As the issues of gender-based violence, particularly sexual violence, continues to shape conversations and politics across the globe - THANK YOU #METOOMVMNT - we wanted to share a report that Dr. Connie Wun wrote with and for the National Organization of Asian Pacific Islanders Ending Sexual Violence (NAPIESV) organization.
NAPIESV is the only organization to provide survivor-centered technical assistance and trainings on sexual violence in the Asian and Pacific Islander communities in the United States and the territories. In 2017, the organization hosted the nation's first gathering of national experts on sexual violence to help understand and examine "what is justice" for survivors in the Asian and Pacific Islander communities.
"In 2017, NAPIESV hosted a roundtable discussion with community leaders and experts who work on issues of sexual violence to explore and define “justice” for API survivors. The roundtable participants who were from across the 4 API diaspora were joined by Black Americans, Black Canadians, Black Caribbeans, and Native American community leaders. The discussion focused on contextualizing the history of sexual violence in the United States as well as traditional concepts of justice. In addition to examining the role of the criminal justice system, its impacts on survivors and the anti-gender-based violence movement at large, the roundtable also explored alternative forms of justice beyond the criminal justice system, including community accountability, transformative justice, and restorative justice. The aim of the roundtable was to set the foundation by which NAPIESV and its community partners would be able to continue exploring definitions and possibilities of justice for API sexual assault survivors."
As the nation grapples with more information and knowledge regarding sexual violence, we encourage you to explore this report to learn more about the historical, political and social context of sexual violence within and against Asians and Pacific Islander communities:
"Participants also shared that traditional victim services providers and the criminal justice system also failed to provide victims with adequate language and cultural support. Very rarely were there service providers who spoke the API immigrant victim’s language and dialects. Relatedly, these types of marginalization, participants hypothesized, were also connected to stereotypes and fantasies of Asian communities. For instance, according to one attendee, “We are not [seen as] rapeable.”
With the support of her translator, a Chinese victim of sex trafficking shared her frustrations with trying to prove her experiences of physical and sexual abuse to government officials. Other participants called attention to their experiences with or as philanthropic funders who worked on gender-based violence. They shared that funders were either unknowledgeable about API communities’ experiences in general, their experiences with gender-based violence in particular, or they did not believe that Asians and Pacific Islanders experienced sexual violence."
We encourage you to continue learning from different organizations and their work, including NAPIESV, Me Too Movement, Girls for Gender Equity in NYC and Black Women's Blueprint.