One in four women will experience violence in her lifetime. Yet many instances of domestic violence and sexual assault are extremely underreported. It is more so underreported for people of Pacific Island or Asian descent, which is most of the people living here in the CNMI.
To counter this, the Northern Marianas Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence is partnering with the Women’s Affairs Office to protect women in the workforce and spread the word that violence against women won’t be tolerated
“Our role is to educate about sexual harassment in the workplace, to provide education generally about domestic violence and sexual assault, because the victims are overwhelmingly mostly women,” said coalition executive director Maisie B. Tenorio.
NMCADSV works on issues like domestic violence and sexual assault to create safe communities for everyone. The task involves making sure that they are providing education, not only for women, but for their family and friends as well, and offering resources if needed.
“We want to ensure that women have all the information they need so that they can make healthy choices, be empowered in the workplace, and have the resources they need,” Tenorio said.
Power is also a significant factor in sexual harassment. Many who experience sexual harassment tend not to report for fear of losing their jobs, especially if they have immigration status that can impact their ability to seek help or report the crime, Tenorio said.
“We want to make sure that we’re providing the education, and letting people know that sexual harassment is a crime, and giving them the resources to report if and when they experience sexual harassment,” she added.
For NMCADSV, ending domestic violence and sexual assault requires a lot of education and prevention. This means also working with survivors who need services, training, law enforcement, working with the hospital, as well as working with the Attorney General’s Office, to address the issue from all angles.
To learn more about domestic violence and sexual assault, contact NMCADSV at (670) 234-3878 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.