Thursday, July 21, 2011

Engagement: Elmhurst Walgreens posts our flyer

Thanks to the Elmhurst Walgreens manager for posting our flyer to encourage victims of domestic abuse to speak out and get help.  He also promised to speak to his friends and family about healthy relationships and speak out if he comes across domestic abuse.  

It takes change-makers like him and YOU to make our families and communities safer.  Want to help? Contact us: Project Speak Out Manager, Tel: (212) 732-0054 ext 163,

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

10 Steps YOU can take to end domestic violence

Adapted from

10 Things You Can Do To Combat Domestic Violence

1. Understand the Dynamics of Domestic Violence

The results of domestic violence can be deadly. 12 women in NYC were recently killed by way of domestic violence in about a month.

Domestic Violence (DV), also known as Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) or Interpersonal Violence (IV), is about maintaining power and control over another. Abused persons live in a controlling environment, feels fear and often “walks on eggshells”.

Abuse takes many forms. Examples of abuse include: physical abuse ranging from pinching and shoving to physical assault (strangulation, punching, kicking, use of items causing injury), verbal/emotional abuse (degrading remarks and threats of harm and deportation, intimidation, sexist comments), financial abuse, sexual exploitation and rape, and symbolic violence (throwing furniture, punching walls, etc).

2. Know the Facts
• An international statistic from the United Nations shows that 1 in 3 women will experience some form of violence in her lifetime.
• 1/4 of ALL women will experience DV in her lifetime.
• 1/3 of all women murdered, were killed by their partners with over 16,000 murders due to an intimate partner.

3. Be Aware of Your Own Attitude

Challenge how your own behaviors and words contribute towards violence and the violation of women and others. Check out your own attitude. Look within. Think of how your own thinking and behavioral patterns were shaped by those you observed growing up.

How do you refer to women in every day speech? Each culture bares responsibility for reducing violence against women and interpersonal violence. Examples include language like “bitch” and “hoe”. Author Marlon Cadogan of Stand-up Men provides one detailed example, “What does it mean to call a woman words such as “cow”? Cow = Inferior. Subhuman. Male property. Once a person is reduced to property, the abusive person can feel they can exploit and use the other in any way.”

Having awareness and challenging your behavior can be transformative. Taking small steps to not tolerate sexist, abusive attitude can add up to big strides in preventing and stopping domestic violence. Make a decision today. Inform a “buddy” to hold you accountable to your change.

4. Intervene With Caution

Talk to a friend who is verbally or physically abusive to women in a private, calm moment, rather than in public or directly after an abusive incident.

Talk to a group of his friends and strategize a group response. (There is strength in numbers.)

If you are a high school or college student, approach a trusted teacher, professor, social worker, or health professional. Tell them what you have observed and ask them to do something, or ask them to advise you on how you might proceed.

5. Listen and Support the Victim/Survivor

If a victim/survivor comes forward about the abuse, be supportive. Listen privately and separately. Do not blame the victim. Validate the person’s feelings by believing her. Support her coming forward about the abuse. Understand it isn’t easy and often not safe for the victim/survivor to “just leave”.

Help the victim/survivor understand the power and control dynamics of abuse and the life-threatening safety and health risks when there is escalating violence that affects her and her children. Don’t pressure the victim/survivor to leave when the situation is not fully understood and the victim/survivor is not ready. Empower the victim/survivor to make the best decision for herself and the children. Put safety first. Listen calmly, fully, and patiently.

6. Get Help. Contact Local Agencies

Learn about shelter, counseling & your legal rights
• 24-hr English hotline: 1-800-621-HOPE (1-800-621-4673)
• 24-hr hotline in 12 East & South Asian languages:
New York Asian Women’s Center
• 24-hr hotline in Korean (한국어 상담):
1-718-460-3800 뉴욕가정상담소 Korean American Family Srv Ctr
• 7 days a week, 9AM - 6PM, Chinese hotline 中文熱線:
1-877-990-8595 (求求您,幫我救我) Garden of Hope
• M-F, 9am-5pm, Bengali, Hindi & Urdu hotline:
1-212-868-6741 Sakhi for South Asian Women

For victim support and more information, reach out to a local agency, which can provide free, confidential, and multi-lingual support services. Agencies can offer resources and practical help such as: toll-free hotline, counseling, clothing, food, shelter, financial, legal, healthcare or referrals to medical services and much more.

Contacting an agency is helpful because it compliments your support of listening and allows professional intervention to address some of the complex issues that intersect with interpersonal violence. In the case of interpersonal violence, a witness to the violence (also known as a bystander) may not fully understand the dangers and complex dynamics involved in women staying.


7. Stop Making Excuses

Stop blaming abusive behavior on drugs, alcohol, job stress, anger, provocation, and “loss of control”. Only the abusive person can stop the violence by committing to a lifetime change towards positive non-violent behavior. This has to be the abusive person’s decision to change the harmful behavior.

8. Honor Choice

Part of stopping VAW is about recognizing and honoring her choice. By respecting things like her decision to say yes and no and her freedom to make choices, you are honoring her basic human rights. Honor your mother, sister, grandmother, family member, colleagues and friends by treating her with care.

9. Speak Out

Mentor, teach, and display to young kids how to behave in ways that don’t involve degrading and abusive patterns. Use phrases like it is “not right” and “not cool” if they participate in behavior that disrespects women on any level. One slogan to keep in mind is:

“Real men don’t abuse women”

“If we can get men to drop their macho stance, we can end violence against women.” – Marlon Cadogan, Stand-Up Guys

“If we see a woman as just body parts, something we own or control, we will continue to be violent”, “Objectification is the beginning of thinking we can do whatever we want with a woman. We need to see women as our equals.” – Quentin Walcott, CONNECT

10. Volunteer

Volunteer with us to reduce and prevent domestic violence in YOUR communities.

We have a Project Speak Out volunteer training scheduled on Saturday, July 30, from 10am – 6pm; we will provide lunch. Afterward, you will receive a certificate of completion for the training and be ready to start volunteering.

We will go over the following topics during the training:

• Bringing in the Bystander: A Prevention Workshop for Establishing a Community of Responsibility
• Domestic violence
• Asian-Americans & domestic violence
• Project Speak Out
• Outreach & Activities: Role of Volunteer, Resources

Contact us below if you are interested: Project Speak Out Manager, Tel: (212) 732-0054 ext 163, Email:

Friday, July 1, 2011

FREE training on how to reduce & prevent domestic violence

Saturday, July 30, 10am - 6pm.  We will provide lunch.

In less than 2 months, there were 12 domestic-violence-related murders in NYC.  Help bring the number down to zero.

Project Speak Out is a new initiative in which four Asian-American domestic-violence agencies in NYC (New York Asian Women’s Center, Sakhi for South Asian Women, Korean American Family Service Center, and Garden of Hope) are working on a unique project to reduce and PREVENT domestic violence in NY’s Asian-American communities.

Instead of organizations going into communities to talk about domestic violence, volunteers themselves will interact with their fellow neighbors, friends, and families to change individual & community attitudes & behaviors toward domestic violence.  As Project Speak Out volunteers, these community members, who might speak the language or share the culture of their audience, will make sure that three core messages are passed on:
1.    Domestic violence DOES EXIST in our communities
2.    Women are not to be blamed for the violence perpetrated against them
3.    YOU as an individual/group CAN TAKE ACTION! (and suggest ways to take that action)

We will train you on what domestic violence is and how to engage and mobilize individuals and groups in communities to take action!

We will go over the following topics during the training:
•    Bringing in the Bystander: A Prevention Workshop for Establishing a Community of Responsibility
•    Domestic violence
•    Asian-Americans and domestic violence
•    Project Speak Out
•    Outreach and Activities: Role of Volunteer, Resources

You do NOT need to speak an Asian language to volunteer

**Please note: quite a few of the New York Asian Women’s Center employees started as volunteers.

Contact: Project Speak Out Manager, Tel: (212) 732-0054 ext 163, Email:

Facebook Page: ProjectSpeakOut        
Twitter: @ProjectSpeakOut  

Monday, June 20, 2011

We will present at National Organization for Women (NOW) National Conference about Project Speak Out

We are excited about the following workshop at the National Organization for Women (NOW) National Conference; hundreds of activists from across the nation will attend.  There were many workshop proposals on violence against women and immigrant rights; we are honored they included our proposal.

Breakout Session II: Friday, June 24, 2011, 3:45pm - 5:15pm

Anti-Immigrant Sentiment, Domestic Violence, and Families: A Narrative of Liberation
Salon B

This multi-faceted workshop will address a series of urgent problems confronting women immigrants and their feminist allies. Panelists will review the extent of anti-immigrant sentiment in the U.S. and related laws, such as the harsh new Arizona law, SB 1070. They will also comment on the DREAM Act, Violence Against Women Act and the U Visa for battered immigrant women. Panelists will then discuss barriers that battered immigrant women face with abusers' threats, language differences and fears of deportation. Additional topics will cover stressors affecting Latinas and counseling strategies for empowerment. Finally, speakers will describe Project Speak Out being used by Asian-American agencies in New York to prevent domestic violence.

Maria del C. Rodriquez (Moderator), Jeanette Ocasio, Jessica Moreno, N. Jerin Arifa

N. Jerin Arifa
Project Speak Out Manager
New York Asian Women's Center (NYAWC)

Volunteer posts a call to other volunteers on Japanese newspaper

Thanks to volunteer Komi Kaoru for publishing the following article in the Japanese newspaper NY Syukan Seikatsu, asking others to join her as volunteers.  The article below describes Project Speak Out, and asks for interested people to contact us for volunteering opportunities.

You can also help by publishing an article in a newspaper in your language, or volunteering to go out into the community to change community attitudes and behaviors toward domestic violence.  You can also help us with administrative work, such as helping us translate window signs and flyers - one of the goals of Project Speak Out is to be as language-accessible as possible to Asian-Americans.  Please contact us below if you are interested.  Thank you.

Project Speak Out Manager, Tel: (212) 732-0054 ext 163, Email:

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Action Alert: Ask your senators to help domestic violence victims by extending length of stay in shelters

WE NEED YOUR HELP TO MAKE CALLS AND SIGN PETITION!!  PLEASE DO THIS BY FRIDAY!  Try to get your friends and co-workers to make the calls.  We need numerous calls per location

We must continue the fight to extend the length of stay in domestic violence shelters to 180 days.  This legislation has already passed in the Assembly.  Now it needs to pass in the Senate.  We are urging you to call (and ask all of your friends/co-workers to call) the Senators below and sign the petition below.  PLEASE HELP!!


Senator Patrick Gallivan – Chair of the Social Services Committee (518-455-3471)
Senator Daniel Squadron – Ranking Member of the Social Services Committee (518-455-2625 or 212-298-5565)
Senator Dean Skelos – Majority Leader (518-455-3171)

Sample script:  "I am calling to urge Senator ___, to vote S.973 out of Committee.  This important piece of legislation will save victims' lives by allowing them to stay in emergency domestic violence shelter for 180 days.  This additional time will mean better housing outcomes, increased safety, and self-sufficiency.  This legislation is cost neutral."



Thursday, June 2, 2011

Announcing our logo contest winner: Anum Awan

A big thanks to Anum Awan,, who designed our logo. She worked on various versions to come up with the final one you see as our profile photo. Anum is a designer and artist from Pakistan currently based in Boston, attending Massachusetts College of Art and Design for a BFA in Graphic Design. Congratulations to Anum on wining our logo contest.