API Chaya formed from the merger of two organizations in 2011: the Asian & Pacific Islander Women & Family Safety Center and Chaya. 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, API Chaya is able to provide robust services for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. API Chaya now serve a broader Asian and Pacific Islander community - including East Asian and South Asian women.
The Safety Center grew out of organizing within the Filipino 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 social change.
Chaya - "shelter" or "shade" in Sanskrit - 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.
API Chaya supports Asian, South Asian, and Pacific Islander survivors and families impacted by domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as human trafficking survivors from all communities. API Chaya engages communities to change societal conditions that enable domestic and sexual violence, human trafficking and all forms of oppression, especially violence against women and the most vulnerable in society.
API Chaya envisions a just and equitable world free of violence and oppression. API Chaya partners and engage with community groups, providing education and organizing towards the prevention of domestic and sexual violence, exploitation and human trafficking. API Chaya does work with an understanding of the cultural norms and stigmas associated with such violence and believe in the inherent strength and potential of communities to facilitate this change.
API Chaya has served thousands of people and worked with dozens of community groups for community organizing and education regarding prevention of sexual and domestic violence, exploitation, and human trafficking.
API Chaya claims these values as central towards realizing the mission. Each value is practiced and realized on every level including the individual, community and institutional. In a domestic violence situation, factors such as love, family expectations, cultural norms and immigrant status make oppression difficult to recognize and address. Just as expressions of oppression can be diverse and contradictory, API Chaya recognizes that responses may be diverse and contradictory as well. Hence API Chaya embraces the complexity of the world and resist the temptation to flatten and simplify our experiences.
API Chaya values Integrity
Integrity is the practice of making choices that reflect values as they strive towards realizing API Chaya`s vision of a just and equitable world free of violence. API Chaya believe that when open and transparent in actions, we empower ourselves and the community to think critically and acknowledge the impact of choices because where accountability is practiced, abuse has no place.
API Chaya values Equity
Equity is the principle of ensuring equal access to power, justice and resources. Inequity and abuse in relationships and communities are supported by larger systems of oppression which affects us all. API Chaya works towards the principle of equity and justice through social change.
API Chaya values Dignity
Dignity is the recognition of and respect for the inherent value of every individual and community, including those who have been victimized and those who have perpetuated abuse.
API Chaya values Agency
Agency is the ability to make choices on one`s own behalf within the range or context of choices available. API Chaya strives to promote a world in which the agency of historically marginalized groups such as women, immigrants and LGBTQ individuals is recognized and supported.
API Chaya values Community
Communities occur when people are brought together through shared experiences and across differences. As individuals we have membership in multiple communities. API Chaya actively supports collaborative efforts that respect and empower those who have experienced abuse and demands accountability. They envision communities taking an active role to foster equitable, just and loving relationships between individuals and groups of people.
API Chaya values Sustainability
Sustainability fosters strength, well being, joy at an individual and collective level. A strong organization and movement can only be achieved through balance, endurance and self care.
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