Saint Paul, Minn. – On May 23rd, 2015, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed into law the Health and Human Services policy and budget bill that included the Working Group on Violence Against Asian Women and Children bill.
This bill, successfully initiated and advanced by the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans (“the Council”), puts into play the first comprehensive study of gender-based violence in the Asian Pacific Islander (API) community on a state level.
The bill establishes a multidisciplinary working group to act as an advisory body to the study on the nature, scope, and prevalence of gender-based violence against API women and children. The working group, in collaboration with the Council and the Department of Health (MDH), will oversee the 2-year study. An appropriation of $200,000.00 has been allocated to MDH for the purpose of the study.
Common forms of gender-based violence in the API community are domestic violence, sexual violence, trafficking, international abusive marriage, and forced marriage. According to the Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence, 41 to 60 percent of Asian and Pacific Islander women reported experiencing domestic violence during their lifetime. This compares to statistics of the general U.S. population that 1 in 4 women experience at least one physical assault by a partner during adulthood.
According to the executive director of the Council, Sia Her: “There is a shortage of concrete information about domestic violence in our API community, specificially how culture influences help-seeking behavior of victims. This legislation elevates the voices of API victims so that they are heard beyond their ethnic communities and their experiences inform best practices and allocation of resources.”
The Council believes that all Minnesotans deserve to live free from the fear of physical and emotional abuse, including Asian Pacific Minnesotans.
The Working Group on Violence Against Asian Women and Children bill was sponsored by Senator Jeff Hayden (Minneapolis-DFL) and Representative Karen Clark (Minneapolis-DFL). The bill gained bi-partisan support in both the Senate and the House.
Questions can be directed to [email protected] or at (651) 757-1743.
The Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans, created in 1985, is a state agency that advises the Minnesota state legislature and Governor’s office on issues pertaining to the Asian Pacific Minnesotan community.