Child Abuse & Neglect in a Southeast Asian Community

This Child Abuse and Neglect public awareness campaign has been created to raise awareness in Central California’s Hmong community about verbal, emotional and physical abuse and to encourage adults to get help.This PSA campaign was launched in Merced, California with local nonprofit partner Merced Lao Family Community.


The Hmong Community is steeped in its culture and traditions. These cultural differences with respect to child rearing, discipline and treatment of illnesses can create risk factors that can lead to child abuse and neglect. As one of the most linguistically isolated communities in the United States, the Hmong community has extremely high rates of illiteracy, low educational attainment even among the literate, and they have faced extreme challenges in moving and adapting to life in the United States. Cultural traditions can lead to cultural misunderstandings and even charges of child neglect or abuse in the US.

Merced Lao Family Community, Inc. (MLFC) has implemented a comprehensive Safe Asian Families by Empowerment (SAFE) Project that integrates safe and healthy youth activities, counseling, trainings and skills building workshops, and family strengthening activities. The project creates an all encompassing family violence prevention program that provides education, resources, and referrals to Southeast Asian (SEA) parents, children and youth, and Community Leaders. This program ensures that the SEA children and youth in Merced remain safe and free from abuse, violence, and dangerous behavior.

The Child Abuse and Neglect Campaign has been developed and directed by INOBTR (“I Know Better”), a non-profit organization that educates about safety through public awareness in an effort to keep kids safe. It has been funded through a cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).


Merced Lao Family Community, Inc.
Merced Lao Family Community, Inc., was established in 1981 as a non-profit organization. The mission of MLFC is to help Asians and refugees in Merced County mainstream social, cultural, educational, health, economical, employment and self-sufficiency in America. The primary focus of the Merced Lao Family Community, Inc. is to determine and service all the special needs of the Southeast Asian people residing in the Central Valley communities, so as to lead this populace into becoming well-informed, healthy, productive, self-sufficient, and contributing members of the Central Valley community at large.

Local Partner

Merced Lao Family Community, Inc.
Merced Lao Family Community, Inc.was founded by Praya Norapamok General Vang Pao in 1982 and incorporated under the Federal Tax Exemption Code 501(c)(3). The Board of Directors consists of 12 members governing the organizational affairs. The Board of Directors represents the various ethnic and professional groups throughout the Central San Joaquin Valley. In addition to the Board of Directors, the organization has an Advisory Committee that consists of Clan Leaders, Elder Leaders, and educators who share information and advice to the Board of Directors when needed. The Advisory Committee bridges the gap between the community members and the organization. In addition, there have been many Community Leaders who have successfully presided over the organization as President.Since its inception, the organization has been providing a broad range of critically needed services in the Merced County area, including, but not limited to:

  • Community Outreach & Awareness
  • Financial Education
  • Family Preservation & Family Support
  • Job Training Services
  • Emergency Services
  • Information and Referral Services
  • Gang Prevention & Suppression
  • USDA Food Program for Children
  • Driver Education & Training
  • Child Abuse Prevention
  • Consumer Fraud Education
  • Counseling
  • Employment Placement Services
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Tobacco Control

Examples of Campaign Materials

Interested in downloading materials from this campaign? The following materials are available:
  • Flyers
  • Posters

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