The Asian Women's Shelter (AWS) is a survivor-centered organization, supporting women and children who have survived and witnessed violence, including domestic violence and trafficking. Individuals served include women in same-sex relationships and heterosexual relationships. AWS welcomes all survivors: in particular, the agency has the unique cultural and language capacity to meet the needs of Asian immigrant and refugee survivors of violence. Our bilingual and bicultural staff and our pool of language advocates, who speak a total of more than 30 different languages, fill a visible gap in services available to Asian immigrant and refugee women. AWS channels the bulk of its resources and energy into supporting survivors with the least amount of resources at their disposal.
In fiscal year 2004-05, close to 100% of women and children who lived at AWS spoke little to no English. They were immigrants who lived in social isolation. Additionally, only 9% entered the shelter as employed workers, 22% depended on public assistance, and close to 70% had no independent economic means. Although the majority of women and children who reside at AWS are from the San Francisco Bay Area - including Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco counties - AWS receives crisis hotline calls from people across the nation. Also, AWS has housed women and children who have traveled to San Francisco from out-of-state and out-of-country locations.
Since 2002, we have developed services for victims of trafficking. To address the needs of trafficked women and children, AWS has joined forces with other organizations to form the Asian Anti-Trafficking Collaborative (AATC). Our partners are the Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach (APILO), Cameron House, and Narika. The collaborative works to provide legal and social services to trafficked people, including assistance with visas, shelter, case management, support, interpretation, advocacy, and independent living skills. he AATC also provides training and technical assistance to build the awareness and response among other community-based organizations, and participates in task forces and cross-training with local, state, and federal government systems. – less–ZoomInfo