Guest Blog for SAAM (Sexual Assault Awareness Month)

Guest blogger Nina is a Junior at Westridge School for Girls

Nina, on the left, and her friend Therese were a part of CPAF’s API Youth Forum in 2016

I learned more than an average teenager would about domestic violence and sexual assault as one of CPAF’s Youth Leadership pilot program participants. I took CPAF’s 65-hour training and volunteered last two summers at CPAF’s emergency and transitional shelters. As I’m preparing to go to college, I became increasingly aware of how prevalent sexual assault is across the country. Studies show that one in five women are sexually assaulted during college, which means that I or a friend will become a target too.

I began researching how different universities respond to sexual violence, and I wanted to share these resources with those who may also be looking for a safe campus to call their home-away-from home for the next few years.

Who to ask: These groups and organizations should be most knowledgeable on this topic.

  • Student Advocacy Groups or Student Peer Counselors: Many colleges have them, and they should be able to provide the most accurate information on how the administration treats the students who are sexually assaulted, and the students who assaulted them.
  • Title IX Officers/Coordinators: Since 2011, colleges are required to have a Title IX Officer/Coordinator who takes reports, investigates allegations, and adjudicates sexual assault cases. They also educate the campus community about sexual assault via prevention programs.
  • Counseling/Health/Violence Prevention Center: Most colleges will have one or more of these.

What to ask: These are some basic questions students and parents can ask when visiting campuses.

  • Are there any trainings during orientation that address sexual assault awareness or prevention?
  • How does this school react to sexual assault cases?
  • How does this campus support victims of sexual assault?
  • Are there policies that hold sexual assault perpetrators accountable?
  • Has this campus ever been investigated for violating Title IX?
  • Can you tell me how to access your school’s Clery Report? (The Clery Act is a federal law requiring all colleges participating in federal student aid programs to disclose crime statistics and summaries of security policies every year.)

Keep in mind:

Colleges don’t want to be known for having high levels of sexual assault, so they may underreport. In these cases, do your own research (search local news reports, police logs, etc.)

Special thanks to Daren Mooko, the Title IX Coordinator at Pomona College, for his guidance.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and CPAF’s Volunteer Coordinator Elizabeth Denny took this picture of the Clothesline Project while tabling at UCLA


Call Your Congressional Representative: Support Funding for Programs for Domestic Violence Survivors

According to the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (CPEDV), twenty-six California members of Congress signed on in support of Violence Against Women Act and Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (VAWA & FVPSA) funding, and thirteen signed on in support of Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funding. Here is a link to CPEDV’s list of signers and you may look up your congressional representative here.

We encourage you to call your member of Congress and thank them for their support; and if they did not sign on, feel free to call them to ask them to support this important funding.

Below is a sample phone script (courtesy of CPEDV) to call members of Congress who signed onto VAWA and VOCA Letters; feel free to adapt the areas as needed for your member of Congress.

 

To thank your member of Congress for supporting funding for programs for domestic violence survivors:

  • Hello, on behalf of Center for the Pacific Asian Family (CPAF), I want to thank the Congresswoman/Congressman for signing on to the “Dear Colleague” letters in support of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) & Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) funding, [as well as the letter in support of Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funds].
  • As you know, these funding sources provide foundational, essential funding to support programs serving survivors of domestic violence in the district and all across California and the country.
  • We deeply appreciate the Congresswoman/Congressman support for this funding in the Fiscal Year 18 Appropriations bills. Thank you.

 

To ask your member of Congress to support funding for programs for domestic violence survivors:

  • Hello, on behalf of Center for the Pacific Asian Family (CPAF), I want to thank the Congresswoman/Congressman for signing on to the “Dear Colleague” letters in support of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) & Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) funding, [as well as the letter in support of Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funds].
  • As you know, these funding sources provide foundational, essential funding to support programs serving survivors of domestic violence in the district and all across California and the country.
  • We would deeply appreciate the Congresswoman’s/Congressman’s support for this funding in the Fiscal Year 18 Appropriations bills. Thank you.

Thank you for your support! CHANGE INVOLVES YOU.


CPAF at LA Galaxy’s Asian Pacific Islanders Night

Thank you soccer fans for supporting CPAF at LA Galaxy’s game celebrating Asians and Pacific Islanders! The home team will be donating a portion of its special ticket sales back to CPAF.

Here are some pictures of supporters who came out to watch the Galaxy make a comeback and tie with the Fire on May 6th.


Celebrating Our New Home

On March 14 and 15, we hosted Open House events, welcoming longtime supporters and community partners to our new Community Center location on Wilshire Boulevard in the heart of Koreatown.  At this location, we continue to provide our multi-lingual 24-hour hotline, culturally sensitive counseling services, and community resource referrals.

As we approach 40 years of establishment since our founding in 1978, we reflect on how we have grown as an agency:

  • 1978: CPAF establishes the first multi-lingual 24-hour hotline in the United States, assisting Asian & Pacific Islander (API) survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
  • 1981: CPAF opens the first multi-lingual and multi-cultural domestic violence emergency shelter in the nation to serve the API community.
  • 1998: CPAF opens a transitional program, focusing on the needs of survivors who seek to establish independent, violence-free lives.
  • 2005: CPAF expands its Community Program, focusing on community engagement and violence prevention programs.
  • 2010: CPAF opens its first public Community Center, co-locating with Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, and expanding CPAF services to non-residential counseling.
  • 2016: CPAF relocates its Community Center to Koreatown, easily accessible by car, on foot, and via public transportation.

This year marks yet another significant chapter:  our integration with Asian Pacific Women’s Center (APWC).  Combining our organizations enhances our ability to provide more comprehensive services to Asians and Pacific Islanders affected by family and intimate partner violence.  We will continue carrying out the same vision of ending domestic violence in the Asian and Pacific Islander community under the name Center for the Pacific Asian Family.

CPAF supporters enjoy refreshments with staff.


Shelter Program Director Patima Komolamit describes CPAF’s services, ranging from our 24-hour crisis hotline and intervention services to shelter, prevention and outreach.

Development and External Relations Director Michelle Esperanza engages guests with opportunities for further involvement.

 

Thank you to all those who attended our Open Houses and to all of our supporters for playing an important role in CPAF’s continual growth.  Together, we have truly been able to nurture positive and empowering change.

Click here to view more photos from our Open House and Media Day events.


8th Annual San Gabriel Valley Youth Summit – CPAF Youth Co-facilitate Workshop

On Saturday March 18th, CPAF Prevention Team youth and coordinator co-facilitated a workshop on healthy boundaries in relationships at Asian Pacific Family Center’s 8th Annual SGV Youth Summit . This was a unique opportunity for our youth to lead their peers in what they have learned through our youth programming at Alhambra High School. Our team had been preparing for the workshop during lunch period and our hard work resulted in us fostering a great connection with the youth participants who attended our workshop!

CPAF Prevention Coordinator (far left) with three youth leaders (Alex, Janell, and Esme) to her right
Youth participants practice communicating physical boundaries in an activity
Participants write down what their definitions of what love is.

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!