AAP staff report
MINNEAPOLIS (August 19, 2010) – Asian and Pacific Islander men of Minnesota took a proactive approach toward domestic violence and anger management with a two-day event August 19-20 at Oren Gateway Center of Augsburg College. More than 70 people participated in an intensive training to examine the intersection of sexism and racism and to explore how power and privilege contributes to violence against women and children.
The event was facilitated by Mr. Pheng Thao, Director of Community Programs for Asian Women United of Minnesota in collaboration with more than 20 partnering Asian Pacific Islander organizations and community leaders to show unprecedented support on this issue.
“Well-meaning men need to take action to end violence against women because men have a unique and powerful role in ending violence,” said Thao. “Men need to stop giving other men permission to oppress women.”
The several workshops were developed by and for Asian American men to examine the intersection of sexism and racism, and to explore how power and privilege contributes to violence against women and children. The sessions were led by respected community leaders who invited participants to make a personal commitment to help address a crisis problem in the APIA and in all communities.
The Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women notes that there were 17 API women and 6 Asian children were killed as a result of domestic violence in Minnesota from 1999 to 2009.
MCBW statistics also note that in all populations 18 adults were killed in 2009 alone due to familial and domestic violence, and that 12 were women killed by a current or former intimate partner. Countless others continue to suffer physical, emotional and verbal abuse on a daily basis.
The classes went beyond the tragic statistics and also emphasized the life issues and culturally relevant immigrant life experience that contributes to the pressures and expectations placed on the APIA male as head of household. The participants learned to identify the stressors and how to prevent the build up of pressures that can cause people to ‘snap’ rather than to find a productive release or avoidance measure.
The classes also worked on issues of cultural expectations on women and girls and when they may come into conflict with their individual life goals and education.
The API Men Institute sponsoring partners included Augsburg College, A Call to Men, Freedom, Inc., Greater Twin Cities United Way, Hnub Tshiab: Hmong Women Achieving Together, Pan-Asian Student Services (Augsburg), Pangea World Theater, Professional Hmong Women Association, Sewa-Asian Indian Family Wellness, and Sib Pab Ciaj Vaj.
AWUM is a non-profit organization dedicated to end domestic violence by promoting safe and healthy relationships within the Asian-Pacific Islander community. For almost a decade, AWUM has provided 24-hour emergency shelter (House of Peace) and advocacy to women & children victimized by domestic violence in the Minneapolis/St. Paul and surrounding areas.