“Survivors are here to teach us, so their story becomes our story.”

Hmong women working in domestic violence programs organized a series of meetings to understand the trends and issues in international marriages and to explore possible actions to address abusive international marriages. They saw its connections to sexual and domestic violence and the impact on their communities; and wanted to find out what is happening. Hmong advocates, Hmong women activists, victims/survivors of the practice of abusive international marriages, community leaders and allies came together to learn and strategize. Their documentation of the problem and its impact, analysis, survivors’ stories, and strategies are captured in Abusive International Marriages: Hmong Advocates Organizing in Wisconsin.

As the report clearly shows, Hmong advocates emphasized understanding the complexities of abusive international marriages and articulating a vision of and strategies for community change. It takes courage to address difficult problems in an open forum: the importance of being protective of one’s culture and community has to be balanced with speaking out against harmful practices. These discussions demonstrate how deeply Hmong advocates are invested in their communities and in cultural change work. Their powerful activism is a testament to culture as a dynamic, ever-changing force that mobilizes community assets to prevent sexual and domestic violence. This report belongs to Hmong advocates, activists, survivors, and community leaders; the inspiration their work offers belongs to all of us.

Related Resources

Gender and Culture in Transition: A Community Conversation: Report on Domestic Violence Forum with the Fresno Hmong Community, 2014

By Central California Asian Pacific Women. 
Advocates and community members from Fresno convened to examine domestic violence within the context of gender equity and how it impacts Fresno’s Hmong community. Participants identified steps that communities and systems can take to raise awareness, improve service for survivors, and redefine gender values and practices.

by Chic Dabby
In partnership with Wisconsin Refugee Family Strengthening Project


Share this: