Alton Wang’s (@awyz) courage in talking openly about his experience of sexual violence, along with his framing of sexual and partner violence as an Asian American issue and an LGBTQ issue, is so crucial for opening up the conversation around sexual assault to address the intersections of identity unique to our experiences.
Sexual and partner violence is an Asian American issue. It is our issue because it impacts the lives of too many Asian Americans. It is our issue because we have a responsibility to push back against the roots of this violence: toxic masculinity, damaging cultural norms, and silencing of survivors.
I hope that, as a community and in all of our communities, we will continue working to:
- reach out to and provide emotional support for people who experience sexual or partner violence, with a focus on their specific needs and what they want to happen
- hold compassionate, honest, and uncomfortable discussions with each other about how to practice consent and respect more effectively in our own interactions, especially when we or people we know have questions, make bad choices, or hurt others
- build, through our norms, beliefs, and behaviors, a culture in which peoples’ needs, desires, boundaries, and feelings are actively asked about and negotiated in a way which respects everyone involved
- work with and, when necessary, challenge institutions which have power to improve at preventing sexual violence and supporting survivors
If you have been hurt (directly or indirectly) by any form of sexual violence, I hope the stories from this past week will help you remember that nobody has to be alone dealing with the aftermath. As always, you can ask the G3S team or the G3S community for help – we will affirm you and do what we can to help you reach the support and resources you seek.