HONOLULU/MINNEAPOLIS (March 31, 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.
Mr. Tristan Florentin
Major: Food Science and Human Nutrition
AWUM: What does a safe and healthy relationship look and feel like to you?
TF: A safe and healthy relationship shows persons enjoying each other’s company.
AWUM: What Asian cultural values do you already possess that promote safe and healthy relationships?
TF: Trust, Respect.
AWUM: What new traditions can be created that reflect Asian values that encourage safe and healthy relationships?
TF: Choosing to be with someone that reflects the same goals and outlooks and interests.
AWUM: What do Asian women need to do to remember their true worth?
TF: By choosing to be around people that bring the best out of themselves.
AWUM: How can Asian men promote safe and healthy relationships?
TF: By reflecting on a sense of perspective and treating the other as they would want to be treated.
AWUM: What do men have to do internally to promote safe and healthy relationships?
TF: Understanding our role as the guy in a relationship: To provide security.[AWUM appreciates Tristan’s sentiment of men serving as the “protector” instead of the “perpetrator”, and for men to protect and defend the rights of women. In addition, we encourage readers to expand the definitions of what it means to be a “man”. Traditional, rigid gender roles often reinforce patriarchal, homophobic, misogynistic attitudes that feed unhealthy behaviors, increasing the risk for violence in a relationship. How can we create an environment that permits men to express their wide-range of emotions and unique selves, with respect and dignity, and affords all of us the flexibility to take on roles within a relationship that best fit the needs of that partnership?]