API Chaya believes in survivors. We are an organization focused on serving survivors of sexual violence, human trafficking and domestic violence from Pacific Islander, Native Hawaiian, Asian and South Asian communities. To center those at the margins, we keep young people, faith-based communities, queer and Trans Black, Indigenous, and people of color, people with disabilities, and immigrants at our core.

API Chaya’s story began with our community meeting in living rooms, over shared meals. Existing institutions could not meet our cultural, values, or language needs, so we came together to develop our own ways to meet the immediate and long-term safety needs of survivors from our specific cultural perspectives.

Culturally specific support services help survivors move from crisis to healing and thriving. Our advocates work with survivors to provide holistic services including free and culturally relevant therapy and support groups, employment search, healthcare, financial assistance, secure shelter, transitional housing, permanent housing, and connecting with legal services to meet basic and crucial needs. Our advocates work closely with survivors to reach safety and independence.

We know that when survivors face abuse, they first turn to their close networks. We train these networks to prevent and respond to violence through support, leadership and skill building programs that are language and culture specific. This creates supportive environments for all survivors in their daily lived — in their homes, at their places of worship, in their schools, their workplace, and neighborhoods.

Today, our direct survivor support services and community organizing programs reflect where the API Chaya story began. Our community organizing programs train Natural Helpers in how to prevent, recognize, intervene in, and respond to violence. This long-term community organizing is guided by the everyday needs we witness through direct survivor support. Our direct survivor support services help survivors get back their agency and find safety by navigating existing systems to meet basic and crucial needs. By supporting survivors, we cultivate healing and build leaders within the anti-violence movement.

Our two core strategies — survivor support services and community organizing – -work hand in hand to support survivors, cultivate healing, and build accountable communities. Many clients who receive survivor support go on to take leadership within our community organizing programs. In addition, many community members are introduced to API Chaya through community organizing, and later seek out direct survivor support. Our programs share a vision for what a survivor’s future can be after crisis — a future where survivors are stable, independent, and healing can begin. Direct survivor support and community organizing work together toward this vision, for individual survivors and for our broader community.

We know that those closest to the problem are closest to the solution, which is why API Chaya is led by survivors. Over 40% of our staff began as clients or volunteers, and almost all are survivors of violence. Most are first- and second-generation immigrants. We connect through shared experience, language and culture. We understand survivors to be the experts in their own lives, and we bring our expertise in resources and systems to support the community in responding to violence.

We invite you to be a part of the solution. Together, we can prevent and end violence, and create communities that are more just and more loving for all people.

If you think you are experiencing abuse, please call our helpline on 206-325-0325 Mon-Fri 10 AM –  4 PM. For volunteer opportunities or other ways you can get involved, please email [email protected]. Our work is not possible without your support, give the gift of safety and donate today at apichaya.org/donate.

For more opinions, click here

Facebook Comments