED (AB 540). Several talked about having high creditcard debt and wished they could take a workshop to learn how to reduce their debt. Others reported that they always pay cash, in part because they don’t understand credit or the positive aspects of establishing credit.

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L A TIN A S

Other stories illustrate a difference in family values and customs. One woman said, “Sleeping over at a friend’s house is very common here, I gather from my daughter, but it is not at all acceptable in the Latino culture. We just don’t allow our daughters to sleep in another man’s house.” Another observed that American families expect their children to leave the family home at age 18. She said, “That is not customary in our families. We expect and want our children, especially our daughters, to live with us until they get married.”

or in the service industry. Others said lack of fluency prevents them from being more involved in their children’s education. “I don’t feel comfortable at school programs or meetings because I really don’t understand what is being said,” one woman noted. One well educated, non-Englishspeaking woman who arrived recently from South America observed that most ESL classes are designed for people who aren’t literate in Spanish or English. “These programs take four or five years to get through. I’d like something that would help me become fluent faster,” she said. “Agencies here and also businesses seem to treat all Latinos the same. We aren’t. Just because we have dark skin and speak Spanish does not mean we are from Mexico or that we are undocumented or uneducated. Some of us have different skills and different needs.” By contrast, others who are illiterate wished they could take classes first in Spanish to help them read or write in Spanish, and then take classes in English. “It would be easier to learn to read and write in my own language first, and then I could learn to read and write in English. It would also be easier to have some job training in Spanish.”

S U R V EY O F

gang activities are becoming increasingly common in their neighborhoods, and they worry that their children will be attracted to gangs. They also worry about drugs and alcohol, and said there is a lack of information about how parents can talk to their children to prevent abuse.


O R G A NI Z A TION S NON - P R O F IT OF S U R V EY

Nineteen diverse organizations serving women and girls in San Luis Obispo County responded to our questionnaire. They included agencies that address specific issues such as sexual assault and child care, and agencies that deal with general issues families face, such as homelessness, mental illness and other disabilities. The first question asked respondents to consider a list of 22 issues and rank the top five issues facing women and girls in San Luis Obispo County. All other questions were open ended. We asked the agencies to discuss the issues and what types of programs and services need to be created; we asked how the major issues have changed, and we asked them to describe successes they have had in assisting women and girls.

Boys and Girls Club of No. SLO County Boys and Girls Club of So. SLO County Cal Poly Women’s Programs & Services CAPSLO Child Care Resource Connection City of SLO Parks & Recreation Community Counseling Center Community LINK Food Bank Coalition of SLO County Paso Robles Housing Authority Prado Day Center Sexual Assault Recovery & Prevention Center SLO Child Abuse Prevention Council SLO Public Health Dept Society of Women Engineers South County SAFE Transitional Food & Shelter Transitions-Mental Health Association United Way of SLO County Women’s Community Center of SLO

What do they see as the most significant issues? We asked non-profit organizations to select, from a list of 22 items, the top five issues facing women and girls in San Luis Obispo County. “Basic needs” (food, clothing, housing, employment) was listed most often as the top issue, with over one-quarter (26.3%) choosing it as their first choice. That was followed by poverty and affordable, adequate child care (tied for second), then education and self-esteem (tied for third). “Basic needs” was most often mentioned among the top five issues, with 63.2% ranking it among the top five issues, followed by affordable, adequate child care and poverty (tied for second at 47.5%), then education (42.1%) and self-esteem (36.9%). Agencies agreed that basic needs must be met before other issues can be addressed. One respondent said, “Individuals unable to meet their own basic needs for food and shelter cannot focus on meeting other needs for themselves or their families. Many of our clients are burdened by such issues.” Another noted: “Poverty is an underlying cause of most of the issues.” One respondent explained the importance of affordable, adequate child care: “Child care is a universal need for mothers who are working or progressing in their education, and so much improvement in a family’s situation is connected to income and independence of women. Lack of child care is tremendously stressful, and a disincentive to further education and, for some, to work.” Many respondents noted that poverty is a significant issue in San Luis Obispo County. One wrote: “A scarcity of good-paying jobs is a well known problem in our county, meaning it’s hard for people to escape poverty. Our educational system is squeezed ever tighter in the current economy, further diminishing resources for outreach, special help, language assistance, etc.” Education is clearly tied to income potential. One respondent said: “For the most part, a woman who needs to earn enough to sustain her family needs an education.... Typically, a combination of education and experience are critical. Apart from this, women need the resources and skills to be competitive interviewers, business operators and employees.” Many agencies listed self-esteem as a significant issue. One respondent wrote: “Many women and girls in SLO County ... explain their feelings about themselves to be very, very low. Having such low self-esteem can cause many other problems to trickle into their lives, such as substance abuse, poverty, falling to peer pressure and not utilizing resources.”


S U R V EY O F NON P R O F IT O R G A NI Z A TION S

Iss u e s Affordable, adequate child care Basic needs (food, clothing, housing, employment) Domestic violence Education Elderly needs Financial literacy Fragmentation of services Hopelessness What do they see as barriers to improving the lives of women and girls? Non-profit organizations overwhelmingly noted that money, money-related issues and the current poor economy are significant barriers to improving the lives of women and girls in San Luis Obispo County. One respondent wrote: “The current economy is having a significant impact on our clients’ ability to provide for themselves and their families. Inability to find employment and/or keep employment. Inability to buy necessities such as food, diapers, etc.” Agencies said they are serving women who had not sought help previously: “Some women need help who have never needed it before; they’re embarrassed, they don’t know where to go and they struggle with how to improve their situation.”

Lack of mentors Lack of opportunities Lack of role models Pay inequality Peer pressure Poverty

Other barriers mentioned were lack of education, lack of information and lack of knowledge (in general, as well as specifically related to career and where to turn for help). Several mentioned fragmentation of services as a barrier. One respondent said, “The barriers I see are just a lack of information and knowledge. If the young women in San Luis Obispo County were able to see that they could get a viable education, then some of the problems would be solved. This includes having a mentor or role model who would guide them in the right direction.”

Resources

Gender roles and cultures also were mentioned as barriers to success. One respondent wrote, “Our agency believes that crimes such as domestic violence and sexual assault are rooted in a culture that does not value women.” Another wrote, “Some families don’t want their daughters to become independent or succeed because they fear the unknown and don’t want to be left behind.”

Teenage pregnancy

One respondent pointed to a possible solution: “More coordinated and accessible programs addressing these issues: education, empowerment and support are tools greatly needed by both women and girls.” Others suggested more mentoring programs, more scholarships, and more programs to build empowerment, self-esteem and confidence.

Violence (in general)

Self-esteem Sexual assault Substance abuse Traditional gender roles Transportation

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R E S E A R C H R E L E V A NT

R e l e va n t S e c o n d ar y Da t a a b o u t W o m e n a n d G i rls i n S a n L u i s O b i s p o C o u n t y Information about women and girls in San Luis Obispo County is available at a variety of web sites and in several sources. However, searches for such data can be daunting. The Women’s Legacy Fund is committed to making certain that county organizations serving women’s needs and applying for grants to further women’s interests have accurate and up-to-date information at their disposal. To that end, the Women’s Legacy Fund created this compendium of secondary data. In addition to being a single source for current information about women and girls in SLO County, the information contained here provides a context for the accompanying surveys. This compendium was compiled from some 20 secondary sources. Data is organized in the following categories: demographics, economic stability, education, health and safety. Sources are in parentheses. A listing of all relevant resources appears at the end of this section.

D e m o gra p h i cs P o p u la t i o n SLO County population estimate:

267,971 (US Census Bureau, 2009)

Percent who are female:

48.3% (American Community Survey, 2008)

Geographic breakdown: City of SLO 16.5%, Atascadero 10.5%, Paso Robles 11%, Arroyo Grande 6.3%, Grover Beach 4.9%, Morro Bay 3.9%, Pismo Beach 3.2%, Unincorporated Areas, 43.7% (UCSB Economic Forecast Project, 2008)

AGE SLO County

California

Percentage under 18

18.9%

25.7%

Percentage 65 and over

14.3%

11.0%

Percentage of those 18+ who are female

48.2%

50.4%

Percentage of those 65+ who are female

56.4%

57.3%

(American Community Survey, 2008)

Female population under age 18

SLO County

0 - 2 years

4,039

3 - 5 years:

4,213

6 - 10 years:

7,054

11 - 13 years:

4,478

14 - 17 years:

6,419 Total 26,203

( Kidsdata: Data and Resources about the Health of Children. Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health. Web. May 2010)


R E L E V A NT R E S E A R C H

R A C E A ND ETHNI C ITY

Fa m i ly a n d H o u s e h o l d S t r u c t u r e SLO County

California

White

85.5%

65.5%

Black

1.9%

Marital status of females 15+

SLO County

California

Never married

28.2%

30.8%

7.1%

Married

48.8%

46.5%

.9%

1.8%

Separated

2.6%

2.9%

3.1%

13.7%

Widowed

9.6%

8.6%

.1%

.6%

Divorced

10.9%

11.2%

18.8%

36.6%

15.7%

30.1%

.2%

.5%

2.8%

5.6%

(American Community Survey, 2008)

American Indian/Native Alaskan Asian Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander Hispanic/Latin Origin Mexican Puerto Rican Other Hispanic or Latino

(American Community Survey, 2008)

Households

SLO County

California

Family households

61.6%

68.1%

Married couple

48.4%

49.5%

4.7%

5.7%

2.1%

2.7%

8.5%

12.8%

4.8%

7.3%

38.4%

31.9%

26.4%

24.9%

9.8%

8.2%

Male householder, no wife present

All persons: Two or more races All persons: Foreign born Foreign born who are not U.S. citizens All persons age 5+ where language other than English is spoken at home All persons age 5+ where language other than English is spoken at home and English is spoken less than “very well�

SLO County

California

3.1%

3.3%

10.1%

26.8%

57.3%

56.4%

16.4%

42.4%

Male householder, no wife present with children under 18 Female householder, no husband present Female householder, no husband present, with children under 18 Non-family households Householder living alone

7.0%

19.9%

65 years or older

(American Community Survey, 2008)

(American Community Survey, 2008)

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R E S E A R C H

Households

California

Unmarried couple

6.9%

6.1%

People in SLO County who report they have to go without basic needs such as food, clothing, child care, housing, or health care during any given month: 12.7%

Male and male

7.9%

7.4%

(ACTION for Healthy Communities Survey 2006)

Female and female

3.2%

5.9%

(American Community Survey, 2008)

SLO County

California

Number of grandparents living with own grandchildren under 18

3,356

967,572

Percent of grandparents who are responsible for own grandchildren under 18

43.4%

28.9%

Percent of grandparents who are female and responsible for own grandchildren

52.1%

61.5%

(American Community Survey, 2008)

Ec o n o m i c S t a b i l i t y: Ec o n o m i c S t a t u s

R E L E V A NT

b as i c n e e d s

SLO County

SLO County

California

Median household income

$57,722

$61,154

Mean household income

$75,636

$83,970

Median family income

$72,032

$69,659

Mean family income

$92,506

$93,697

Per capita income

$29,966

$29,405

Families whose income fell below poverty line in past 12 months:

H o m e l e ss n e ss Homeless count:

3,829

% Female

37.0%

Age of homeless: Children under 18

35.8%

Adults

64.2%

Homeless location breakdown: North County

35.7%

South County

18.9%

City of SLO

36.1%

North Coast

9.3% (Homeless Enumeration Report San Luis Obispo County 2009)

Employment SLO County

California

All families

5.7%

9.6%

Median earnings for full time, year round workers:

Married couples with related children under 18

5.9%

8.4%

Female

$37,385

$41,123

Female householder, no husband present

17.7%

24.2%

Male

$52,110

$49,208

Female householder, no husband present, with related children under 18

23.4%

32.0%

(American Community Survey, 2008)

(American Community Survey, 2008)


Persons ages 16-64 who worked full time in past 12 months: Female Male

California

57.7%

57.5%

30.7% 43.8%

Households with children under 6 years where all parents in family are in labor force

64.9%

Households with children 6 to 17 where all parents in family are in labor force

68.7%

Mean hours worked per week in past 12 months: Female Male

at ta i n m e n t SLO County

Female population 25+, highest schooling completed

12.1%

19.8%

36.2% 54.3%

High school graduate

22.0%

22.4%

Some college, no degree

25.2%

20.8%

57.7%

Associate’s degree

10.2%

7.6%

Bachelor’s degree

19.8%

18.8%

Graduate or professional degree

10.6%

10.6%

(American Community Survey 2008)

33.1 39.6

36.2 41.2

Public school, adjusted, grade 9-12, four-year derived dropout rate1

(American Community Survey, 2008)

Female

E d u ca t i o n

Male

E n r o ll m e n t Public school enrollment, K-12

California

Less than high school

65.5%

R E L E V A NT R E S OU R C E S

Females 16+ in labor force

SLO County

SLO County

California

Female

48.6%

48.6%

Male

51.4%

51.4%

SLO County

California

8.6%

15.9%

13.3%

21.7%

(California Department of Education, 2007-2008) The 4-year derived dropout rate is an estimate of the percent of students who would drop out in a four-year period based on data collected for a single year; Adjusted Dropouts= Reported Grade 9-12 Dropout Total minus Reenrolled Grade 9-12 Dropouts plus Grade 9-12 Lost Transfers. 1

(California Department of Education, 2008-2009)

Cal Poly State University student population, total enrollment 19,325 Male

56%

Female

44% (Cal Poly Quick Facts, Fall 2009)

Cuesta College student population, total enrollment 13,443 Male

44.8%

Female

53.9%

Unknown

1.3% (CA Community Colleges Chancellors Office, Fall 2009)

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R E S E A R C H R E L E V A NT

Females, grade 9-12, dropout rate:

SLO County

American Indian/Alaska Native

SLO County students tested proficient or advanced on STAR Mathematics standards test

2.6%

Female

Male

1%

Grade 2

65%

64%

Filipino

2.9%

Grade 3

69%

71%

Hispanic/Latino

4.4%

Grade 4

67%

69%

African American

2.3%

Grade 5

58%

61%

White

1.5%

Grade 6

56%

59%

Multiple/No Response

4.2%

Grade 7

54%

53%

Asian

(California Department of Education, 2007-2008)

(California Department of Education, 2009)2 2

Achievement SLO County students tested proficient or advanced on STAR English-Language Arts standards test

Female

Male

Grade 2

57%

47%

Grade 3

56%

53%

Grade 4

73%

66%

Grade 5

64%

60%

Grade 6

67%

60%

Grade 7

69%

60%

Grade 8

64%

54%

Grade 9

71%

59%

Grade 10

58%

46%

Grade 11

53%

45%

(California Department of Education, 2009)

Students beyond grade 7 are given different tests depending on the level of math in which they are enrolled.


R E L E V A NT R E S E A R C H

HE A L TH HE A L TH IN S U R A N C E Uninsured persons under 65

SLO County

California

SLO County, fatal suicides Female

12 35

Females

19.6%

19.2%

Male

Males

24.6%

23.6%

Age breakdown of females

(US Census Bureau, Small Area Health Insurance Estimates 2006)

21-44

4

45-64

7

65+

1 (California Department of Public Health, Vital Statistics Death Statistical Master File, 2007)

M o r t al i t y Causes of SLO County female deaths, 2005 Cancer

23.63%

Diseases of the heart

19.49%

Dementia/Alzheimer’s disease

6.87%

Chronic lower respiratory diseases

5.84%

Stroke

5.65%

Unintentional injury

5.56%

Diabetes mellitus

3.3%

Pneumonia and influenza

2.35%

Chronic liver disease/cirrhosis

1.04%

Suicide

0.56%

All other

25.71%

SLO County attempted suicides, nonfatal but hospitalized Female Male

131 72

Age breakdown of females 13-15

4

16-20

27

21-44

34

45-64

63

65+

3

(California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, Patient Discharge Data, 2007)

(Community Health Status Report 2008, San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department)

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R E S E A R C H

h e al t h r i s k s Adults ever diagnosed with heart disease

SLO County

California

Female

9%

6.3%

Male

7%

6.4%

California

Sexually active women 12-69 tested for STD’s within past year

12.9%

22.1%

Women 11-71 who have had sex and ever been tested for HIV

43.7%

52.2%

(California Health Interview Survey, 2007)

Adults ever diagnosed with high blood pressure Female

27.7%

26.56%

Male

19.4%

25.7%

Females 18+ that have received a pap test in past 3 years

83.1%

84.1%

Females 30+ that have had a mammogram screening in past 2 years

69.6%

63.6%

Females 18+: overweight

24.8%

27.5%

Females 18+: obese

16.9%

20.7%

(California Health Interview Survey, 2007)

R E L E V A NT

SLO County

Students grade 5, 7, and 9 who were in the Healthy Fitness Zone for all 6 physical fitness areas:

R e p r o d u c t i v e H e al t h SLO County

California

Live born infants whose mothers began prenatal care in the first trimester, 2003-2005

84.3%

87%

Percentage of low birth weight infants of all live births, 1994-2005

6.3%

6.7%

(Community Health Status Report 2008, San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department)

Late or no prenatal care, 2005-2007: SLO County

California

Females

46.8%

35.4%

Males

41.6%

32.3%

(California Department of Education, 2008-20093) Physical fitness areas include aerobic capacity, body composition, abdominal strength, trunk extensor strength, upper body strength, and flexibility

16.9%

(San Luis Obispo County’s Health Status Report 2009, California Department of Public Health)

Birth rate per 1,000 women, age 15-50 Birth rate per 1,000 unmarried women age 15-50:

SLO County

California

61

60

30

36

(American Community Survey, 2008)

HI V / A ID S a n d S e x u all y Tra n s m i t t e d D i s e as e s SLO County

California

Rate of chlamydia per 100,000 people

331.1

544.9

Rate of gonorrhea per 100,000 people

11.5

59.8

(California Department of Public Health, STD Control Branch, 2008)

Birth rate per 1,000 women, ages 15-19

SLO County

California

21.1

35.2

(State of California, Department of Public Health, Birth Records, 2006, and State of California, Department of Finance, Race/Ethnic Population with Age and Sex Detail, 2000-2005)


California

7.4%

9.4%

SLO County Mental health outpatient clients 20042005

SLO County

California

Adult females who indicated they needed help for emotional/mental health problems or use of alcohol/drugs in the past year

23.7%

19.6%

Adult females who indicated they needed help and actually sought help from a professional for emotional/mental health or use of alcohol/ drugs in the past year

79.1%

Adult women who have taken prescription medicine for emotional/mental health issue in past year for at least 2 weeks

20.1%

60.6%

13%

(California Health Interview Survey, 2007)

SLO County students who report feeling so sad and hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more that they stopped doing some usual activities during the past 12 months

Female

Male

Male

2349

2068

(ACTION for Healthy Communities Survey, 2006)

(State of California, Department of Public Health, Birth Records, 2006

M e n t al H e al t h

Female

R E L E V A NT R E S E A R C H

Percent of live births to teen mothers, age 15-19

SLO County

Percentage of students in grades 7, 9, and 11 reporting their level of connectedness to school, by gender. School connectedness includes being treated fairly, feeling close to people, feeling happy, feeling part of, and feeling safe at school. San Luis Obispo County

Female High

Medium

Low

7th Grade

68.3%

26.8%

5.0%

9th Grade

52.4%

40.4%

7.2%

11th Grade

46.1%

42.2%

11.7%

Non-Traditional Schools

57.0%

35.5%

7.5%

California

Female High

Medium

Low

7th Grade

48.7%

41.4%

9.9%

9th Grade

41.7%

47.1%

11.3%

11th Grade

40.0%

47.6%

12.4%

Non-Traditional Schools

36.8%

46.9%

16.3%

Source: Kidsdata: Data and Resources about the Health of Children. Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health. Web. 26 May 2010

7th grade

27%

21%

9th grade

35%

22%

11th grade

36%

29%

Continuation/community school

52%

37%

(California Healthy Kids Survey 2007-2008)

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R E S E A R C H

S u b s ta n c e A b u s e SLO County

California

Adults and teens who say they are currently tobacco smokers Females

10.7%

9.9%

Males

11.7%

16.8%

Teens 12-17 who report that they have never smoked regularly

Females

Males

Grade seven

19%

21%

Grade nine

45%

47%

Grade eleven

68%

65%

Continuation/community school

89%

83%

Female

90.6%

97.8%

Students who report that they have used marijuana

Male

97.6%

95.3%

Grade seven

7%

8%

8.4%

7.1%

Grade nine

22%

25%

Grade eleven

44%

45%

Continuation/community school

81%

77%

Grade seven

9%

9%

Grade nine

17%

14%

Grade eleven

17%

15%

Continuation/community school

30%

34%

Adults who report that smoking takes place indoors at home Adults who report binge drinking in the past year Female

24.2%

21.4%

Male

44.6%

38.2%

(California Health Interview Survey, 2007 ) 4

Binge drinking is classified for males as drinking 5 or more drinks and for females as drinking 4 or more drinks in one occasion

4

R E L E V A NT

Students who report they have drunk alcohol

County seventh-graders have remained on par with statewide rates except in regard to “Perceived Disapproval,” where they report at rates 4% higher than their statewide peers that their parents and friends would disapprove of their using alcohol

Students who report they have used inhalants to get high

Students who report they have participated in binge drinking within the past 30 days Grade seven

5%

5%

Local teenagers’ perception of harm from alcohol use has remained consistently lower than statewide levels

Grade nine

16%

16%

9th and 11th graders report alcohol use rates 3% and 6% higher, respectively, than statewide levels since 1999

Grade eleven

27%

29%

Continuation/community school

45%

61%

Drinking among teen girls has increased significantly since 1999, with 11th-grade girls now reporting higher rates of alcohol use than their male peers – 44% vs. 38% 11th graders have reported binge drinking at rates that have declined overall by 5%, from 33% in 1999 to 28% in 2005; this compares to lower rates statewide, which declined from 26% in 1999 to 21% in 2005 (San Luis Obispo County Community Wide Results Report 2007)

Students who report they have either driven or have been driven by someone who had been drinking

All Students

Grade nine

26%

Grade eleven

33%

Continuation/community school

57%


Grade seven

SLO County students who report that they feel safe at school 50%

Students who report they have never used cocaine Grade nine

93%

Grade eleven

90%

Continuation/community school

65%

Students who report they have not talked to a parent or guardian about the dangers of alcohol, tobacco, or drug use in the past 12 months

7th grade

76%

73%

9th grade

63%

64%

11th grade

66%

67%

Continuation/community school

73%

63%

SLO County students who report they have been in a physical fight during the past 12 months 7th grade

16%

34%

Grade seven

32%

9th grade

14%

28%

Grade nine

41%

11th grade

12%

22%

Grade eleven

40%

Continuation/community school

19%

38%

Continuation/community school

46%

SLO County students who report that they currently belong to a gang

(California Healthy Kids Survey SLO County 2007-2008)

S af e t y Environment SLO County students who report being bullied or harassed because of their gender during the past 12 months

7th grade

6%

10%

9th grade

8%

12%

11th grade

8%

13%

Continuation/community school

11%

19%

(California Healthy Kids Survey SLO County 2007-2008)

Female

Male

7th grade

13%

9%

9th grade

17%

11%

11th grade

11%

6%

7%

10%

Continuation/community school

R E L E V A NT R E S E A R C H

Students who report they have been a passenger in a car driven by someone who had been drinking

SLO County persons who feel very safe in their neighborhood:

79.8%

(ACTION for Healthy Communities Survey 2006)

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R E S E A R C H

D o m e s t i c / S e x u al V i o l e n c e

Forcible rape crime rate per 100,000

SLO County

California

39.3

23.3

(Office of the Attorney General, Criminal Justice Statistics Center, 2008)

Females who report that they have experienced physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner since age 18

SLO County

California

23%

22.9%

(California Health Interview Survey, 2007)

SLO County Fatal violent injuries towards women:

3

Non fatal hospitalized violent injuries towards women::

4

(EPICenter, California Injury Data Online, 2007)

Students who report their boyfriend or girlfriend has hit, slapped, or physically hurt them on purpose during the last 12 months

Female

Male

7th grade

4%

6%

9th grade

6%

7%

11th grade

8%

7%

Continuation/community school

11%

19%

Domestic violence shelters: 110 women entered shelter with 159 children (California Healthy Kids Survey SLO County 2007-2008)

R E L E V A NT

(Women’s Shelter Program of San Luis Obispo County & North County Women’s Shelter, 2008)

SLO County Sexual Assault Recovery and Prevention Center clients

Female

Male

275

40 (SARP 2007)

Domestic violence calls for assistance: 764 —393 of which involved a weapon Arrests for spousal abuse: 285 —19.65% of which were women (Office of the Attorney General, Criminal Justice Statistics Center, Review of Domestic Violence Statistics 2004)

Percentage of students in grades 7, 9, and 11 reporting experiencing dating violence within the past year. Female Yes

No

Did not have a boyfriend/ girlfriend in past year

7th Grade

3.5%

38.7%

57.8%

9th Grade

6.0%

46.9%

47.1%

11th Grade

7.3%

53.0%

39.6%

16.7%

67.5%

15.8%

San Luis Obispo County

Non-Traditional Schools


Yes

No

Did not have a boyfriend/ girlfriend in past year

7th Grade

3.3%

40.9%

55.9%

9th Grade

5.6%

50.6%

43.8%

11th Grade

6.6%

56.7%

36.6%

16.6%

63.3%

20.1%

California

Non-Traditional Schools

R E L E V A NT R E S E A R C H

Female

Kidsdata: Data and Resources about the Health of Children. Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health. Web. 26 May 2010

Children Substantiated cases of child abuse, rate per 1,000, 2005: 17.6 in SLO County, 11.3 in California (San Luis Obispo County Community Wide Results Report 2007)

Children entering foster care: 191, 53.4% female (Child Welfare Dynamic Report System, California Department of Social Services / University of California at Berkeley, 2008)

Active child welfare cases: 458 —285 of whom are in foster care (CASA for Children, San Luis Obispo County, 12/31/2008)

Court Appointed Special Advocates statistics 650 children receive county services due to their abuse or neglect 500 are under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, 120 of them have a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA for Children San Luis Obispo County, 12/31/2008)

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G UIDE

TO

R E L E V A NT

R E S OU R C E S

G u i d e t o R e l e va n t R e s o u rc e s ACTION for Healthy Communities Survey, 2006 http://www.unitedwayslo.org/action07/02basic_needs.pdf American Community Survey, 2008 http://www.census.gov/acs/www/Products/ California Community Colleges Chancellors Office http://www.cccco.edu/ California Department of Education, 2008-2009 http://www.cde.ca.gov/index.asp California Department of Public Health, STD Control Branch, 2008 http://www.cdph.ca.gov/data/statistics/pages/STDData.aspx California Department of Public Health, Office of AIDS, HIV/AIDS Case Registry Section, data as of April, 2009 http://www.cdph.ca.gov/data/statistics/pages/oahivaidsstatistics.aspx California Department of Public Health, Vital Statistics Death Statistical Master File, 2007 http://www.cdph.ca.gov/Pages/Default.aspx California Department of Public Health, Center for Family Health, Genetic Disease Screening Program, Newborn Screening Data, 2007 http://www.cdph.ca.gov/PROGRAMS/CENTERFORFAMILYHEALTH/Pages/GDSPFactSheet.aspx California Health Interview Survey http://www.chis.ucla.edu/ California Healthy Kids Survey 2007-2008 http://www.wested.org/cs/chks/print/docs/chks_home.html California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, Patient Discharge Data, 2007 http://www.oshpd.ca.gov/ Cal Poly State University Quick Facts, Fall 2009 http://www.calpoly.edu/


G UIDE TO R E L E V A NT R E S OU R C E S

CASA for Children San Luis Obispo County http://www.slocasa.org/ Children NOW, 2007 California County Data Book http://www.childrennow.org/subsites/publications/invest/cdb07/cdb07_home.htm Community Health Status Report 2008, SLO County Public Health Dept http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/page8402.aspx http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/health/publichealth/famhealth/epi/epidemiology_data_and_publications.htm Kidsdata: Data and Resources about the Health of Children. Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health. Web. 26 May 2010. <http://www.kidsdata.org>. Homeless Enumeration Report San Luis Obispo County 2009 http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/Assets/PL/pdfs/Homeless+Enumeration+Report+2009.pdf San Luis Obispo County Community Wide Results Report 2007 http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/Assets/AD/digital/2007+Countywide+Results/2007+Communitywide+Results+Report.pdf San Luis Obispo County’s Health Status Report 2009, California Department of Public Health http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/page8402.aspx State of California, Department of Public Health, Birth Records 2006, and State of California, Department of Finance, Race/Ethnic Population with Age and Sex Detail, 2000-2050 http://www.dof.ca.gov/research/demographic/reports/projections/p-1/ State of California, Department of Public Health, Birth Records, 2006 http://www.cdph.ca.gov/data/Pages/default.aspx UCSB Economic Forecast Project, 2008 http://www.ucsb-efp.com/ US Census Bureau, 2009 http://www.census.gov/ US Census Bureau, Small Area Health Insurance Estimates 2006, http://www.census.gov/did/www/sahie/data/2006/tables.html

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S U R V EY

METHODO L O G Y

Pr o j e c t Ov e rv i e w Our first objective was to compile in one document all the current data about women and girls in San Luis Obispo County. Numerous state and regional studies cover specific aspects of the status of women and girls, but the information is scattered. We reviewed what had been done in other counties, and we found that in neighboring Kern County, the Women and Girls Fund had sponsored a report where, in addition to compiling secondary data, they conducted interviews with professionals in the non-profit and public sectors. This inspired us to survey local non-profits to learn what they feel are the key issues facing women and girls in San Luis Obispo County. After reviewing the data, we decided to conduct several studies of our own. We decided to focus on accessible groups that would provide meaningful data. We selected three populations of interest: college women, senior women and Latinas. We surveyed college women because statistics raise concerns about teenage drinking. We wanted to know how widespread it is and why. However, surveying children under 18 requires parental permission, so we focused on college students, not all of whom are in their teens but many of whom are under the legal drinking age. Seniors are a growing population and women tend to live longer than men. We wanted to see what issues are most significant to them. The Community Foundation had reasonable access to senior women through senior centers and non-profit organizations providing senior services. We selected Latinas to see what issues are most significant to them. We were advised that Latinas might be less likely to fill out questionnaires, and that focus groups could provide richer information, so we added focus groups for Latinas.

Methodology Three surveys were constructed ­—to gain information about women attending college, women over the age of 60 and Latinas in San Luis Obispo County. Each population had a slightly different survey, to be as relevant as possible. The survey for Latinas was provided in both English and Spanish. Each survey had demographic control questions regarding race/ethnicity, age, level of education, income and where they resided in the county. Each survey asked participants to rank the top five issues they believe need to be addressed in order to improve the lives of women and girls in the county. Each

survey asked about quality of life, and contained questions regarding access to getting help they may seek. The surveys for Latinas and senior women asked about their physical, emotional and financial security. The Latina survey also asked about discrimination. The college student survey contained a few lifestyle questions about alcohol and drug use and unprotected sex. The survey process was a cross-sectional study executed during February 2010. Surveys were distributed on paper that individuals would fill out themselves, and in electronic form. To reach a wider range of the senior population, volunteers went to certain locations to conduct surveys face-to-face. Paper versions of the surveys were distributed throughout the county with the help of about 20 local non-profit groups, organizations, individuals and colleges. At least 330 college surveys, 667 Latina surveys and 489 senior surveys were given to groups to distribute throughout the county. Of those paper surveys, 141 college surveys, 203 Latina surveys (107 of which were in Spanish) and 91 senior surveys were completed and returned. The online versions of the surveys were exactly the same as the paper surveys, but the Latina online survey was not available in Spanish. The online surveys were publicized in a press release with the links, and on a Facebook page with the links. The links were emailed to more than 150 groups, organizations and people that were asked to distribute the links through their websites, distribution lists and newsletters. The Facebook page invited over 100 people to participate in the surveys. By the end of February, 156 college surveys, 20 Latina surveys and 153 senior surveys were taken online. For face-to-face interviews with seniors, three volunteers went to three locations to survey women over the age of 60. Two volunteers went to senior health screenings that were being held at the senior centers in Morro Bay and Paso Robles. The third volunteer went to the senior center in San Luis Obispo during the lunch hour, which was when the most activity was taking place. Only 13 surveys were collected by face-to-face interviews. In total, 297 college women, 257 senior women and 223 Latinas completed the surveys. The question regarding income on the Spanish version of the Latina survey was flawed. Instead of asking for annual household income, as the English version of the survey does, the word “household” was left out; as a result, respondents might have marked their annual personal income instead of their annual household income. This made the income variable useless.


S U R V EY METHODO L O G Y

W e wa n t t o ac k n o wl e d g e t h e ass i s t a n c e o f t h e f o ll o w i n g i n d i s t r i b u t i n g t h e s u rv e y s t h r o u g h o u t t h e c o u n t y: Cal Poly Women’s Program, SLO ALPHA, Paso Robles Housing Authority, Transitions-Mental Health Association, Vision Unida, Food Bank Coalition, Nipomo Family Resource Center, CAP Reproductive Health Centers, SAFE Family Resource Center, Area Agency on Aging, CAP Childcare Resource Connection, Senior Nutrition, People’s Self-Help Housing, SLO Women’s Shelter, Cal Poly Professor Beth Chance, Cal Poly Professor Kathy Chen, Cal Poly Professor Heather Smith, Nancy Bruno, Cal Poly Society of Women Engineers, United Way, Margie Perez-Sesser, Barbara Bell, Cuesta Professor Jane Morgan, Coast Caregiver Resource Center, SARP Center, Mission Community Services, Commonground Worldwide, SLO Senior Center, CAP Senior Health Screenings

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A 2 0 1 0 RE P ORT ON S L O COUNTY W OMEN AND GIR L S

S A N L UI S OBI S PO C OUNTY C OMMUNITY F OUND ATION


What Do Women Need?  

A 2010 Report on San Luis Obispo County Women and Girls prepared by the Women's Legacy Fund

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