API CHAYA – struggling against domestic violence and sexual assaults against women in the Asian and Pacific Islands
Nanni and Milena Rampoldi, ProMosaik. In the following our interview with
Joanne Alcantara of API Chaya,
struggling against domestic violence and sexual assaults against women in the
Asian and Pacific Islands. Would like to thank Joanne for her time and
important impulses to the discussion about women rights.
the Asian & Pacific Islander Women & Family Safety Center and Chaya, in
2011. Both organizations were founded in
the mid-1990’s and served Asian women experiencing domestic violence and sexual
assault. Both organizations were deeply rooted in their communities and had
long supported each other. By combining resources, we are able to provide
robust services for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human
community in 1993 sponsored by the Washington State Commission on Asian American
Affairs out of concern for the prevalence of violence against women in their
community, including several murders of Asian Pacific women. The Safety Center
hired staff in 1997 to work with community groups to organize for justice and
– was established in 1996 to serve South Asian women in times of crisis and
need, and to raise awareness of domestic violence issues. Chaya was founded as
a volunteer-led organization to fill a critical gap in services for women who
are survivors in King County’s burgeoning South Asian community.
women at a mayor risk of violence in the States if compared to their home
countries? If yes, why?
rates of violence Asian Pacific Islander women experience in the US versus
their home countries. A common statistic repeated in the US is that one in four
women experience sexual assault. However, this does not take into account
ethnic groups and LGBTQ communities.
seeking help. There is often a language barrier, and it may be hard to find
advocates who speak your mother tongue. Oftentimes, mainstream service
providers do not provide culturally-relevant advocacy. Many of our clients are
immigrants, and their abusers threaten to have their immigration status taken
away if they seek help.
guide clients through complicated legal systems.
decisions for themselves. We create a supportive space to talk about the
dynamics of abuse or exploitation, to heal from trauma, decrease isolation, and
increase skills that will help survivors build the lives and relationships they
desire. Our advocates can provide assistance in forming safety plans. We know
that a survivor is the best expert in their own experience, and our advocates
offer ongoing support to build skills, choices, and strategies to reduce harm
advocate and legal advocate on staff to support survivors in navigating complex
legal and housing systems.
We can also refer survivors to other non-profit organizations when needed.
consist? Do you also involve men?
list, you can visit our website. http://www.apichaya.org/community-organizing-and-education/
The aim of our programs is to mobilize our community and provide information on
domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. We definitely include
youth program in the spring of 2015 in collaboration with the Filipino
Community of Seattle. Filipino Youth Reunite to Elevate (FYRE) program for young people interested in
gaining leadership skills, building community, and learning about issues that
impact Filipino youth. We have activities and discussions around gender-based
violence, oppression, and consensual relationships as well as Filipino identity
events, speak on panels, table at fair, and give presentations.
institutions? If yes, how?
partnerships and allies in our local and national community. Among our many
partners, API Chaya works with the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander
Alliance, the Muslim Association of Puget Sound, Filipinos Against Violence,
the University of Washington, Washington Anti-Trafficking Response Network, the
Freedom Network, the Coalition to End Gender-Based Violence, the Washington
State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and the Washington Coalition of
Sexual Assault Programs.
for more updates!