Survivors of domestic violence from multiple cultural communities in Santa Clara County are telling their stories with the “I Dare to Air — My Resilience, My Truth” exhibit for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Women’s clothing from Vietnamese, Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Korean and Mexican cultures are lined up in the Santa Clara County Civic Center, inviting dozens of daily passersby to read stories of distress and triumph.
The exhibit includes placards from unnamed women recounting experiences of domestic abuse. Many include immigrant women, who were afraid to lose an economic and cultural safety net by leaving their abusive partners.
A Cambodian woman, who came to the U.S. in 1985 as a refugee, said her husband began abusing her after five years of marriage in the new country.
“Leaving my husband felt very similar to leaving Cambodia,” she wrote in the exhibit. “I was terrified, unsure of what tomorrow will bring or where I will sleep.” She said she eventually began a new life and started a small business with her children by her side.
“These traumatic experiences did not end my life; instead, they propelled me into a warrior,” she wrote.
County Supervisors Cindy Chavez and Ken Yeager will host an opening ceremony for the exhibit from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Monday in the breezeway of 70 W. Hedding St.
They will be joined by multiple groups that provide resources for domestic abuse victims, including Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI), FIRST 5 of Santa Clara County, the East San Jose PEACE Partnership, Community Solutions and MAITRI.
At the end of October, the exhibit will travel to East Side Union High School District, family resources and community centers throughout the county.
Story originally published by Bay City News.