First Place, Radio Documentary, 2006 Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Awards
Best Documentary (Large Market), 2005 Regional RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Award
First Place Documentary (Large Market), 2005 Wisconsin Associated Press Awards
Best Documentary (Large Market), 2005 NBNA Eric R. Sevareid Awards
Finalist, 2005 DART Awards for Radio
Back in their traditional homeland of Laos, the Hmong people observed a very patriarchal society. Men made the rules, and women kept their place. It was expected that while a husband could lead a clan or simply stay out late with friends, the wife would stay at home and mind the household and children.
Following the end of the Vietnam War, many Hmong -- who sided with the U.S. Forces -- fled southeast Asia to avoid persecution. Thousands of Hmong have since arrived in America, where the concept of gender equality has been one of the more significant challenges to the Hmong people's traditional value system.
As opposed to Laos, women in America can work outside the home, get an education, choose their own mates, and become community leaders. While some Hmong herald these opportunities, others denounce them as contrary to their culture. This disagreement has caused tensions in some Hmong households, and clashes among relatives have even escalated to violence.
Crisis advocates are quick to note that while Hmong-Americans don't particularly have higher rates of domestic violence than other groups, unique cultural factors may keep a significant number of victims from reporting the abuse or seeking help.
Tsim Txom: Domestic Violence in Hmong Society looks at how some victim advocates are addressing the problem, through education and culturally-sensitive services. Through interviews with abuse victims, Hmong community representatives, and crisis counselors, the span of the dilemma -- and possible solutions -- are illuminated in this in-depth documentary.
Top image from Northumbria Police. Bottom image from Center for Hmong Arts and Talent's CHAT-TV "Secret Shame" television segment.