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Honoring Asian and Pacific Islander Communities

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

By Mira Yusef and Damary Rodriguez

Did you know that May is Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month? I have to admit, I only learned this about two years ago. Since then, my colleagues and I have had some debates about whether we should continue to create content for heritage months (like Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month) or whether we should be posting all year round. On the one hand, we want to show-up for our fellow women of color, but on the other hand, we don’t want to just talk about these issues only during a part of the year. Not only that, but how do we talk about the issue of sexual violence in Asian and Pacific Islander communities when we are not part of that community? One of my favorite quotes I’ve come across is, “You don’t need to be a voice for the voiceless, just pass the mic.” Therefore, we want to highlight organizations and resources focused on serving Asian and Pacific Islander communities.

National: 

National Organization of Asians and Pacific Islanders Ending Sexual Violence (NAPIESV)
NAPIESV is housed under Monsoon Asians & Pacific Islanders in Solidarity, formerly known as Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa. The National Organization of Asians and Pacific Islanders Ending Sexual Violence (NAPIESV) is an alliance established by Asian and Pacific Islander advocates with the purpose of centering and supporting victims of sexual assault from API communities. NAPIESV provides technical assistance and training to local/community-based programs and governmental organizations across the nation and in the U.S. territories, improving their services for victims of sexual violence. NAPIESV through its Bersama-sama Project is in its transnational program to connect the anti-sexual violence movement/work in the API communities in the United States to the Pacific Islands (focusing on Guam and Micronesia) and Asia (focusing on Indonesia and Philippines).

Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence (APIGBV)
From the APIGBV website: The Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence is a national resource center on domestic violence, sexual violence, trafficking, and other forms of gender-based violence in Asian and Pacific Islander communities. 

Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Associations Coalition, Inc. (SEAMAAC) 
This is a Philadelphia organization whose mission is: To support and serve immigrants and refugees and other politically, socially and economically marginalized communities as they seek to advance the condition of their lives in the United States.

Sisters of Color Ending Sexual Assault (SCESA) has a great listing of local Asian and Pacific Islander-serving sexual assault centers across the United States. Some of the local listings include: 

Manavi
From the website: Manavi is an organization for South Asian women. With a mission to end all forms of violence against women, Manavi began as an awareness campaign on issues concerning South Asian women; today it continues to centralize women’s needs and interests in all its organizational decisions & service provisions.

Monsoon Asians & Pacific Islanders in Solidarity
From the website: Monsoon Asians & Pacific Islanders in Solidarity (formerly Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa) serves victims/survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking in Asian and Pacific Islander (API) communities in Iowa. Monsoon’s mission is to end all forms of gender-based violence and build healthy communities through transformative justice and social change.

Womankind (formerly New York Asian Women’s Center) is based in New York City and provides many services including but not limited to counseling, 24-hour multilingual hotline, and prevention programming.   

Resources:
NAPIESV Listening Session Report: No One Can Tell Our Stories But Us: A Dialogue on Sexual Violence in Asian and Pacific Islander Communities.
This project emerged from a profound need for Asian and Pacific Islanders (API) to be able to tell our own stories of sexual assault and violence, and on our own terms.

NAPIESV Sexual Violence Curriculum 

NAPIESV Roundtable Discussion on Justice and Sexual Violence in the API Communities.  

2015 U.S. Transgender Survey: Report on the Experiences of Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Respondents

Pacific Region Resources presented by the Guam Coalition Against Sexual Assault & Family Violence, is a website of organizations and resources available in the Guam community.

Sexual Violence in Asian and Pacific Islander Communities, 2018. This fact sheet by APIGBV has statistics on sexual abuse from the U.S. as well as global data outside of the U.S. 

This blog was developed by the RACE Workgroup of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and National Sexual Violence Resource Center with the guidance of the National Organization of Asians and Pacific Islanders Ending Sexual Violence housed under Monsoon Asians & Pacific Islanders in Solidarity.
 

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