한인가정상담소(소장 카니 정 조)가 어려운 환경에 있는 한인들을 위한 무료상담 서비스를 확대한다.
한인가정상담소는 한인가정들의 회복을 위한 ‘R.O.C.K 프로젝트(Resilience to Overcome Challenges for Korean families·락 프로젝트)’를 시작한다고 밝혔다.
지난 2015년 한인 후원가의 기부로 시작, 전년 대비 4배 이상 많은 무료 상담 서비스를 가능하게 한 ‘R.O.C.K 카운슬링 기금’과 맥을 같이한다는 의미에서 R.O.C.K 프로젝트로 정했다.
R.O.C.K 카운슬링 기금은 2015년 익명의 한인 후원자가 심리상담 서비스가 필요하지만 체류신분이나 경제적인 이유로 도움을 받지 못하고 있는 한인가정을 위해 5만달러를 기부하면서 시작됐다. 이 후원자는 2016년에도 5만달러를 후원, 한인가정상담소가 무료상담 서비스를 확대할 수 있는 토대를 마련했다.
덕분에 2014년 18명이었던 무료 상담 수혜자는 2015년 77명으로 4배 이상 늘어났다. 1인당 평균 8회 상담을 받는 것을 고려하면 2014년 144회였던 무료 상담은 2015년 616회로 427%가 증가한 것이다.
카니 정 조 소장은 “R.O.C.K 카운슬링 기금 덕분에 무료 심리상담 서비스를 확대해보니 한인사회에 큰 필요가 있다는 것을 알았다”며 “더 많은 기금을 모아 더 많은 이들에게 도움을 주고자 프로젝트를 시작한다”고 밝혔다.
R.O.C.K 프로젝트는 심리상담 서비스의 필요성과 중요성, 무료 상담 서비스를 홍보하는 일과 더불어 더 많은 이들에게 무료 상담 혜택을 제공하기 위한 기금모금 행사로 나뉘어 진행한다. 프로젝트 총괄은 실비아 원 카운슬링 프로젝트 디렉터가 맡는다.
권 카운슬링 프로젝트 디렉터는 첫번째 기금모금 이벤트로 오는 3월 19일 열리는LA 마라톤에 출전한다. 한인가정상담소 카운슬러이자 지난 20년간 마라토너로 활동해온 권 프로젝트 디렉터는 2015년 세계적으로 유명한 6대 마라톤대회를 모두 완주, 한인 여성으로는 처음으로 ‘월드 마라톤 메이저 그랜드슬램’을 달성한 바 있다. 2009년 결혼가족치료(MFT) 석사과정을 마치고, 2014년부터 한인가정상담소에서 카운슬러로 활동하고 있다.
권 프로젝트 디렉터는 “함께 달리면 서로 힘이 된다는 면에서 마라톤과 상담은 비슷한 점이 많다”면서 “생애 66번째 마라톤 출전인데 어려운 상황속에서 좌절하고 있는 한인들을 마음에 품고 달릴 것”이라고 말했다.
권 프로젝트 디렉터는 한인가정상담소와 뜻을 같이 하며R.O.C.K프로젝트를 후원해준 후원자나 후원기관의 이름을 등번호에 인쇄하여 달고 달릴 계획이다. R.O.C.K프로젝트 후원을 원하면 3월 10일까지 한인가정상담소로 연락하면 된다.
한편 R.O.C.K프로젝트의 무료 심리상담 서비스 대상은 서류미비자나 저소득층, 가정폭력·사회범죄 피해자, 무보험자 등이다.
카니 정 조 소장은 “한인가정상담소는 연방이나 주정부 보조, 개인 후원, 특별 기금 등을 통해 최대한 많은 한인들에게 무료 또는 낮은 비용으로 심리상담 서비스를 제공하고 있다”며 “자녀문제나 부부문제, 가정불화, 우울증, 불안증 등 다양한 이유로 상담을 원하지만 비용 때문에 주저하는 일은 없길 바란다”고 덧붙였다.
By: Elizabeth Clark Rubio
Parents, if your child were in an abusive dating relationship, would you be able to recognize the signs? Would your teenager feel comfortable in approaching you about an abusive partner, and in the absence of a direct confession, would you have the knowledge to detect foul play? In a 2009 survey, 75% of parents reported having had a conversation with their kids about what it means to be in a healthy relationship, and 82% of those surveyed felt confident that they would be able to recognize it if their child were experiencing teen dating violence. When tested however, only 58% of those parents were able to correctly identify all signs of abuse. Finally, amongst the children of surveyed parents, only 74% of sons and 66% of daughters reported having had a conversation with parents about dating abuse, and only one-third of them stated that they would confide in their parents about abuse in a relationship[i].
The Prevalence of Teen Dating Violence
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month and in our own effort to spread awareness and engage in prevention efforts, we write so that the KFAM community can learn how to detect, prevent, intervene in and access resources relating to teen dating violence. The statistics surrounding the prevalence of teen dating violence are shocking. Domestic and sexual violence amongst teens is more prevalent than it is in the general population. While young people between the ages of 12 and 19 experience the highest rates of sexual assault[ii], those between the ages of 18 and 19 experience the highest rates of stalking[iii]. One in three adolescent girls have suffered some form of abuse by a dating partner, making it the most common form of gender-based violence amongst youth[iv]. While male abusers were more likely to inflict serious injury on female partners than vice-versa, boys are also victims of physical dating violence. Finally, rates of teen dating abuse appear to be similar in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships[v].
What Does Teen Dating Violence Look Like?
Many of the warning signs of dating violence amongst teens are similar to those that occur in interpersonal violence amongst adults. As is the case with any sort of domestic violence, the most important thing to remember is that not all forms of violence are physical. Non-physical abusive acts include constantly checking the partner’s cell phone, making disparaging comments, expressing jealousy, showing an explosive temper, prohibiting the victim from spending time with family and friends, dictating which activities the victim may participate in and controlling their whereabouts.
Still, given the vulnerable age of both perpetrators and victims of teen-dating violence, there are specific challenges that hinder identifying, intervening in and helping the teen out of the abusive situation. The Santa Clara County-based organization Asian Women’s Home has identified some of these challenges (see http://dv.aaci.org/teen-dating-violence/). The following list includes but is by no means exhaustive of these challenges: 1) A lack of prior experience with healthy dating relationships may cause some teens to interpret abusive acts as a normal part of a loving relationship. Romanticized views of love and sacrifice may cause them to confuse extreme jealousy with love. 2) A desire to assert independence from parents may cause some teens to keep their victimization secret. 3) In settings like middle school and high school, concerns about reputation and popularity create stress about conforming to peer pressure. If the abuser is well respected by peers, the victim may feel isolated and believe that others won’t support or believe him/her. 4) Finally, teens are especially vulnerable to the influence of popular culture, which, more often than not, engages in rampant objectification of women and the teaching of traditional gender roles that position men as aggressive and women as submissive. This concern is especially prevalent amongst Asian women, who in U.S. popular culture are often represented as extremely docile, and willing to comply with any and all demands made by male partners. A quick Google image search of “Asian women” reveals the kinds of demeaning images with which we are frequently associated.
Safety Planning and Getting Help
KFAM offers holistic support for victims of teen dating violence with a dual focus on prevention and intervention/rehabilitation. Prevention efforts include Teen Domestic Violence Seminars in which individuals can learn more about the dynamics and warning signs of teen dating violence, as well as the resources available to those in need. If you, your child, or any other loved one is experiencing teen dating violence, please call KFAM’s hotline at 888-979-3800 to seek support.
If you or your child is not yet ready to take the steps to get help, there are important safety planning measures you can take in the meantime. Leaving an abusive partner can be a protracted, complicated and dangerous experience. Engaging in the following safety planning activities can minimize risk for those who continue to suffer from teen dating violence: 1) Avoid being with your partner alone. Try to plan group outings in public. 2) Tell others your plans – let them know where you are, what time you are supposed to be back and how to contact you. 3) Try not to depend on your partner – bring your own money, cell phone and find your own ride 4) When at school:
- Tell school personnel about the violence and about the possibility of switching schedules so as not risk harassment by the abuser in class.
- Avoid being alone – ask friends to accompany you to class, extra curricular activities, etc…
- Change daily routine, like where you hang out.
- Change e-mail, phone number and privatize social media profiles
Finally, if and when you decide to break up with your public, do it in public and make others aware of your plans.
[i] Impact of the Economy and Parent/Teen Dialogue on Dating Relationships and Abuse. 2009. Conducted
by Teenage Research Unlimited for the Family Violence Prevention Fund and Liz Claiborne. Available at
[ii] Truman, Jennifer and Rand, Michael. 2010. Criminal Victimization, 2009. U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics. Available at http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/cv09.pdf.
[iii] Baum, Katrina, Catalano, Shannan, Rand, Michael and Rose, Kristina. 2009. Stalking Victimization in the United States. U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics. Available at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/svus.pdf.
[iv] Davis, Antoinette, MPH. 2008. Interpersonal and Physical Dating Violence among Teens. The National Council on Crime and Delinquency Focus. Available at http://www.nccd-crc.org/nccd/pubs/2008_focus_teen_dating_violence.pdf.
[v] Halpern CT, Young ML, Waller MW, Martin SL & Kupper LL. 2004. Prevalence of Partner Violence in Same-Sex Romantic and Sexual Relationships in a National Sample of Adolescents.Journal of Adolescent Health. 35(2): 124-131.
KFAM will be working with Hanmi Bank for Hanmi’s Dream Scholarship Project! The Hanmi Dream scholarship will be awardee to students at-risk youth who need the support to achieve their educational goals.
The application can be found in English and Korean, and the links are below: