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New American Media: Are Korean American Clergy Unknowingly Aiding & Abetting Wife Beaters?

Here’s a disturbing statistic.

80 percent of all domestic violence cases in Los Angeles involve Korean Americans, according to the District Attorney’s office.

Even more disturbing, Korean American clergy may be part of the problem, according to a report in New American Media.

Members of the clergy are often the first person victims turn to for help, but the religious leaders often lack the knowledge and training to deal with the situation, fears KFAM (formerly Korean American Family Service Center).

KFAM held a domestic violence conference attended by 100 clergy members.

The high rate of domestic violence in Los Angeles may be due to the large number of Korean Americans in LA.

But the rate of domestic violence, while not as bad as Los Angeles, is also high in San Francisco.

42 percent of the 214 Korean Americans surveyed in San Francisco in 2000 by the nonprofit women’s resource center, Shimtuh, says they know another Korean woman who had been abused.

“When female church members confess [to being abused], often pastors say, ‘This is your test from God, this is your cross to bear.’ But this is unethical,” Dr. K. Samuel Lee said in Korean.

You can read a lot more about the role churches in the Korean American community play in fighting domestic violence in New American Media.


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