193471 Coming Out of the Darkness: Towards a Better Understanding of Intimate Partner Violence in the Asian and Pacific Islander Communities

Monday, November 9, 2009: 12:30 PM

Cliff Akiyama, MA, MPH , Department of Pathology, Microbiology, Immunology, and Forensic Medicine, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
It is often acknowledge that the pervasive bondage of intimate partner violence (IPV) transcends all racial, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds. The Asian and Pacific Islander (API) community is no exception. Unfortunately the API community is often overlooked by researchers and practitioners in the field as “at risk” for IPV. The limited studies that do focus on the API community have indicated a high prevalence of IPV with as high as 41-60% of API women experiencing some form of IPV (physical, emotional, sexual, and financial) during their lifetime. Furthermore, 21% of API women have a history of child sexual abuse and 25% of these same women are later raped as adults. Disturbingly, API women are the least likely to report rape victimization. Of the API women that are physically or sexually abused, 97% have never utilized any rape or physical abuse services such as a rape crisis center or shelter within their communities, while 19% of them not even knowing about the services available to them. With the technical assistance of Women Organized Against Rape, a Philadelphia rape crisis center, this study identified 14 distinct barriers to disclosure and service utilization of API women who experience IPV. While this study identified distinct barriers, it also identified various intervention/prevention models of IPV that are exculsive to the API community. IPV should no longer be a secret in the API community. Coming out of the darkness and acknowledging the existence of IPV is the first step towards healing and rehabilitation.

Learning Objectives:
The purpose of this paper is to not only inform public health personnel about intimate partner violence in the API community and how to safeguard themselves and others around them, but also encourage all of us to realize that intimate partner violence affects us regardless of socioeconomic class, gender, occupation, or geographic location. At the conclusion of the presentation, the participant should be able to identify the signs and symptoms of intimate partner violence. They should also be able to recognize some of the barriers to getting help and most importantly know where to turn to for assistance if they suspect intimate partner violence. Moreover, the participant should be able to analyze some novel prevention/intervention programs that have worked in the community to help stop this problem before it's too late.

Keywords: Asian and Pacific Islander, Domestic Violence

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been doing research in this area for over three years. I am also a Board Member of WOAR, which is a rape crisis center in Philadelphia, PA. Prior to coming to the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania, I was a Deputy Sheriff with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and delt with IPV as a law enforcement officer.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.