A mass shooting in Atlanta last week that left eight people dead, including six women of Asian descent, has Asian women across the country feeling heartbroken and scared for their safety.
The attacks come amid an increase in gender-based violence.
Nationwide, domestic violence has increased by more than 8% since the onset of stay-at-home orders last spring, according to a report from the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice.
“As Asian American women in our community, we’ve been faced with so much vulnerability and historically being stereotyped and hypersexualized,” said Ji Hye Kim, the executive director of KAN-WIN. “Last week’s shooting really was a wake-up call. We can’t not talk about it. We can’t silence it. We need to do something.”
Sexual violence increases during times of crisis, said Erin Walton, the executive director of Resilience. The pandemic has made it so many people facing violence don’t have access to help, she added.
“What we are anticipating as communities open up a bit is that more folks will come forward seeking help,” Walton said. “We’re anticipating a surge over the next three, six months.”
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Note: This story will be updated with video.