By Jessica Moore

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — With the recent spike in hate crimes against Asian Americans, many are wondering how to safeguard their loved ones who may need some extra protection.

Shirley Ng is grappling with fear for two generations of loved ones.

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“What is your biggest fear when your daughters are out in the world on their own?” CBS2’s Jessica Moore asked.

“That they’re an easy target. First of all, people tend to think that Asian Americans are easy targets, right? And then you have women, who are even more vulnerable,” Ng said.

“Are you concerned for your mother’s safety?” Moore asked.

“I am because she’s a senior, and we’ve been reading so many reports about our Asian seniors being attacked because they’re even more vulnerable,” Ng said.

Ng isn’t alone. The recent spike in Asian hate crimes means millions of people are struggling to protect those they love.

Psychiatrist Dr. Dana Wang says extreme levels of fear and anxiety have caused a traditionally stoic community to open up and seek help in record numbers.

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“People are really fearful. I have patients who are afraid to leave their homes,” Wang said.

Many want to know how to help their children.

“We want to think about what value we’re teaching our kids in these moments, and if we do nothing, inaction is also a value that we’re transmitting in letting hate be tolerated,” Wang said.

She encourages parents to have their kids write letters to school bullies to process their feelings and pick community service activities to do as a family that foster a sense of unity rather than division.

Encourage elderly relatives to travel in groups and never stop talking about your feelings.

“I think there’s power in what behavior we choose, but first thing is, we have to talk about the feelings and not avoid it,” Wang said.

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Wang says the more open we are with each other, the greater the opportunity for healing will be.

Jessica Moore