AAPI Equity Alliance Releases Report on Preventing Domestic Violence in Four Asian American Communities With a Gender Equity and Empathy Approach

It Details Findings of TwoYear Pilot Project to Utilize Parent and Youth Support
Groups to Transform Family Beliefs and Behaviors

AAPI Equity Alliance (AAPI Equity), a coalition of communitybased organizations that advocates for the rights and needs of Asian American and Pacific Islander people in Los Angeles County and beyond, and its partners today released its report on Preventing Domestic Violence in Four Asian American Communities with a Gender Equity and Empathy Approach”. The report was produced with generous support from the Blue Shield of California Foundation and details the results of a twoyear pilot project to address domestic violence in LA’s Cambodian, Chinese, Korean and South Asian communities.

According to statistics cited in the new report, “domestic violence (DV), also known as intimate partner violence, is experienced by 1655% of Asian American women in their lifetime.” Because DV manifests differently across communities, AAPI Equity tapped into the knowledge of its community partners to develop two culturallyattuned prevention curricula, one aimed at parents and one aimed at teens. Each curriculum was grounded in social justice with a focus on practicing nonviolence, Manjusha P. Kulkarni, executive director of AAPI Equity Alliance

“We approached this pilot with gender equity and empathy in mind and we now have insight into
cultural dynamics surrounding intimate relationships and healthy relationships in Los Angeles Asian American communities as well as recommendations on how to approach the multilayered issue of domestic violence,” said Kulkarni.
The recent pilot project was developed in direct response to AAPI Equity’s 2020 “Report on Relationship Violence in Five Los Angeles Asian American Communities” which saw the need for better understanding of the intergenerational and cultural dynamics in preventing domestic violence. AAPI Equity piloted the new curricula and prevention model with help from seven collaborative partners through a grant from the Blue Shield of California Foundation. Through the pilot, parent and youthfocused support groups from Cambodian, Chinese, Korean and South Asian communities tested the new curricula designed to examine and improve family relationships: PEACE for Parenting and Know Your Roots. Partner organizations who worked on the pilot included Asian Pacific Counseling & Treatment Centers (APCTC), Korean American Family Services (KFAM), Koreatown Youth & Community Center (KYCC), Pacific Asian Counseling Services (PACS), South Asian Network (SAN), Center for the Pacific Asian Family (CPAF) and Special Service for Groups Research & Evaluation (SSG R&E).
“Working with our trained facilitators, our participants helped inform how we can improve and use these curricula moving forward in the hope of reducing domestic violence in our communities,” Kulkarni said. “We learned there is a need for common language and terms in the training materials since there may be a lack of equivalent terminology across our target communities. For instance, empathy was a key term and concept in the curricula, but facilitators shared that there was not a language equivalent for this concept in every community.”

Apart from suggested improvements to the curricula, organizers said the pilot project also helped participants examine their own perspectives, while still holding space and honoring cultural values and immigrant experiences. Facilitators in the parent groups saw improvements from pre to postevaluations in terms of parent perspectives on gender equity. They also saw improvements in the youth participants in terms of their confidence in their own ability to practice selfempathy to create and maintain healthy relationships.

According to the report, the following two figures represent the parent perspective on gender equity and youth perspective on selfempathy, before and after participating in the pilot project. In the various groups, improvements were noted in the beliefs and practices around gender equity and empathy. In some groups, beliefs and practices were reported as high, at presurvey, and stayed high, at postsurvey, reflecting maintenance of beliefs and behaviors.
Kulkarni said AAPI Equity hopes to continue developing the curricula, with the hope of replicating it for other communities and expanding into different geographic locales. “Not only will replication further disseminate the curricula, it may help to shape a new norm around domestic violence in Asian American communities, creating space to better reduce and prevent domestic violence,” she added.
The full report is available at: https://bit.ly/bsfdvreport_digital
Learn more about the Domestic Violence Prevention Project at: https://bit.ly/BSFDVPPR

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AAPI Equity Alliance (AAPI Equity) is a coalition of over 40 communitybased organizations serving the diverse needs of the 1.5 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Los Angeles County and beyond. It is dedicated to improving the lives of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders through civic engagement, capacity building, and policy advocacy.