A report released last month by the nonprofit Orange County Human Relations Commission found a 69 percent increase in the total number of hate incidents reported in 2020 versus 2019 in Orange County alone. Of the 263 reported cases, there was a 1,800 percent increase in anti-Asian incidents—but there are likely many more incidents going unreported.
According to Joon Bang, the former president and CEO of the advocacy group National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA), reporting hate incidents is particularly difficult for older people from Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. “When you listen to our older adults, they come from a place of humility,” Bang explains, “So they’ll often say: ‘I don’t want you to spend the time or be concerned about what’s happening to me.”
This is especially true of older immigrant members of AAPI communities, who are even more guarded about sharing private information. “Many of our older adults have this fear that if they do speak out or share information about what they’ve experienced, it could be used against them down the line,” Bang adds.
To address this compound issue, NAPCA has launched an online tool that permits people to anonymously report incidents of violence or harassment in 29 languages. The aim of this tool is not only to empower and uplift the voices of older members of AAPI communities but also to facilitate the collection of more accurate data on the incidences of anti-Asian violence nationwide. This will hopefully help inform policymakers and community leaders so that they can take the steps to adequately respond to the problem.
How does it work?
Go to the homepage of the NAPCA website and choose a language. Then, click the “report hate” button.
Next, you’ll be asked to fill out a form that asks for the name of the victim and information about the person submitting the report (both of which are optional, though NAPCA assures users that any personal information remains completely private), when and where the incident took place, what kind of incident it was, and whether a report to the police was made.