I am writing this now – not just for my mom but for past victims who did not get the opportunity to share their stories.
It goes without saying we have all been watching the news and seeing the attacks on Asian Americans since last year, especially on the elderly all around the country and thought to ourselves, these can be our parents or loved ones. When I received the call this past Monday, March 29th, I couldn’t believe when they told me the most recent attack happened to my own mother. The security video that has gone viral has been the most difficult thing to watch, apart from the crime itself. There were many times that I wish someone would have stepped in. However, what this video did not capture was that there was someone who was standing across the street that witnessed my mom getting attacked who yelled and screamed to get the assailant’s attention. That is where the video cuts off as the attacker crossed the street to him. To this person, I understand your decision in remaining anonymous during this time. I want to THANK YOU for stepping in and doing the right thing. This gesture of action is what we need in our world right now. I hope one day, my mom and I can thank you personally.
It goes without saying that this issue is very personal to me – especially as these attacks are still currently happening. For those whom have reached out inquiring how they can help and support, we have a GoFund account. This does not take back the pain and trauma my mom has experienced nor will it replace the time to heal as she gets back on her two feet. Apart from using the fund towards recovery for Vilma, my mother would like to support other victims and organizations to further raise awareness to our fellow AAPI community (so that we can continue to a path that educate everyone around us and put an end to these attacks).
Again, I want to say thank you for the kindness and support you’ve given to me and my family and sincerely ask your understanding with our privacy during this time.
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- Desiree Pangilinan