NAPIESV: Roundtable Discussion on Justice for Sexual Violence Survivors in the Asian & Pacific Islander Communities

The National Organization of Asians and Pacific Islanders Ending Sexual Violence (NAPIESV) is an alliance established by Asian and Pacific Islander advocates with the purpose of centering and supporting victims of sexual assault from API communities. NAPIESV provides technical assistance and training to local/community-based programs and governmental organizations across the nation and in the U.S. territories, improving their services for victims of sexual violence. This report documents the advancement of one of NAPIESV’s primary goals, namely the creation of spaces to discuss sexual violence in the API communities.

Through the years of research, curriculum development and implementation, NAPIESV has learned that one of the central questions to doing work around issues of sexual violence for API survivors is around the question of justice. In particular, the organization and its community partners have consistently explored the question, “What does justice look like for API sexual assault survivors?” In 2017, NAPIESV hosted a roundtable discussion with community leaders and experts who work on issues of sexual violence to explore and define “justice” for API survivors. The roundtable participants who were from across the API diaspora were joined by Black Americans, Black Canadians, Black Caribbeans, and Native American community leaders. The discussion focused on contextualizing the history of sexual violence in the United States as well as traditional concepts of justice. In addition to examining the role of the criminal justice system, its impacts on survivors and the anti-gender-based violence movement at large, the roundtable also explored alternative forms of justice beyond the criminal justice system, including community accountability, transformative justice, and restorative justice. The aim of the roundtable was to set the foundation by which NAPIESV and its community partners would be able to continue exploring definitions and possibilities of justice for API sexual assault survivors.

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