21-55% of Asian women report experiencing intimate physical and/or sexual violence during their lifetime.
Domestic violence is a systematic pattern of behaviors that include physical battering, coercive control, economic abuse, emotional abuse, and/or sexual violence. It is intended to gain or maintain power and control over a romantic or intimate partner to intimidate, frighten, terrorize, humiliate, blame, or injure. It can happen to anyone of any age, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender, religion, education level, or socioeconomic background; regardless of whether couples are married, living together or dating.
Domestic violence is more than a series of violent incidents on an identifiable cycle. It is about living in a climate of fear and disempowering restrictions that threaten and affect one’s selfhood, psychological well-being, health, economic independence, and emotional availability for parenting.
Two Significant, Differing Dynamics
Multiple Batterers, Single Victim
- Perpetrators can include marital family members: husbands, mothers-in-law, fathers-in-law, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, ex-wives, new wives; and/or members of a woman’s natal family – her parents, aunts, uncles, adult siblings.
- Multiple batterers may act separately, each using different types of abuse.
- Multiple batterers can act together, playing different roles in one incident.
- In-laws may encourage or support domestic violence, but not perpetrate it themselves.
- Multiple abusers may use coercive control tactics; exercise micro-controls on her movements – monitoring, tracking, and reporting on them; exert power and control from afar through texting, webcams, other technologies.
Push & Pull Factors
Terms used to explain immigration – negative circumstances that ‘push’ people to leave and positive attractions that ‘pull’ them to migrate – are applied to battered women’s experiences.
- Pull factors are behaviors and statements that ‘pull’ or lure her back into the relationship by offering apologies, reassurances and promises to change.
- Push factors are meant to ‘push’ her out of the relationship, rather than draw her back in.
- API women report feeling pushed out of the relationship or marital home (“leave the house, give me a divorce, I can always find another wife”) more frequently than they are pulled or enticed back into it (“come back to me, I won’t do it again”).
- Push and pull factors affect how decisions, especially about leaving, are made.
Resources on Domestic Violence
A compilation of statistics on domestic violence, sexual violence, stalking, and help-seeking in South Asian communities.
Lifecourse Experiences of Intimate Partner Violence and Help-Seeking among Filipina, Indian, and Pakistani Women, 2010
This research study interviewed 143 Filipina, Indian, and Pakistani survivors in order to enhance the understanding of Asian battered women’s experiences in seeking help from the criminal justice system and other programs and develop recommendations for system responses to IPV in Asian communities.
This training curriculum on serving API domestic violence survivors address dynamics such as violence over the lifecourse and multiple batterers.
National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or online chat
Battered Women’s Justice Project: develops and promotes innovations in policy and practice that improve the response to intimate partner violence (IPV) by the civil, criminal, and military justice systems. BWJP offers frequent webinars on various topics related to gender violence and maintains a Resource Center.
Futures Without Violence: provides groundbreaking programs, policies, and campaigns that empower individuals and organizations working to end violence against women and children around the world. Futures’ Resource Center houses an extensive array of blog posts, webinars, reports, and other information on various topics.
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence: acting as the voice of victims and survivors and the catalyst for changing society to have zero tolerance for domestic violence, NCADV affects public policy, increases understanding of the impact of domestic violence, and provides programs and education that drive that change.
National Network to End Domestic Violence: a social change organization dedicated to creating a social, economic, and political environment in which violence against women no longer exists. NNEDV’s projects, including on economic justice and housing, address the complex causes and far-reaching consequences of domestic violence.
National Resource Center on Domestic Violence: a comprehensive source of information for those wanting to educate themselves and help others on the many issues related to domestic violence through key initiatives and special projects.
- National Census of Domestic Violence Services: an annual unduplicated count of survivors who seek services from U.S. domestic violence service programs during a single 24-hour survey period.
VAWnet: The National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women: serves as the NRCDV’s primary dissemination vehicle for domestic violence information and materials to the field on domestic violence policy, practice and resource. VAWnet’s Special Collections are organized lists of select resources on specific topics related to gender-based violence.