By Shirley

We have been seeing stories in the media of attacks directed at Asians living in this country. We are very concerned with this kind of behavior because we have also heard of incidents in our community. The behaviors range from people yelling and saying bad things to Asian individuals to a drive-by attack where rocks were thrown at someone’s house. We condemn these attacks as hateful and unworthy in American society. We are shocked and horrified that such behavior and acts have shown up at this day and age. We at International Neighbors would like to help and support any of our members who feel threatened during this time. If you have been the recipient of acts or behavior of anti-Asian sentiment please let us know and don’t be shy to ask for help. IN has many members who would be willing to help you in different ways, from contacting the authorities to helping you run  errands.

Here are some safety tips offered by the website stopaapihate.org (Stop Asian American Pacific Islander Hate):

5 Things to consider when experiencing hate

  • Safety first: Trust your instincts and assess your surroundings. If you feel unsafe and you are able to, leave the area.
  • Stay calm: Take a deep breath, limit eye-contact, and maintain neutral body language.
  • Speak out (if you can do so safely): In a calm and firm voice establish physical boundaries, and denounce their behavior and comments.
  • Seek immediate support: Ask bystanders for support or intervention.
  • Seek emotional support: Once you feel safe, take time to recover and reach out to someone to talk about what happened. Remember this is not your fault and you are not alone.

5 ways to help if you witness hate

  • Take action: Approach the targeted person, introduce yourself and offer support.
  • Actively listen: Ask before taking any actions and respect the targeted person’s wishes. Monitor the situation if needed.
  • Ignore Attacker: Using your discretion, attempt to calm the situation by using your voice, body language or distractions.
  • Accompany: If the situation escalates, invite the targeted person to join you in leaving.
  • Offer emotional support: Help the targeted person by asking how they are feeling. Assist them in figuring out what they want to do next.

The website stopaapihate.org provides a form – available in 11 different languages – where you can report an incident. The website also provides additional information that might be of help to you.