Respect Equality

Nearly 75 percent of AAPI women experienced racism in past year: survey

Story at a glance

  • The survey found that more than half of the reported incidents occurred in public and were perpetrated by a stranger.
  • Meanwhile, close to 40 percent of women surveyed said they’ve dealt with sexual harassment in the past year.
  • Seventy-one percent said they feel stressed over fears of discrimination.

Nearly three-quarters of women in the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community reported experiencing racism and discrimination in the past year, a new survey found.  

“The State of Safety for Asian American and Pacific Islander Women in the U.S.,” a survey released Thursday by the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, found that more than half of the reported incidents occurred in public and were perpetrated by a stranger.  

The group surveyed more than 2,400 AAPI women across every region in the U.S.    

“This past year, our community has experienced a 339% jump in hate crimes – with AAPI women disproportionately being the targets of this hate and violence,” Sung Yeon Choimorrow, executive director of the nonprofit, said in a press release 

Meanwhile, nearly 40 percent of women survey said they’ve experienced sexual harassment over the last year while more than half of the respondents said they feel less safe today than they did at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.  

“The results of this survey are striking and far reaching. The climate of fear and anxiety created by persistent discrimination, harassment and violence is more than an issue of safety for AAPI women — it endangers their mental health, wellbeing, and happiness,” Kyung B. Yoon, president of Korean American Community Foundation (KACF), said in a news release.  

Survey respondents also reported heightened levels of anxiety with 71 percent saying they feel stressed over fear of discrimination. Choimorrow said she was not surprised by this finding.  

“AAPI women have long endured misogyny and racism for centuries and these findings show how this history continues to bleed into our grim present,” Choimorrow said.  


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President Biden addressed anti-AAPI hate in his first State of the Union address Tuesday when touching on pandemic related legislation he signed in the past year.  

Biden told the nation he signed 80 bipartisan bills last year, “from preventing government shutdowns, to protecting Asian Americans from still-too-common hate crimes, to reforming military justice.”  

Only 36 percent of AAPI women, however, believed the administration has adequately addressed violence and discrimination against them while 90 percent said they desire elected officials to invest more resources toward addressing incidents of hate.  

“We applaud President Biden for bringing national attention to anti-Asian hate and violence in his first State of the Union address,” Choimorrow said. “And we look forward to continuing our work with the president and other elected officials to address its disproportionate impact on Asian American and Pacific Islander women.” 

Authorities said Wednesday a man attacked seven Asian women between the ages of 19 and 57 within a two-hour period on Sunday. Steven Zajonc, 28, was subsequently arrested and charged with seven counts each of assault as a hate crime, aggravated harassment, and harassment.  


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