Hmong 18 Clan Council forum focuses on violence in Hmong community

The Hmong 18 Clan Council held an open community forum on Tuesday, April 8 to address recent incidents of violence that have alarmed the Hmong community. The forum, conducted in both Hmong and English, was attended by members of the St. Paul Police Department, the Sheriff’s Department, and Senator Foung Hawj, who joined more than 75 members of the community at Hmong Village in St. Paul.Kevin Vang, President of the Hmong 18 Clan Council, began the forum by holding a moment of silence in remembrance of the victims of the recent crimes. On behalf of the council, Vang issued a strong statement against domestic violence. Continue Reading

Working together for women’s human rights in Moldova

Chisinau, Moldova, is a place where the Soviet footprint is still visible. Stray dogs greet you at the airport. Tall, half-destroyed bloc apartments are the first buildings you see on your way into town. People live there, and lots of them, to judge from the laundry flapping out over each unfurnished balcony. The trees in the shabby but gracious old city are whitewashed from their roots up nearly three feet to encourage their growth. Most of the buildings are one or two stories in various states of disrepair, with the formerly lovely intricate stucco trim now crumbling. But I don’t let the appearance of things fool me—the people and government of Moldova are making real progress on protecting and advancing women’s rights. Continue Reading

Optimism in the midst of violence: The system through a domestic abuse victim’s eyes

“Experience the domestic court system as a victim of abuse would. See the courtroom and hear from advocates, police and prosecutors how the real world differs from what you see on ‘Law & Order.'” That is the description of the Domestic Abuse Project’s (DAP) Justice Tour. I learned many things from Ann Moore with the DAP and Lt. Kim Lund of the Minneapolis Police Department, who led the Justice Tour during a recent Friday noon hour.

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Domestic violence and child custody: Protecting the best interest of the child

In the work that I do here at The Advocates, I often think about how hard it must be for the women who are trying to get out of an abusive relationship to put their children’s welfare in the hands of the court. These brave women have reason to worry, because when child custody disputes collide with a history of domestic violence, children are likely to get hurt.

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In the summer of 2006 I attended the Alternative Breaks Citizenship Schools at the Hosteling International building. Each ABCS has a theme, ours was Women’s rights. During the week long conference we learned all about issues that negatively impact women. Continue Reading