An Open Letter To Nan-Hui Jo | #DearNanHui #StandWithNanHui #Not1More

Dear Nan Hui campaign

Today, the Stand With Nan-Hui group launched a letter-writing campaign urging supporters to write letters of support to and for Nan-Hui Jo, who was recently found guilty of child abduction for escaping an abusive relationship with her daughter. This is my letter to Nan-Hui Jo; you are invited to write yours

Dear Nan-Hui,

You don’t know me, and I don’t know you. In many ways, our stories are different. I am ethnically Chinese, not Korean. My first language is English. I have not (yet) been married. I am not (yet) a mother.

But in many ways, our stories are similar. Like you, I am an immigrant and an Asian American woman. Like you, I’ve had to navigate the complex web of U.S. immigration law just to maintain my life here, and like you, I’ve felt the fear that comes with the possibility of falling out of status. Like you, I’ve lain awake at night terrified that I have run out of options; that I am trapped; that there’s nobody who will help, or will even understand what’s happening.

I can only imagine how much harder trying to survive U.S. immigration law would be when also a survivor of domestic violence. As immigrants and women of colour and with already so few options available, I can only imagine what it’s like to have the possibilities further limited by having to secure not only your own physical safety, but also the physical safety of your child.

They say that domestic abuse is about exerting power. I think it is about weaponizing fear.

Continue reading “An Open Letter To Nan-Hui Jo | #DearNanHui #StandWithNanHui #Not1More”

Guilty Verdict Handed Down to Domestic Violence Survivor | #StandWithNanHui


Last week, I wrote about Nan-Hui Jo’s case. A survivor of years of domestic violence at the hands of her former partner which included both physical and emotional abuse, Nan-Hui Jo escaped with her daughter Hwi to South Korea after her American work visa expired. After six years, Jo applied for a travel visa to allow her American-born child travel to the United States to tour schools while Jo’s own permanent resident application was pending.

However, Jo’s former partner, Jesse Charlton, had filed child abduction charges against Jo, and when Jo arrived in America, she was arrested. After her first trial ended in a hung jury, Jo was retried last month with additional threats of deportation added by ICE while Jo’s former partner was awarded full custody of their child.

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Domestic Violence Survivor Faces Child Abduction Charges, Deportation | #StandWithNanHui


This is a terrible story of the American legal system getting it really wrong.

Nan-Hui Jo is a single mother of 6-year-old daughter Hwi. Jo is currently imprisoned in the Yolo County jail facing trumped up child abduction charges after she made the impossible decision to take her daughter home to South Korea, in hopes of escaping the physical and emotional abuse inflicted upon her by the child’s father, Iraq war veteran Jesse Charlton.

For five years, Jo cared for Hwi in South Korea; for that same five years, Charlton sent over a hundred emails to Nan-Hui that ranged from concern to threats of hiring a bounty hunter. Unbeknownst to Jo, Charlton also filed charges against Nan-Hui for child abduction. When Jo — a Korean national in the process of applying for permanent residency — applied to travel to Hawaii to check out schools for the American-born Hwi, ICE was notified by the US embassy in Seoul and Jo was arrested and sent to Yolo County to stand trial on the child abduction charges. Meanwhil, Hwi was sent to live with Charlton — a father she didn’t know — who has since denied Jo a chance to see her daughter.

Jo’s first trial last December on the child abduction charges ended in a hung jury. Now, she faces retrial and, if she loses, will likely be deported without ever having a chance to see her daughter again.

Continue reading “Domestic Violence Survivor Faces Child Abduction Charges, Deportation | #StandWithNanHui”

The Unseen Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence in the #AAPI Community


Today is April Fools’ Day, but it’s also a day for contemplation of a far more serious topic. Today is April 1st, the first day of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

And while this month will through a great deal of online writing hopefully shine a much-needed spotlight on issues of sexual assault in America, these conversations often overlook the pervasiveness of this sort of violence in racial and ethnic communities, and the unique challenges faced in reporting and addressing these issues in our communities.

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