HONOLULU/MINNEAPOLIS (March 24, 2015) — Do the Asian Thing: Promote Safe and Healthy Relationships.
In collaboration with the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Asian American Press, Asian Women United of Minnesota (AWUM) photographed University of Hawaii students and collected their views about promoting safe and healthy relationships. We hope their thoughts and feelings inspire you to commit to doing the Asian thing!
“Do the Asian Thing” engages young Asian Pacific Islanders (APIs) to elevate the social discourse about safe and healthy relationships within the API experience; this includes expanding or redefining cultural traditions and what it means to be Asian when it comes to romantic and familial connections. To AWUM, doing the Asian thing is to promote safe and healthy relationships.
Approximately 41 to 60 percent of Asian Pacific Islander women report experiencing domestic violence in their lifetime. (Asian and Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence: www.apiidv.org)
The mission of AWUM is to end domestic violence by promoting safe and healthy relationships within the API community.
Ms. Jeannie Ramelb
Majors: Mathematics and German
AWUM: What does a safe and healthy relationship look and feel like to you?
JR: Cuddling, lots of laughing, funny jokes, debating and not arguing, working with each other, praising each other, motiving each other to do well. Being happy when you’re with each other.
AWUM: What Asian cultural values do you already possess that promote safe and healthy relationships?
JR: Respect towards your partner’s elders, parents, family, and things.
AWUM: What do Asian women need to do to remember their true worth?
JR: Have someone else to vent to about their feelings. Talk with your partner. Look in the mirror and smile. Always remind yourself about your journey.
AWUM: How can Asian men promote safe and healthy relationships?
JR: Surround yourself with responsible friends. Channel anger into sports or the gym.[AWUM agrees with Jeannie that physical activity, including simple breathing exercises, can be a positive and safe way to deal with intense emotions like anger. It allows us to check-in with ourselves. Anger, however, is not the real problem in abusive relationships despite common belief. Domestic violence is not due to the abuser’s loss of control or temper. The abusive behavior is a choice, with a goal to control and have power over another person. Many people experience anger but do not hurt others when dealing with the emotion. How do we allow ourselves or others to safely express anger?]