ཡུམ། Tibetan Women's Reality

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Taking the First Step Toward Protecting Tibetan Women

It's More than Violence

It’s More than Violence (Photo credit: MTSOfan)

Maine, my home in America, has a serious domestic violence problem. I know about it mainly because the state government runs advertisements on television with pictures of women and children who have died from violence in their homes. At the end of the advertisements, the Governor appears surrounded by members of anti-domestic violence groups (large bikers prominently in the front row) to urge the audience to have “no tolerance for domestic violence.” Viewers also see a phone number they can call if they’re having a problem. Anyone affected by domestic violence can call the number any time, and there are sufficient shelters in place where women and children can go if they need to get away from an abuser.

Some people have complained that when I address rape and violence in the Tibetan community I’m making the community look bad or saying all Tibetan men are bad. Those complaints are completely missing the point. Just like Maine, and anywhere else in the world, the Tibetan community does have a problem with rape and domestic violence, the difference is how we respond to it. Instead of making the situation better or protecting victims we’ve been hiding the problem just so we can look good. Instead of a hotline to call or any shelters to go to we have denial and excuses. That’s what has to change, the response to a universal problem.

The whole world has problems, there’s no reason for us to pretend we don’t, it’s not a competition. The important thing is to focus on taking care of the community. I believe the first step is getting people to acknowledge and think about the problems. That isn’t about criticizing the community, it’s about compassion for the people in it.



  1. Kalsang Gyaltso says:

    I must say that sharing real situations of our community is not crime as well as not against the law. So, its my pleasure to see such blog who raising the problems of women as well as domestic violence in our community.

    • kunsangdolma says:

      Thank you for your support, it be discouraging when people say this isn’t one of our “big” problems right now, so it’s nice to hear that other people in the community do care.

  2. Telling the truth is never about shaming the community, but point out reality that needs to be addressed.

  3. Pema Lhatso says:

    I have read your article before and read today again because i find your view extremely strong and very true. We should never fear or feel guilty to bring out the cause that deteriorate our community. We should instead stand together and support the one who dares to come out of the darkness. Tashi Delek to you!

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