The Asian Pacific Fund aids those who need help getting back on their feet and helps you learn about hidden community needs. One problem that affects all Asian ethnic groups is domestic violence.
Domestic violence is a problem for many people, regardless of a person’s race, class, faith or immigration status. What makes this problem so difficult to fix is that the violence takes place behind closed doors. Victims of domestic violence live in intimidating environments. They’re often afraid to speak up, and many times, it’s even harder to get help when you’re an immigrant and you’re poor.
But help is out there. And it’s the first critical step on the road to a better life--one with security and peace of mind.
Some Asian women are especially vulnerable to domestic violence because they face the stress of being in a new land and often the husbands face more difficulty than the wives finding work. In a recent report fully one-third of the deaths from domestic violence in Santa Clara County were Asian women. We’ve learned that it is often harder for Asian women to seek help than it is for other women because in many Asian cultures, we are taught to feel ashamed when we have to seek outside help for family problems.
For those who are brave enough to seek help, services are often limited. The Asian Women’s Shelter is able to help some survivors, but it still must turn away 75 percent of the women seeking refuge because there’s not enough space.
When you’re living in fear, that’s when familiarity is even more important than ever. Speaking a familiar language to volunteers and counselors can go a long way in creating a sense of safety for Asian survivors of domestic violence. Even just eating familiar foods can bring comfort in unfamiliar surroundings. A bowl of rice suddenly isn’t just a bowl of rice, but a source of solace and understanding.
Organizations that help survivors get back on their feet—-like the Asian Women’s Shelter, Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center, and Lao Family Services--have received grants from the Asian Pacific Fund in recent years. These grants were made possible by contributions you and others have made, and we hope you have learned something tonight what a lasting impact your gift can have on people’s everyday lives.
excerpt from the 2009 annual gala presentation by Thuy Vu, Board Member and Journalist
Domestic violence affects all Asian ethnic groups and is especially difficult to address because it occurs behind closed doors. Victims are often afraid to speak up or seek help because they are unfamiliar with the local justice system or unable to communicate in English. Fortunately, help is available. Four Bay Area organizations received assistance with strategic planning and major matching grants with help from the Asian Pacific Fund, adding $600,000 in new resources to assist victims of domestic violence. This work is highlighted in the 2006 annual campaign report.