Study author Loulwa Soweid says participants reported barriers in reporting and preventing sexual violence within their communities, and they need more resources from the state.
Soweid says, “Participants were saying, ‘We want more education about our rights, we want more support from organizations, we want access to jobs.'” One of the big challenges is language.
Soweid says, at first, it was disheartening to see the same patterns and barriers people have experienced in the past. “Then I shifted my perspective, and I think in the end, it just means there’s still work to be done,” Soweid says, “Change can be slow.”
The group “Monsoon Asians and Pacific Islanders in Solidarity” facilitated the community listening sessions. The first round began last July and ended at the beginning of this year. The group plans to host more listening sessions in the future for other underrepresented populations in Iowa.
(By Kassidy Arena, Iowa Public Radio)