APWC and CPAF Join Forces to Serve
Asian & Pacific Islander Community Together

JOINT STATEMENT – March 1, 2017

 

LOS ANGELES – After more than 17 years of partnering to help women, children and families affected by domestic violence and abuse, Asian Pacific Women’s Center (APWC) and Center for the Pacific Asian Family (CPAF) announced today that they have combined their organizations to enhance their capacity to serve the diverse Asian and Pacific Islander communities in Los Angeles.

 

Founded in 1998, APWC is dedicated to providing a safe haven and support services for women and children who are survivors of domestic violence.   APWC has a transitional shelter, a community education and empowerment program with case management and counseling, and a permanent affordable housing program for families affected by domestic violence.

 

Since 1978, CPAF has provided comprehensive supportive services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, including counseling, advocacy in the legal, medical and public welfare systems, and safe shelter with afterschool and children’s development programs.   CPAF operates a 24-hour multilingual hotline (1-800-399-3940), emergency and transitional shelters, and a community center with intervention, prevention and public education programs.

 

CPAF and APWC share the same vision of an Asian and Pacific Islander community that is free from violence and both organizations provide services that are sensitive to the cultural and language needs of Asian and Pacific Islander survivors of violence and their families. The newly combined organization will continue under the name Center for the Pacific Asian Family (CPAF), led by Debra Suh, executive director.

 

“APWC has served domestic violence survivors for over 18 years thanks to the work and dedication of community and business leaders with the vision and courage to stand up for those in need.  We invite our APWC family to join us as we combine our efforts with CPAF. With your continued support, we will expand our voices, our impact and our reach to meet the needs of our diverse and growing community,” said Judy Man-Ling Lam, APWC board president.

 

“Our combined strengths will enable us to provide better, more comprehensive services to Asians and Pacific Islanders affected by family and intimate partner violence,” said Roselma Samala, board president of CPAF.  “I am proud to be a part of this important moment.  We are grateful for the leadership of the APWC and CPAF team who has worked diligently over the past four years in order to reach this day.”

# # #

The Center for the Pacific Asian Family (CPAF) is recognized nationally for its pioneering work in providing culturally sensitive services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Los Angeles County. Founded in 1978, CPAF’s mission is to build healthy and safe communities by addressing the root causes and consequences of family violence and violence against women. CPAF specializes in serving low-income Asian and Pacific Islander (API) survivors of domestic and sexual violence and is committed to meeting the specific cultural and language needs of API women and their families.


Celebrating Lunar New Year with Bank of America

One of the perks of working for CPAF is getting to know our corporate donors and volunteers.

This month, I had the pleasure of being a guest at Bank of America (BofA)’s Lunar New Year festivities at the 888 Seafood Restaurant in Rosemead. CPAF received a grant of $10,000 from BofA in December 2016, and we very much value Bank of America as a community partner.

 

 

It was inspiring to see the hundreds of BofA’s employees who are a part of the Asian Leadership Network. The celebration included an eight-course meal and a lion dance performance. But for me, the main highlight of the evening was hearing the stories of two accomplished men in the world of finance- Gil Tong, a Resident Director at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, and Johnny Montes, Senior Vice President and Area Executive for Bank of America.

 

Gil Tong and Johnny Montes, featured speakers at Bank of America’s Lunar New Year Banquet

I think the reason why these men moved me is because it is rare for Asian men like Tong to speak so vulnerably about his humble beginnings. It was also endearing to hear a top executive like Montes talk about how important it is to prioritize his wife’s yoga nights and not miss important family obligations no matter how busy you may be in the corporate world.

Gil Tong, Resident Director at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

Gil Tong spoke about different perspectives on ‘Asian integration.’ Tong shared a story about immigrating to the United States as a child and growing up in Chinatown. Back then he thought of integration as getting a shot to compete in America. Years later, when he made his way into the finance world, he began seeing integration from a different light. He noted that Chinese and Korean investors acquired much of Los Angeles’ real estate. He said there were $45 billion in acquisition from Chinese investors in America last year, which was more than twice as much as the year before. “If you have an Asia outside of Asia, it is right here,” said Tong referencing Southern California. Now, Tong said ‘Asian integration’ was no longer about fitting in. It was about getting a chance to stand out.

Johnny Montes, Senior Vice President and Area Executive for Bank of America

Johnny Montes, an area executive for Bank of America, addressed ‘work life balance’ or the lack thereof in this world. He preferred to use the phrase ‘work life harmony,’ saying it was not only helping in maintaining a successful career but also a healthy family life. Three tips I picked up from his speech are as follows:

  1. Plan – what is important to you? Ex. Montes’ family planned the following-  him: kickboxing on Tuesdays; his wife: yoga on Wednesdays; child: family night on Fridays
  2. Communicate- what are your needs and wants? Don’t assume others will or should know.
  3. Make it count- be present. At home, put work away. Constantly re-evaluate your overall life and re-balance as needed.

Montes ended his speech with a one year rule – what will you remember one year from now? He encouraged asking this questions when deciding between a family and a work obligation.

This particular night was the first time I saw a large corporation like Bank of America dedicate so many resources and time to promote the Asian heritage. Through entertainment, food, and culturally sensitive messages, it was a time of reflection for many in attendance as we celebrated Lunar New Year.

 

Byline: Christine Lee, Community Engagement Manager at CPAF


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.

Ralphs
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
Dogeared
Evie Jeang
Girl Scouts Troop 341
Handmade Especially For You
Palisades Charter High School – Asian Student Union
Sanrio
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.