63% of Asian Americans in US fear violence against them increasing: Survey

A majority of those who perceived rising violence against Asian Americans attributed it to former President Donald Trump, racism, COVID-19 and its impact on the nation, and scapegoating and blaming Asian people for the pandemic.

A man holding Stop Asian Hate sign. Representational image. iStock photo

A majority of Asian Americans in the US have said violence against them is increasing, and they also worry about being threatened or attacked, with a third admitting they have changed their daily routine because of these concerns, according to a survey.

About six in 10 Asian adults (63%) said violence against Asian Americans in the US is increasing, while 19% felt there has not been much change and 8% opined it is decreasing. This is down somewhat since last year, when 81% of Asian Americans said violence against them was increasing, a new Pew Research Center survey has found.

Also read: Man arrested in San Francisco stabbing of Asian woman

According to the 2019 census data, there are 22.9 million Asian alone-or-in-combination residents in the US. Of these, at 5.2 million, the Chinese (except Taiwanese) population was the largest Asian group, followed by Asian Indian (4.6 million), Filipino (4.2 million), Vietnamese (2.2 million), Korean (1.9 million) and Japanese (1.5 million).

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A majority of those who perceived rising violence against Asian Americans attributed it to former President Donald Trump, racism, COVID-19 and its impact on the nation, and scapegoating and blaming Asian people for the pandemic, the survey said.

Pew Research Center said it conducted the survey to understand the extent of discrimination experienced by Asian Americans and other groups, as well as their perceptions of violence against Asian people.

Also read: Woman, children spat at, hurled anti-Asian slurs in New York subway

For this analysis, it surveyed 10,156 US adults, including 365 Asian adults, from April 11 to 17, 2022, using Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel (ATP), an online survey panel that is recruited through national, random sampling of residential addresses.

The survey was conducted about a year after the fatal shooting of eight people, including six women of Asian descent, in the Atlanta area. The survey sample primarily included English-speaking Asian adults and, therefore, may not be representative of the overall Asian population (75% of our weighted Asian sample was born in another country, compared with 77% of the Asian adult population in the US overall), the research center said.

In the survey, about one in five Asian Americans said they worry daily (7%) or almost daily (14%) that they might be threatened or attacked because of their race or ethnicity, while 51% felt they worry sometimes, 18% rarely worry and 10% say they never worry.

Among those who worry rarely or more often, about a third of Asian adults (36%) say they have altered their daily schedule or routine in the past 12 months due to worries that they might be threatened or attacked.

Also read: Atlanta police chief Erika Shields resigns after fatal police shooting

As per the survey, Asian Americans also said community leaders could be doing more to protect people. More Asian American adults give their local officials a bad rating than a good one when it comes to addressing violence against Asian Americans (43% vs. 19%). One in five (20%) say violence against Asian Americans is not an issue in their community, and 18% say they are not sure about the job local officials are doing.

When asked to select among measures that might help prevent violence against Asian Americans, about half of Asian American adults (48%) say making laws against hate crimes stronger would be the most effective policy. Smaller shares of Asian Americans say the same about creating community watch programs (16%), increasing local police presence (14%) and electing more Asian Americans to public office (13%).

In April 2021, 81% of Asian adults said violence against Asian Americans was increasing. One-in-five US Asians cited Trump as one of the reasons for the rise in violence against Asian Americans, a Pew Research Center survey found.

Meanwhile, a report in March by Stop AAPI Hate, the coalition that tracks and responds to incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning, and child bullying against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the US, said, “From March 19, 2020 to December 31, 2021, a total of 10,905 hate incidents against Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) persons were reported to Stop AAPI Hate. Of the hate incidents reflected in this report, 4,632 occurred in 2020 (42.5%) and 6,273 occurred in 2021 (57.5%).”

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