What is it?

  • Sexual violence is defined as any sexual act, attempt at a sexual act, unwanted sexual comments or advances, or actions directed against a person’s sexuality using coercion.
  • Sexual violence and assault can be committed by any person regardless of their relationship to the victim. It can also happen in any setting, including but not limited to home and work.

Why is the issue under-discussed?

  • Restrictions by policy and society have led to labeling survivors, attempts at justifying victim-blaming, and to mask the prevalence of sexual aggression.
  • Concerning Asians: cultural beliefs and the fetishization of Asian women have resulted in the low rate of sexual assault reports filed by Asian women.
  • In the US, Asian American women are least likely to report their attacks because it strains their parental relationships and burdens them with Asian communities seeing them as shameful and “bad girls.”

Alarming StatisticsL

  • 21-25% of Asian women in the US report intimate physical and/or sexual violence during their lifetime
  • 54% of Asian women in the Chicago Metropolitan Area reported experiencing some kind of sexual violence
  • 60% of the 117 Asians in the greater Chicago area who reported sexual violence (2018) did not know about the existence of sexual assault crisis lines, with even more not knowing about supporting systems such as shelters, counseling, hospital accompaniment, or legal action such as court advocacy.
  • 64% of Indian and Pakistani women and 56% of Filipinas had experienced sexual violence by an intimate partner, according to a study of 143 domestic violence survivors

In reality, the number of sexual assaults and violence is still much higher than the reported numbers, especially for Asians.

Supporting Survivors

  • Listen to their story and feelings about it, without pressure and only if they want to talk
  • Be an ongoing source of support
    • “You are not to blame for what happened to you”
    • “I’m sorry this happened to you”
    • “I respect you for addressing this”
    • “Thank you for Sharing”
  • Practice self-care and help your loved one to get the support they need, whether from psychotherapy, sex therapy, crisis lines, or talking to trusted ones
  • Educate yourself on the impacts of sexual abuse

Organizations & Donations

Immediate Help

  • RAINN.org (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) - 24/7 confidential sexual assault hotline (1-800-656-HOPE) and live chat.
  • Sakhi.org (Sakhi for South Asian Women) - Call 1-212-868-6741, text 1-305-204-1809, email advocate@sakhi.org Monday-Friday 10am-5pm. Survivor-led movement for gender justice and is committed to serving survivors through a combination of efforts including direct services, advocacy, technical assistance, and community outreach.


  • NAPIESV.org (National Organization of Asians and Pacific Islanders Ending Sexual Violence) - A program with a mission to support victims of sexual violence from the Asian and Pacific Islander communities in the US and Asia. Many local resources in the US are listed under the “Resources” tab.
  • API-GBV.org (Asian Pacific Institute on Gender Based Violence) - A national resource center on domestic violence, sexual violence, trafficking, and other forms of gender-based violence in Asian Pacific Islander communities.


  • Center for the Pacific Asian Family: “Support Our Mission To End Violence” - CPAF was founded to help address domestic violence and sexual assault in the Asian and Pacific Islander communities.

Organizations & Donations

Srishti Prabha

When 29-year-old Srishti Prabha was sexually assaulted by her boss at her first job; she filed no complaint, called no lawyer, and had no support system. Like many other Indian Americans, the topic of anything sexual was considered taboo. “Growing up, I didn’t understand what was going on…I didn’t know if someone’s mom was being abused. It was never a topic of conversation,” Prabha said. “Women often carry the burden of unpacking their traumas alone.”

USC Gynecologist Sexually Assaulted and Harassed During Exams

George Tyndall, gynecologist at the University of Southern California, was found to have sexually assaulted and harassed women during pelvic examinations, including the vile acts of taking pictures of genitals and keeping them, making inappropriate comments, and keeping used equipment for examinations. Tyndell showed a preference for Asian students, exploiting the fact that international students often have language barriers and are much less likely to report the crime. USC decided to pay $1.1 billion in reparations to affected women, but the university did not fire Tyndall or notify the state medical board at the time the article was written.

Amanda Nguyen

“A rape kit is often seen as the first step in bringing a rapist or assailant to justice. But for Amanda Nguyen… she must fight to keep her rape kit in the system.” In some states, rape kits, which are used to collect evidence of sexual assault, are never tested and destroyed after a certain amount of time. For Nguyen, who was in Massachusetts, it was 6 months. The state law could forced her to remember her rape for the rest of her life to even have her incident even kept on record, much less receive justice for the case. In light of the additional layer of trauma, Nguyen created the non-profit organization Rise, which dedicated itself to preserving and furthering the rights of survivors.”


  • https://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/violence/global_campaign/en/chap6.pdf
  • https://www.mochimag.com/lifestyle/health/sexual-assault-asian-american-community-statistics-facts-prevalence/
  • https://www.api-gbv.org/about-gbv/statistics-violence-against-api-women/
  • http://aapidata.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Factsheet-Sexual-violence-in-API-communities-Apr2018-formatted-2019.pdf
  • https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/27/smarter-living/sexual-abuse-assault-support-mental-health.html
  • https://www.rainn.org/resources
  • https://napiesv.org/our-story/
  • https://napiesv.org/api-sexual-assault-organizations/
  • https://www.sakhi.org/
  • https://indiacurrents.com/beti-bachao-ask-south-asian-american-women-metoo/
  • https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-usc-george-tyndall-asian-students-abuse-women-gynecologist-20190523-story.html
  • https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/30-under-30-honoree-amanda-nguyen-fighting-sexual-assault-survivors-n715661