We, the Bay Area Domestic Violence Shelter Collaborative, stand in solidarity with Asian and Asian-American communities who continue to face unimaginable violence and hate across the country. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have seen a pattern of anti-Asian violence fueled by the rhetoric of white supremacy movements and legislators from the far right and conservative media outlets who have continued to blame the Asian community for the virus. This rhetoric continues to escalate violence which has resulted in numerous fatalities, disabling injuries and inflicted trauma and fear for the individual victims and the entire Asian and Asian American communities.
Both women and men must contend with socially-imposed, internalized messages that create barriers to getting help to heal from domestic violence or sexual assault. Common responses for anyone experiencing abuse or violence, like feelings of self-blame, fear of not being believed, and the way in which an individual might try to reclaim safety and control over their lives are inevitably deeply influenced by gendered social norms.
"The Achievement in Nonprofit Excellence Award was presented to NEWS, dedicated to providing safety, hope, healing and empowerment for survivors of domestic and sexual abuse, all of which have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Last year, NEWS continued to provide all programming without putting the health of their staff or clients at risk, serving a total of 1,560 individuals, 247 of which were sexual assault survivors, nearly ½ of those were children under the age of 18. "
Survivors see positive aspects of Zoom hearings
Within days of the courts shutting down in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NEWS Court Advocates quickly adapted to serving our clients remotely. We continued to help clients file Temporary and Permanent Restraining Orders after incidents of domestic violence in which Emergency Restraining Orders were issued. This is an important step for many DV victims as it secures and enforces their legal rights to safety as they navigate next steps in their recovery. For several weeks, our Court Advocates guided clients through the emotional and difficult process of filing the paperwork remotely. Once the courts reopened, we provided technical assistance and tips to clients on the new process, like how to use Zoom for hearings and how to use their smart phones to scan important documents.