Engaging Clergy to Reach Korean Domestic Violence Victims
The Korean American Family Service Center (KAFSC) through this innovation grant, demonstrated the effectiveness of partnering with clergy in order to increase the number of Korean American (KA) survivors of domestic violence (DV) identified, reached, and receiving healing and justice services.
Through this project, KAFSC engaged pastors as a promising strategy for encouraging more DV victims to identify themselves and seek services. The 700 Korean language churches in New York City are the only local institutions which many KAs trust and contact regularly.
KAFSC conducted two Clergy Conferences, one in Queens, New York City and one in Bergen County, New Jersey, with the goal of refining pastors’ understanding of DV and link them to easily accessible, culturally sensitive, and bilingual healing and legal service providers. KAFSC also sponsored two Educational Events for individual churches. . Throughout the innovation grant, KAFSC helped clergy to make and follow up on referrals for survivors in their congregations.
The Korean American Family Service Center
The Korean American Family Service Center (KAFSC) is a leading, community-based nonprofit organization committed to preventing and ending domestic violence and relationship abuse, and creating a violence-free society. Founded in 1989 in response to the growing Korean immigrant community in New York City and a critical need to help battered Korean women, KAFSC was the first domestic violence organization dedicated to serving the Korean American community in the New York area.
During the past thirty years, KAFSC has evolved to become a primary dual agency that addresses domestic violence and sexual assault issues from a combined prevention and intervention perspective. KAFSC is unique among other Korean social service providers in that they strongly focus on domestic violence, a subject bearing profound social stigma and often underestimated in the Korean American community. KAFSC is the only organization in New York City to provide culturally and linguistically competent domestic violence victim services to the Korean American community in a focused and holistic approach.
KAFSC provides the various services to the Korean/Asian community, centered in four areas: (1) Domestic Violence Intervention through the bilingual 24-hour hotline, 24/7 staffed emergency shelter, counseling, transitional housing, legal and social advocacy, support group, and sexual assault intervention; (2) Economic Empowerment through adult literacy, job training, and financial education; (3) Children and Youth Development through the Hodori “Little Tigers” after-school, Youth Community Project Team, mentoring program, and parenting education; and (4) Community Outreach & Prevention through volunteer training, educational workshops and Annual Silent March against Domestic Violence in October.