Trauma is real—and the AAPI community is experiencing it first hand.

Violence against any community is violence against all humanity.

The acts of violence against Asian-Americans in Atlanta on Tuesday mark a day of devastation and trauma for America. Once again, we watch in horror as another mass shooting took place in the United States leading to the tragic loss of eight lives, six of which were Asian-American women. This could be triggering for anyone—yet, for Asian American folks living through targeted violence, the acute fear is far greater. 

While this particular event is an apex, this violence is not new. Hateful acts towards the AAPI community have increased at a rapid pace over the last year. We cannot ignore the undeniable pain and fear this volatile act has caused for Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities amid increased attacks against members of our community across the country. What’s happening to you is not okay. And, we’re here for you.    

When anyone or any community experiences an act of violence, they experience trauma. Trauma is an acute and potentially devastating emotional response to brutally painful experiences that threaten safety. Seeing each other in times of pain is the foundation of our shared humanity.  Crisis Text Line stands ready to support those affected by the attacks this week and is dedicated to providing access to crisis support to everyone experiencing violence, fear or anxiety. 

It’s understandable if you feel triggered by the intersection of racism, xenophobia, and sexism towards Asian women demonstrated by the violence in Atlanta. If you’re struggling, here are some ways to cope:

  1. Focus your mind. When the news is swirling, it can be easy to get overwhelmed quickly. Try breathing for a few minutes with specific attention to every inhale and exhale. 
  2. Connect with intention. In moments when you’re feeling overwhelmed or isolated, it’s often helpful to surround yourself with people who love and care about you. Try reaching out to friends and family and be as specific as you can about how you need and want them to support you. 
  3. Reach out for support. You don’t have to go through hard things alone. Reaching out is a brave thing to do. Text HOME to 741741 to reach a Crisis Counselor. We’re here for you.  If you’re looking for resources specific to the AAPI community, Asian Mental Health Collective is a great place to start. 

These recent events add context to the intersectional ways people experience trauma. If learning about the Asian American experience is new for you, here are a few ways you can hold space for your peers:

  1. Validate. Honor their stories and experiences by emphasizing that you see them and believe their pain. 
  2. Educate yourself and check-in on your own bias. Stop AAPI Hate is a great place to start learning about the ongoing violence against AAPI folks. 
  3. Stand with them and share a resource. Even if you want to be the best listener in the world, your cup may run out too. Validating that it’s okay to reach out for help by sharing a resource is a great way to show up for the people in your life.

We’re living in a moment that asks us day after day to show up—to dive deeper into the ways we sit in shared humanity. With the layers of trauma this year, it’s understandable to feel sadness, grief, anxiety, or anything in between. Your feelings are valid. Crisis Text Line is here to listen and offer support. The bravest thing you can do is to reach out. Text HOME to 741741 to reach a trained Crisis Counselor.

In a crisis?

Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a volunteer Crisis Counselor

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