February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

1 in 3 teens in the United States experience teen dating violence (TDV). 

What is TDV?

TDV is a pattern of behaviors that on dating partner uses to control the other. TDV can include the following forms of abuse:

  • Physical: hitting, pushing, pulling, throwing objects
  • Emotional/Verbal/Mental: name calling, put downs, mind games, threats, yelling
  • Sexual: pressure to do unwanted activities without consent
  • Isolation from friends: being overprotective and not letting partner go out
  • Cyber: texting, spreading rumors online, posting unwanted pictures/videos
  • Financial: controlling money
  • Stalking: constantly checking up on partner

Teens who suffer dating abuse are at higher risk for long-term consequences like alcoholism, eating disorders, promiscuity, thoughts of suicide, and violent behavior (DoSomething.Org)

Within our API culture, it might feel uncomfortable for parents and children to bring up the issue of relationships, but it’s important to start the conversation so that our young people can be empowered to have healthy relationships.

Over the summer, CPAF offered a healthy relationships workshop for youth covering the topics of domestic violence, TDV, and sexual assault.
Our youth participants also talked about healthy relationships and boundaries and offered their definitions of what love is.

What are some steps CPAF is taking to stop dating abuse among teens?  

CPAF provides education on healthy relationships to youth organizations serving API youth using our “Healthy Teen Relationship” curriculum. Last summer, CPAF held a youth forum for 40 youth to talk about preventing dating violence in their schools and communities.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day, and Guylentine’s Day from CPAF!

Whatever holiday you are celebrating, know that you deserve to be loved and celebrated!

May your relationships be supportive, respectful, patient, loving, honest, empowering, kind, sincere, and trusting.

UCLA and USC API Social Work Students Support CPAF

Delaney Woo (front left), former CPAF intern and USC Social Work student, helped organize the event and coordinate the donation drive to CPAF

On January 27, 2017, The UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs’ Social Welfare Asian Pacific Islander (API) Caucus and USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work’s API Social Work Caucus collaborated to host an alumni networking event and donation drive for CPAF. Current students and alumni of the two programs donated blankets and fleece throws for CPAF shelter clients. These items are appreciated, as our shelter clients receive their own set of bedding to keep.

Melody Liao (right), CPAF staff and UCLA Social Welfare alumni, networked with other students and alumni at the event

Here at CPAF, we are thrilled that student groups from rival schools came together at the networking event and even more honored to be supported in our work by our university allies!

CPAF and Thai Teachers Meet-and-Greet

Every year, a group of highly qualified graduates of Chulalongkorn University in Thailand spend a year living and teaching in Los Angeles. These young men and women teach Thai language, traditional Thai Music and dance to children at the Wat Thai  L.A Buddhist Temple. This is a year where the recent grads get a taste of a new culture during their yearlong residency in L.A. They have an opportunity to not only teach, but also improve their own English skills. CPAF’s partnership with Thai Community Development Center (Thai CDC) allowed us to enter the temple grounds to provide an educational workshop for the teachers about CPAF services.

Teachers from Wat Thai L.A. Learn about CPAF

Thai CDC’s Social Service Coordinator Wanda Pathomrit engaged her audience with an introduction to CPAF in Thai and translated our greetings. We covered a lot of topics including identifying sexual assault situations that could occur at the Thai school temple program. We talked about differences in American and Thai cultures as well as family dynamics and pressures. We want to empower the teachers to be advocates for their students and the families they work with at Wat Thai.

At the end of our meeting, the students invited Wanda back to talk more in-depth about CPAF’s missions and services. We are excited about making new friendships and relationships with the Thai community through this unique opportunity.

5 Things You Need to Know About Human Trafficking

CPAF Volunteer Mai Ling Thomas talks about January being Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Month

January is Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Month. Human trafficking is considered to be the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world. It is estimated to be a $150 billion industry, according to the International Labor Organization (2014). Almost 800,000 victims are trafficked through international borders annually, and Asians and Pacific Islanders (APIs) make up the largest group of people trafficked into the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Los Angeles is a top point-of-entry location due to its diverse communities, proximity to international borders and ports, as well as its significant immigrant population. CPAF has dealt primarily with international trafficking situations and has seen culturally sensitive trends while assisting survivors of human trafficking. Here are some facts we gathered while helping our survivors:

1. Lack of knowledge: Many human trafficking victims don’t know that they are victims. Manipulation, intimidation and fear often layer their situations, confusing them. Education about trafficking helps them to gain insight into what has happened in their lives.
2. Fear: International trafficking victims often fear deportation and experience a lack of safety. Trafficking perpetrators can harm the victims’ and their families anywhere, including in their home countries.
3. Love: Intimate partners can force and/or groom an individual into trafficking, blurring lines to include domestic violence/sexual assault.
4. Shame: Trafficked individuals may feel trapped and uncertain of how to pay off their debt to their traffickers. This can create a sense of isolation and an immense feeling of guilt for being in such a position. These circumstances can become barriers in reaching out to their family/friends or asking for help.
5. Control: Traffickers work in trafficking “rings/gangs” to tighten their control and power over those they traffic. This creates a real sense of danger and forces a trafficking survivor to perform any task given all for the sake of staying alive.

During the month of January, our media partner LA 18 featured CPAF to talk about human trafficking. Links to the interviews will be added as they are provided.

LA 18’s Juliette Zhuo featured CPAF Volunteer Kat Sea on her show to talk about human trafficking

New Year Means New Hope for a Makeover!

Can you help us transform our new Community Center into a warm and welcoming atmosphere?

We are in need of matching furniture, signage, and paintings or other artwork, especially in the common areas that first greet our survivors and visitors.

This is a safe space for some of our survivors to come in for counseling and healing workshops. It is also a place where our advocates take hotline calls and our staff prepare ways to better serve our communities in Southern California and beyond.

We could use volunteers with an artistic background to help us settle into our new home. We would also appreciate corporate donors who may have donations that fit our needs.

Please email volunteer@cpaf.info if you have any ideas on beautifying our new space, or if you have items you’re interested in donating.

Thank you!

CPAF Holiday Cheer

We truly can never thank our community of supporters enough.

Each individual’s and community group’s efforts contribute to making the holidays that much more bright, cheerful, warm, and meaningful for our women and children who especially benefit from such love during this time.

Because of you:

  • Well over 300 gifts were donated and wrapped for men, women, youth, and children served through our shelters, community center, and prevention programs.
  • Our Gift Wrap Party completed in record time, and our Holiday Party ran smoothly and efficiently thanks to the many hands and self-initiative of our volunteers.
  • Every family who attended the Holiday Party received gifts and enjoyed a meal together.

Thank you to our community partners for donating funds to sponsor meals and materials for our events!

One of the toughest challenges is securing funds for supporting these events.  The more funds we have, the better quality we can provide for our families – and the differences do not go unnoticed.  Thank you for making a difference.

Union Bank – ASPIRE
Warner Bros. – NAPA
Wintime Inc.

Thank you to all those who organized drives and donated gifts!

Your support is deeply appreciated, and it is always heartwarming to be met with such generosity as putting these events together take a lot of work!  We are so grateful for you.

APA Toy Drive
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – LA
Asian Pacific Women’s Center
Evie Jeang
Girl Scouts Troop 341
Handmade Especially For You
Palisades Charter High School – Asian Student Union
Sony Picture – SPARC
Strength in Scarves
Tzu Chi Foundation
Union Bank – ASPIRE

Thank you to all our volunteers for taking time out of your weekends to help!

We had so many great, efficient, pro-active, caring, and creative volunteers write cards, wrap gifts, serve food, set up, decorate, and sponsor meals for our holiday events this year.  Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.

See photos from our events here and here.

Bank of America Provides $10,000 Grant to CPAF

Left to Right: Kat Sea and Vinh T. Ngo from Bank of America; Michelle Esperanza and Christine Lee from CPAF; and Millie Yamaki from Bank of America.

On December 19th, CPAF received a $10,000 grant from Bank of America to contribute toward our work in providing shelter and support to domestic violence survivors in more than 25 languages. We are thankful for Bank of America’s support to help us meet the critical needs of the individuals and families we serve. We look forward to partnering further with Bank of America to build healthy and safe communities and nurture change together.


THANK YOU to all #GivingTuesday participants!
We are nurturing change together – one post, tweet, and donation at a time.


Your contribution makes a difference in the lives of survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Read more survivor testimonials here.

Just as there is no end to community-building, there is no end to giving.
#GivingTuesday was the beginning – and you still have until December 31st to make an impact on CPAF for the year 2016.

2016 will go down in our country’s history books. What will be your story?

Change Involves You. Give Today.

We encourage you to continue spreading messages of hope, strength, encouragement, and love this holiday season, and invite a friend to donate to CPAF before this year’s end.

#GivingTuesday 2016


What is #GivingTuesday?

Giving Tuesday is a national social media campaign focused on giving back – an opportunity for all of us to reflect and respond to the needs of our communities.

During this time of giving thanks, preparing feasts for families, spending time with loved ones, and shopping for friends, Giving Tuesday sets aside a moment for us to come together as a larger community, beyond our immediate family, friends, and self.

What does community mean to you?

This Giving Tuesday, we ask you to make a donation, and then post, tweet, and share about why you give back. Help us spread the word about this movement to create a ripple effect of meaningful discussions and positive change. Don’t forget to tag CPAF and #GivingTuesday!

CPAF Tags:

Facebook: @CenterForThePacificAsianFamily
Twitter: @CPAForg
Instagram: @cpaforg

How much of an impact will we make this year?
Stay tuned.