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Category: News

May 9, 2017

This May, the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM). NNEDV honors the achievements and cultural contributions of Asian/Pacific Islanders (API) in the United States, using this month to bring attention to issues of domestic violence in API communities and reflect on the path to ensuring safety.

In a study conducted by the Asian & Pacific Islander Health Forum, 21 to 55 percent of API respondents reported experiencing physical and/or sexual violence during their lifetime [1]. Patterns of domestic violence take specific forms in this community. While all forms of domestic violence include tactics such as stalking and physical, sexual, emotional, and financial abuse, API survivors also reported experiencing abuse by multiple perpetrators, including male and female in-laws, at a higher rate than any other demographic [1]. It is not unlikely for domestic violence in API communities to also include homicide, ranging from honor killings to dowry-related deaths and being driven to commit suicide by a partner or in-laws [2].

Dominant cultural and religious values also contribute to the rate of domestic violence. Emotional control, respect for authority, a high regard for preserving family welfare, perseverance, and the acceptance of suffering are valued virtues in some API communities but often silence survivors from talking about their abuse to friends and family members [2]. As one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse groups in the United States, API survivors often face barriers to adequate services and support. These barriers are exacerbated by concerns about immigration status and a lack of knowledge and familiarity with laws, resources, and programs. NNEDV’s WomensLaw Project provides victims of domestic and sexual violence with plain-language legal information in their state and/or territory, including resources on where to find help and a free Email Hotline.

During APAHM, NNEDV reaffirms its commitment to all survivors of domestic violence. We will continue to advocate for all survivors and work to break down the barriers to safety and well-being. NNEDV works to provide solutions and ultimately create a social, economic, and political environment in which domestic violence no longer exists.

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[1] Yoshimana, M. and Dabby, C. (2015). Facts & Stats Report Domestic Violence in Asian & Pacific Islander Homes. Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence. Retrieved from: http://www.api-gbv.org/files/Facts.Stats-APIIDV-2015.pdf  
[2] Department of Justice. (2006). Women of Color Network Facts & Stats: Domestic Violence in Communities of Color- June 2006. Retrieved from: http://www.doj.state.or.us/victims/pdf/women_of_color_network_facts_domestic_violence_2006.pdf