April 1, 2024

Oakland, CA— The Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence (API-GBV) applauds the Biden Administration’s announcement of revisions to Statistical Policy Directive No. 15 (SPD 15): Standards for Maintaining, Collecting, and Presenting Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity.

This long awaited development will bring additional visibility, understanding, and resources to subgroups within Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander/Middle Eastern and North African (AANHPI/MENA) communities. Among the many changes, combining race and ethnicity into one question with the option to select all identities that apply and adding Middle Eastern or North African as a new minimum category are two significant changes in the new directives.

“These updates to data collection are crucial changes that have been highly requested by community based organizations (CBOs) that work with AANHPI and MENA survivors for a very long time,” said Monica Khant, API-GBV’s CEO. “AANHPI/MENA identities are not a monolith. AANHPI and MENA survivors come from over 50 countries and speak over 200 languages. Collecting further disaggregated data helps to identify disparities among different groups within our communities and allows CBOs to provide trauma-informed, culturally and linguistically specific support to best address the needs of survivors.”

The new standards took effect March 29, 2024 and requires federal agencies to have an implementation plan in place within 18 months. API-GBV looks forward to the swift and widespread implementation of these standards, and urges the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to support collection of detailed data on AANHPI/MENA ethnic groups in as many instances as practicable.

To provide resources and culturally relevant services to survivors of gender-based violence (GBV), it is imperative to understand their unique experiences, which can be brought to light through disaggregated data. This is especially important in addressing GBV, as factors such as cultural norms, language barriers, immigration status, and socioeconomic factors can significantly impact an individual’s risk of experiencing violence and their access to resources and support services.

“API-GBV works to bridge the gap between CBOs and the survivors they support. For survivors of GBV the disparities are enormous,” said Sarah Khan, API-GBV’s Director of Programs. “With better data, we will be able to show policymakers, stakeholders, and advocates data that explains the different needs of our communities. Having data that is as diverse as we are allows CBOs to create stronger strategies and services to support survivors of gender-based violence.”


About Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence

The Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence (API-GBV) is a culturally specific national resource center on domestic violence, sexual violence, trafficking, and other forms of gender-based violence in Asian/Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. API-GBV envisions a world free of gender-based violence for communities with equal opportunities for all to thrive. For more information about API-GBV, visit www.api-gbv.org.