Today, we hold our Asian American and Pacific Islander family members in our hearts – we know our nation’s words and statements will never ease the pain this year has brought upon you, your families, and your communities, but you are seen, you are valued, and you are loved.
The families of Delaina Ashley Yaun, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Suncha Kim, Hyun J. Grant, Soon C. Park, Yong A. Yue, and Paul Andre Michels have been forever altered, and their communities emotionally gutted, after they were targeted and murdered in Atlanta last week.
The advocacy group “Stop AAPI Hate” said it has received more than 3,700 reports of violence directed at Asian Americans nationwide in the past 12 months, and note that that number is likely VERY low compared to the reality of hate crimes and hate driven incidents experienced last year.
What happened last week really struck us at The Coalition as it strikes at the core of our mission – Prevention and Intervention as it pertains to sexual and domestic violence. While sexual and domestic assaults against women often stem from toxic masculinity, sexism, anger expression, and dominance issues; Asian Women carry a unique burden that their white counterparts do not.
Asian women have historically been sexualized and depicted as submissive, or sexually “exotic” throughout decades of American movies, shows, and books, thus often making them the target of violence. A 2016 report by the National Network to End Domestic Violence stated that, “the everyday racism and sexism against Asian women yields deadly results, as this kind of dehumanization creates a climate that makes violence excusable…and that 40-60% of Asian women have experienced physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner.” And even worse, more than 70% of the hate crimes reported to “Stop AAPI Hate” were directed at women.
And we encourage all of our allies to think not just about how we can PROTECT these communities, but how we can PREVENT this from continually happening. Sexual and domestic violence is a societal issue – a sort of public health crisis that requires not just intervention, but prevention. There are small actions we can take on a daily basis to prevent this behavior from becoming the norm. Because racism doesn’t happen in one fell swoop. It’s the accumulation of small, ongoing acts of racism and sexism that lead to violence…
- Have conversations with your friends and family about what healthy relationships are – boundaries, respect, and equality are ALL needed for a healthy relationship to happen. NORMALIZE this.
- Step in to shut down racism as you see it – more often than not, you can make a difference simply by telling someone that what they just said was racist.
- Check your reactions when you see a movie or TV show that has racist stereotyping in it – how does this make you feel? Can you change your reaction to be more supportive and empathetic?
- Be OK with verbalizing boundaries so you feel safe and seen in any situation