Eight people, including many women of Asian descent, were killed in shootings at Atlanta-area massage parlors on Tuesday, prompting a reckoning over rising rates of anti-Asian violence that have dramatically increased in the U.S. since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A recent study from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, found that while overall rates of hate crimes in the country decreased by 7% in 2020, anti-Asian hate crimes surged by 149%. Nearly 3,800 anti-Asian hate incidents were reported between March 19, 2020 and Feb. 28, 2021, with women reporting hate incidents at 2.3 times the rate of men, according to a report published this week from Stop AAPI Hate. The Stop AAPI Hate reporting center was launched in March 2020 in response to xenophobic sentiments and to track attacks against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the U.S.
A suspect in the shootings, Robert Aaron Long, has been charged with eight counts of murder after being taken into custody. While police say Long has denied the killings were racially motivated, the incident has sparked outcry for an end to anti-Asian violence. Since the shootings, the hashtag #StopAsianHate has trended on Twitter as individuals expressed solidarity with Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI).
Here are some ways to support the AAPI community, from helping to report hate incidents to donating to nonprofits to volunteering.
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