Center for Pacific and Asian Communities

Center for Pacific and Asian Communities

The Center for Pacific and Asian Communities (CPAC) is a community-based organization that provides supportive services to survivors of family violence who are from Asian/American, Native Hawaiian, or other Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities. CPAC’s primary mission and purpose are to provide services to those who are underserved and members of

Center for Pacific and Asian Communities

The Center for Pacific and Asian Communities (CPAC) is a community-based organization that provides supportive services to survivors of family violence who are from Asian/American, Native Hawaiian, or other Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities. CPAC’s primary mission and purpose are to provide services to those who are underserved and members of the AANHPI communities. CPAC was conceived and founded by the Domestic Violence Action Center (DVAC) to address the gap in the availability of tailored and culturally specific support services for survivors of family violence, domestic violence (DV), dating violence, and sexual assault in the AANHPI communities. DVAC is a 501(c)(3) community-based organization and CPAC’s fiscal sponsor. DVAC’s mission is a commitment to addressing domestic violence and other forms of harm through leadership, unique services, legal representation, housing, survivor and system advocacy, community education, technical assistance to businesses and government agencies, and social change work. The need for CPAC emerged from DVAC’s history of working with AANHPI communities. While DVAC’s services are available to any survivor of family violence on Oahu, most clients served are from AANHPI communities. In 2022, 44% of DVAC’s clients identified as Asian or Pacific Islander, encompassing Native Hawaiian, Filipina, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Laotian, Vietnamese, Thai, and Pacific Islander survivors, including those from the Compact of Free Association (Palau, Micronesia, Marshall Islands). Given the high representation of AANHPI communities among DVAC’s clients, CPAC was established to meet the need for expanded culturally specific support services to this group of survivors.

About the Organization:

The Center for Pacific and Asian Communities (CPAC) is a community-based organization that provides supportive services to survivors of family violence who are from Asian/American, Native Hawaiian, or other Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities. CPAC’s primary mission and purpose are to provide services to those who are underserved and members of the AANHPI communities. CPAC was conceived and founded by the Domestic Violence Action Center (DVAC) to address the gap in the availability of tailored and culturally specific support services for survivors of family violence, domestic violence (DV), dating violence, and sexual assault in the AANHPI communities. DVAC is a 501(c)(3) community-based organization and CPAC’s fiscal sponsor. DVAC’s mission is a commitment to addressing domestic violence and other forms of harm through leadership, unique services, legal representation, housing, survivor and system advocacy, community education, technical assistance to businesses and government agencies, and social change work. The need for CPAC emerged from DVAC’s history of working with AANHPI communities. While DVAC’s services are available to any survivor of family violence on Oahu, most clients served are from AANHPI communities. In 2022, 44% of DVAC’s clients identified as Asian or Pacific Islander, encompassing Native Hawaiian, Filipina, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Laotian, Vietnamese, Thai, and Pacific Islander survivors, including those from the Compact of Free Association (Palau, Micronesia, Marshall Islands). Given the high representation of AANHPI communities among DVAC’s clients, CPAC was established to meet the need for expanded culturally specific support services to this group of survivors.

organizational budget

$100,000 - $500,000

existence for

0-5 Years

Organization benefits AAPIs residing in the following state(s):

Kansas • Missouri

organizational budget

$100,000 - $500,000

existence for

0-5 Years

Organization benefits AAPIs residing in the following state(s):

Kansas • Missouri

The Issue:

Family violence can happen to anyone--of any age, race, income level, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, religion, national origin, or immigration status. Yet, the vast majority of DVAC clients are AANHPI mothers, between the ages of 22-40, with incomes below $31,000 annually. In particular, Native Hawaiian and Filipina women are at the intersection of different forms of oppression where abuse occurs in the invisible context of individual and societal bias. Colonization, marginalization, and alienation of Native Hawaiians from their land, culture, and traditions have resulted in disproportionate poverty, substance abuse, incarceration, adverse health conditions, child abuse, family violence, and intimate partner homicide rates for the indigenous community. The incidence of IPV among Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders is higher than any other ethnic group in Hawaii. While DVAC’s caseload reflects the state’s multi-ethnic population, Native Hawaiian survivors make up the majority of clients. In Hawaii, almost 30% of fatal domestic violence cases over the last decade involved victims of Filipino ancestry. Family violence in Hawaii’s Filipino community has been a longstanding issue. Immigrant Filipina women disclosed that their families often expected them to remain in abusive situations, particularly if the family benefited financially or hoped to immigrate to the U.S. (Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence, 2018). Given the disproportionate impact of family violence on the Filipino community in Hawaii and the unique cultural challenges faced by survivors, there is a critical need for more supportive services for Filipino survivors. Survivors who have limited English proficiency (LEP) or are new to the country may find it difficult or impossible to access services, particularly if their cultural traditions forbade or disapproved of seeking assistance outside of a home, marriage, or family. Immigrant survivors are unfamiliar with the local justice and social services systems. Immigrant survivors often experience “culture shock” in attempting to adapt to the practices of a foreign country, while the abuser is using their immigration status against them.

The Solution:

CPAC is the first community-based effort in Hawaii to focus specifically on diverse Asian and Pacific Islander communities. CPAC’s goals are to broaden outreach, education, and understanding of family violence in Pacific and Asian communities; engage with other community organizations working in service to Pacific and Asian communities; and improve and strengthen the system response in the interests of Pacific and Asian communities. CPAC will pave the way for a clear, strong commitment to unique and unduplicated programs meeting the unique needs of our diverse community. CPAC aims to complement, supplement, and extend the work of its fiscal sponsor, DVAC, by serving AANHPI survivors beyond DVAC’s direct services, which end when the survivor’s legal issues have been resolved, housing is stabilized, and the pursuit of a new life path has begun. For many survivors, many things are still in flux . CPAC will assist AANHPI survivors as they learn how to comply with court orders, seek employment that will allow them to support their family, work to parent or co-parent, manage trauma or PTSD, rebuild familial or friend relationships that were damaged or dormant, and gain personal and family stability. Following court orders, seeking employment, seeking a career with a living wage to sustain her family, parenting or co-parenting, resolving trauma, dealing with PTSD, managing any ongoing harassment, gaining personal and family stability, rebuilding relationships with family and friends that have been damaged or dormant requires effort, insight, and support of a different kind. CPAC’s services are tailored to the culturally specific needs of the AANHPI communities – recognizing that in Hawaii racial and ethnic identities intersect with socioeconomic status, level of education, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status, and English proficiency. CPAC is currently shaping its initiatives, which include a Filipino advocate, facilitation of culturally specific Filipino support groups, a COFA advocate, and legal services for survivors in need. CPAC has as its centerpiece linguistically and culturally specific outreach materials, outreach programs, and direct support services. CPAC is guided by a survivor-centered and trauma-informed approach – meeting survivors where they are and providing survivors with support and empowerment.

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