The public is invited to join API Chaya’s 20th Annual Candlelight Vigil programs. As an organization that provides domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking services to Asian, South Asian, and Pacific Islander communities, API Chaya offers spaces of healing to honor lives lost to domestic and sexual violence. This year, the vigil will be organized into two programs: A candlelight vigil and a community healing gathering. These services are held to remember the lives of Susanna Remerata Blackwell, her unborn child, baby Kristine, Phoebe Dizon, and Veronica Laureta, who were shot and killed at the King County Courthouse in 1995 by Susanna’s estranged and abusive husband.
While this tragedy occurred 20 years ago, the epidemic of domestic and sexual violence still continues. Studies indicate that about half of Asian women have reported experiencing physical and/or sexual violence during their lifetime by an intimate or domestic partner. In a recent 2011 study, 56% of Filipinas and 64% of Indian and Pakistani women reported experiencing sexual violence by an intimate partner. In King County alone, over the past 10 years, there have been 141 domestic violence related fatalities.
API Chaya has committed to holding an annual candlelight vigil to remember these women, along with all lives devastated by violence, and to create a space for us to truly come together around these lived experiences to heal, honor, and remember. For our 20th Annual Candlelight Vigil, we have chosen to continue last year’s theme of “Kapwa”.
The vigil theme “Kapwa”, is a Tagalog term meaning the shared interconnectedness among and between beings. “By seeing the self in others, we are able to wholeheartedly support our communities while taking accountability for the violence existing in our world.” Kapwa seeks to provide the vigil as a transformative and healing space of understanding through celebrating our communities’ legacy of resilience and survivorship. (end)
Community Healing Gathering, March 14th 2015 2:00-6:00pm, Artspace Hiawatha Lofts. FB event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/627728763999952.