Results from a recent UCLA survey confirm a rise in COVID-related hate crimes towards Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI) in California.
Since the California Health Interview Survey from 2020, the percentage of hate crimes against AANHPI individuals has since doubled, said UCLA Center for Health Policy Research Director Dr. Ninez A. Ponce.
More than 1 in 12 AANHPI adults in California experienced a hate incident due to COVID-19, the survey stated. Additionally, more than one in five AANHPI adults saw another AANHPI person being treated unfairly due to their race/ethnicity.
Despite this, some are working to counter the rise in hate crimes. In San Diego, a community care forum held a lecture and workshop for AANHPI individuals.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the event provided statistics on Asian American issues, tips on coping with grief and loss and participatory exercises.
Marie Obaña, a licensed clinical social worker and organizer with the Asian Solidarity Collective, explained to the San Diego Union-Tribune that they wanted to normalize help-seeking behavior.
On Sept. 13, California Gov. Gavin Newsom also signed two bills addressing race-based harassment on public transit and in businesses. The new laws aim to gather data about passenger harassment and create a pilot program that recognizes businesses that provide “safe and welcoming” environments for customers, according to the LA Times.
“Hate incidents can cause long-term psychological and physical trauma,” Dr. Ponce said to UCLA. “So it’s critical that we provide timely data on often overlooked racial and ethnic groups so that decision-makers can take steps to put an end to hate incidents in California.”
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