Fact Sheet for Intersection of Sexual Violence and Asian Pacific American Health



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Fact Sheet for Intersection of Sexual Violence and Asian Pacific American Health


  • Asian immigrant women are less likely to report incidences of abuse and least likely to receive preventive care and treatment services, due largely to linguistic, cultural, social, and institutional barriers

    • (Bhaumik, 1988; National Asian Women’s Health Organization, 2002; Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000b).

  • Asian Americans were distinct from the other ethnic groups in that they were least likely to display inappropriate sexual behavior and anger. It appears that Asian Americans are more likely to internalize their feelings rather than act out their feelings in response to child sexual abuse.

    • http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1100&context=psychfacpub

  • Rao et al. (1992) also investigated these factors. Approximately 60% of Asian American victims were abused by a male relative. They were the most likely ethnic group to be abused by a male relative, including the father.

    • Okazaki, Sumie. (2002, February 1). Influences of culture on Asian Americans' sexuality The Free Library. (2002). Retrieved February 14, 2011 from http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Influences of culture on Asian Americans' sexuality-a087080438

  • In the study conducted by Rao et al. (1992), Asian American primary caretakers (e.g., mothers) were half as likely to report abuse to authorities as caretakers of other ethnic groups.

    • Okazaki, Sumie. (2002, February 1). Influences of culture on Asian Americans' sexuality The Free Library. (2002). Retrieved February 14, 2011 from http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Influences of culture on Asian Americans' sexuality-a087080438

  • Asian American caretakers (23.4%) were also more likely to disbelieve the report of abuse.

    • Okazaki, Sumie. (2002, February 1). Influences of culture on Asian Americans' sexuality The Free Library. (2002). Retrieved February 14, 2011 from http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Influences of culture on Asian Americans' sexuality-a087080438

  • Furthermore, Asian American caretakers were less likely than caretakers of other ethnic groups to complete the evaluation and treatment with the victim.

    • Okazaki, Sumie. (2002, February 1). Influences of culture on Asian Americans' sexuality The Free Library. (2002). Retrieved February 14, 2011 from http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Influences of culture on Asian Americans' sexuality-a087080438

  • When asked how they would respond to sexual assault, most of the participants reported that they would keep the assault a secret within the family for fear of community rejection and blame.

    • Okazaki, Sumie. (2002, February 1). Influences of culture on Asian Americans' sexuality The Free Library. (2002). Retrieved February 14, 2011 from http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Influences of culture on Asian Americans' sexuality-a087080438

  • Two studies showed that Asian women tolerate IPV more due to accepting IPV as their own fault, expectations of culture to be obedient to their husbands, fear of rejection by the community, and wanting to create a flawless public image to their community\

    • [1]Shiu-Thornton S, Senturia K, Sullivan M Affiliation: Department of Health Services UoWUSA. "Like a bird in a cage": Vietnamese women survivors talk about domestic violence. Journal of interpersonal violence. 2005.

    • Hien DaCB. Interpersonal violence in a normal low-income control group.

  • Asian women experienced less IPV, but the types of violence were more severe.

    • Marianne R. Yoshioka LG. Social support and disclosure of abuse: comparing South Asian, African American, and Hispanic Battered Women. Journal of Family violence. June 2003 June 2003;Vol 18, No.3 171-17

  • Estimated lifetime rates of partner violence reported by several community-based studies with nonrepresentative samples range from 24% to 60% (Raj & Silverman, 2003; Rhee, 1997; Song, 1996; Yoshioka & Dang, 2000).

    • http://tva.sagepub.com/content/10/2/143.full.pdf+html

  • The Asian immigrant community tends to minimize or ignore the problem of IPV because it is often considered to be a culturally acceptable, private matter.

    • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19383628?dopt=Abstract

  • Asian women in the United States are less likely to report incidences of sexual and physical assault committed by intimates than other racial and ethnic groups.

    • http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles/172837.pdf

  • Despite the high incidence of IPV among Asian immigrant women, their utilization of treatment services and law enforcement protection has been found to be relatively low.

    • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19383628?dopt=Abstract

  • Although HIV/AIDS rates are still low in Asian Americans, available data demonstrate a fast increase in the incidence among this population. Combined with traditional gender norms that promote male dominance and Asian immigrant women’s vulnerability to sexual assault within marriage, there is cause for concern about the potential for contracting STDs and HIV/AIDS associated with IPV. Preventive efforts are needed by the public health system.

    • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19383628?dopt=Abstract


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