SAN JOSE (KPIX) — Asian Americans, more than any other ethnic group in California, are fearful about being victims of violence, according to a new poll released Friday.
The poll, conducted by a number of organizations, including the Center for Asian Americans United for Self-Empowerment, reported that 73 percent of Asian American are afraid of becoming victims of violence and that 68 percent are afraid of being bullied, mocked or harassed in public.READ MORE: UPDATE: 1 Dead, 5 Wounded in Saturday Evening Shooting at Oakland's Lake Merritt
The poll comes amid a dramatic rise in physical attacks against the AAPI community.
“It’s really unfair, I would say, because we’re American just like everyone else here,” said Priscilla Lee. “I’m afraid for my grandma. I sent a voice message to her telling her stay inside please, don’t even go out. For my parents too — when my mom goes on a walk I say, ‘Don’t go by yourself.'”
The poll also reported that, at 72 percent, Asian Americans are more worried than any other ethnic group that their children will be bullied or harassed at school because of their race and ethnicity. According to the poll, 70 percent of Californians believe Asian Americans are frequently or sometimes discriminated against — an increase of 15 percent from a survey taken in February of 2020.
“It’s just not safe being out,” said Eric Vien who worries about his mother’s safety.READ MORE: UPDATE: PG&E Restores Power To More Than 50,000 East Bay Customers
In fact, Vien said, concern over the dramatic rise in violence against Asian Americans was enough for him to rethink Mother’s Day plans this year.
“We usually maybe go out for dinner or lunch for Mother’s Day but now we’re just going to have a home-cooked meal just to be safe,” Vien said.
He said a recent robbery near his mother’s home was too close for comfort and he told her to circle around the neighborhood before pulling into her driveway to make sure she wasn’t being followed.
“I always tell her ‘be careful,'” Vien said. “We bought her pepper spray just in case too.”
Lee said the pandemic, as well as the fear for their safety, are two good reasons they’re staying close to home for Mother’s Day as well.MORE NEWS: Fire at San Francisco Tenderloin Apartments Injures 15; Dozens Saved by Occupants' Heroism
“We’re definitely keeping it more low-key,” Lee said. “It’s really heartbreaking and truly repulsive and disgusting, everything that’s going on, that we have to fear for our safety.”