Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Korean Americans and Domestic Violence

I had dinner tonight with some Korean American friends. They mentioned this article in the LA Times about the cultural pressures to succeed within Korean families and some of the drastic consequences. Here is an interesting quote from the article...
No one really knows how pervasive domestic violence is among Asian immigrant groups, but Korean Americans are repeatedly ranked at the top. There is another old saying in Korea: "A woman must be hit once every three days in order to preserve peace and harmony in the family." Until 1997, when South Korea passed its first domestic violence law, wife-beating was not considered a crime.

The Korean Chrisian church plays an important role in confronting this issue by upholding truth and transparency. The article mentions Peter Chang, a pastor and community center executive director...
he estimates that about 70% of Korean Americans in Southern California attend church and that most are Christians. As a minister trying to enlighten the community about domestic violence, Chang hasn't always liked the sermonizing of his fellow Korean pastors, which has often been more about collecting money than in helping troubled souls. In 2003, he was part of a Los Angeles-based group called Korean Churches for Community Development, which published a hard-hitting study on Asian family violence and the need for Korean churches to confront it.

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