Womankind is an expert in serving Asian women and their children. Our services are multilingual and culturally-responsive. But, services are equally valuable for the many non-Asians, the men and boys, and members of the LGBTQ community that we serve. Assistance is offered through all stages of life, from childhood to elder years. For those whose lives have been impacted by violence, Womankind helps them move forward from isolation to connectedness, from surviving to thriving.
124-hour Multilingual Helpline
Calling our helpline opens the door to all the services of Womankind. Highly trained helpline advocates can answer general questions about domestic violence, human trafficking, sexual violence, elder abuse and child abuse. They can also give information about our services including residential, community based program and make referrals when appropriate. Helpline advocates can provide crisis counseling and help developing basic safety plan to use if you are not yet ready to seek help. We speak 18+ Asian languages and dialects, and Spanish. All calls are free and confidential.
Easily accessible by public transportation and centrally located in predominantly Asian neighborhoods of Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens, Womankind’s three community offices provide safe spaces for advocates and clients to work together on healing from trauma. In addition to counseling sessions and other core services that take perennially occur here, programs such as DAT and AWE meet here for their creative art and support groups, and wellness activities.
3Emergency Housing (Shelter)
Womankind’s two emergency residences are more than shelters. With their homelike surroundings and supportive staff, Rose House and Peace House offer solace and comfort to survivors of domestic and sexual violence and their children. With a total of 40 beds, the houses offer shared and private spaces where survivors and their families develop their own individualized healing journey. The staff prioritizes individual and collective comfort and is able to make various, religious, cultural, and physical accommodation as needed. Rose House and Peace House are the only ones licensed by New York State that are culturally and language equipped to serve pan-Asian survivors of domestic and sexual violence for up to 90 days. Continuing care services are available for survivors after they move out.
Womankind boasts a team of highly qualified advocates who provide therapeutic support and prompt and professional services designed to facilitate recovery from trauma. Advocates are trained to support clients as they think through their thoughts, feelings, and concerns in order to help them achieve their various goals, often in their native language. The healing environment initiates with the relationship between the survivor and advocate that serves to restore trust in another individual and increase alliance that support recovery processes. This dyadic relationship continues to expand to trusting relationships that are developed with peers and other community members. The nature and strength of relationships are crucial in the survivor gaining trust, increasing hope, getting and giving support, and building self-esteem—the seeds of healing.
2Critical Resource Intervention
Advocates offer resources and advice to help survivors address barriers that they may be experiencing within their lives. This assistance can involve case management, obtaining benefits that can assist with financial hardships, support in navigating various criminal justice and other legal systems, as well as additional support in caring for the entire family unit. We recognize that a violent incident or a set of incidents can have a negative impact on an individual’s wellbeing. Increasing access to resources as well as skills that support the ability live in optimal conditions, plan for the future, and support overall wellbeing are crucial. To strengthen the healing relationship further, advocates support survivors as they explore options and the consequences of various decisions, and by accompanying them to appointments to increase their agency over time.
3Immigration Legal Services
Womankind’s Legal Department was established in 2011 and is focused on assisting the Center’s clients with immigration relief to break the power and control by their abusers or traffickers. Our expertise is on humanitarian-based immigration relief, including U and T visas, VAWA self-petitions, and battered spouse waivers. Our attorneys represent clients in their filings for appropriate relief as well as attend immigration interviews and immigration court hearings with the clients. The Legal Department also collaborates with other legal services providers to set up family law clinics to enable clients to consult with attorneys regarding orders of protection, divorce, child custody, visitation, spousal support, and child support.
Womankind’s Economic Empowerment Program provides survivors the tools and resources to become self-sufficient in their lives, focusing on financial education and workforce development. The Economic Empowerment Program works with providing counselors with the tools to assist their clients, the majority of who are low-income, in their journey of rebuilding their lives and establishing economic stability. Workshops are provided to survivors on topics including but not limited to banking, saving, credit, taxes, goal setting, career readiness, resumés, interviewing, and workers’ rights. Partnerships are also developed to support clients who are interested or in need of resources such as ESL/GED classes, computer literacy, hard skills training, and/or consumer law referrals.
A wide range of wellness activities are offered to survivors as standalone services or as elements in healing circles. These activities include acupuncture, acupressure, qigong, yoga, mindfulness practices, dance and movement, and expressive arts. Survivors exercise their choice about the type and length of the activities that works best for them. Survivors are also actively invited to the co-creation process of healing circles. The body-mind-spirit connection in healing trauma applies as much to the advocate as it does to survivors. As such, these wellness practices are also offered to advocates. By offering and encouraging advocates to engage in the same practices that are offered to survivors, the purpose is to support advocates remain present and intentional in establishing a healing journey with a survivor.
6Drawing & Truth Mentoring Program
Drawing And Truth (DAT) is a mentoring program for youth ages 13 to 18 who have experienced or witnessed interpersonal violence. Unlike typical mentoring programs where the mentor and mentee are assigned as pairs, DAT works as a social group where participants collectively engage in a wide range of recreational and educational activities, making the most of resources available to them in New York City. DAT takes place weekly at one of Womankind’s Community Offices throughout the academic school year. Since 2008, DAT has worked to provide a community where all members are safe to exist, explore, and express themselves freely in a group setting; have opportunities for self-reflection and self-growth; and learn, experience, and practice healthy relationships with others.
7Asian Youth Program
The Asian Youth Program (AYP) is a mentoring program from the STAR Children and Youth Program for children ages 6 to 12 who have been impacted by violence. Run in partnership with the Community Impact program at Columbia University, AYP individually pairs children with college students to provide social, emotional, academic and recreational support through mentoring relationships in a group setting. Since 1998, we have provided mentees with the opportunity to discover all that New York City has to offer by exposing them to new neighborhoods and people, and to new social, cultural and educational experiences.
Transitional housing is an opportunity to provide extended housing and support services to survivors for up to 24 months after staying in one of our emergency residences. This program allows the survivors to work slowly towards self-sufficiency, as the program provides partial rent subsidy payments to landlords. The remaining rent payments are provided by the participant. The increment of participant payment of rent gradually increases every six months. The program works with the participant, providing support services that are inclusive of housing advocacy, budgeting and finance planning, vocational counseling, employment retention support as well as general counseling. The goal of the program is to gradually increase the participant's ability to sustain an apartment financially as well as manage their family's lives in a sustainable way.
9Asian Women's Empowerment Program
Under our Project Free (anti-human trafficking) program, AWE works with New York City’s Human Trafficking Intervention Courts (HTIC) to help defendants who are highly probable of being trafficked get help and connect with a community. AWE creates a safe space where participants do wellness and self-empowering activities such as trauma-sensitive yoga and art, practical ESL tutoring, financial and vocational education, and receive helpful information on women’s health and immigrant rights and remedies. The program includes a communal lunch, individual counseling session and support groups in order to further help establish the connection and safety clients need to disclose and seek help for trauma related to trafficking.
1Peer Educator Program
The Peer Educator Program is part of the Later in Life Program. The goal is for Womankind to build connection and trust with survivors through engaging older adults who reach out to their community members. Peer educators are recruited to work with staff to plan and provide community education. They also do trainings on abuse in later life and elder abuse awareness as well as provide feedback on how to reach out to the older adult community based on their personal experience as part of the community group.
2Community Education & Outreach
Womankind provides information and trainings to both service providers and community members about domestic violence, sexual violence, human trafficking, later in life abuse, and cultural sensitivity as well as the various programs and services offered. Staff can conduct these trainings in the various languages spoken at the agency as well. In addition, Womankind participates in various community meetings, events and partnerships throughout the city for the purposes of outreaching, educating and advocating for survivors and the communities we serves.
Womankind’s advocacy efforts are rooted in the lived experiences of violence survivors. In addition to providing services and advocacy to individuals affected by violence, we promotes social change by participating in coalitions and alliances, providing critical information to community members, and analyzing and influencing policy and budget decisions. Through advocacy, Womankind works to mitigate barriers to services and resources for violence survivors, build the capacity of communities and families to recognize, prevent, address, and heal from violence; and transform systemic conditions that create vulnerability to abuse and exploitation.