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Queer Asian Women & Transgender Support

Anti-immigrant sentiment and homophobia are rearing up in the forms of frightening policies and national attitudes every day. Conditions that contribute to intimate partner violence (IPV) are deepening and spreading. Asian & Pacific Islander (API) LGBQT people, particularly those who are immigrants or refugees, already tend to be among the most invisible and underserved in our society. When experiencing violence, they have few, if any, places to turn. Their marginalization is compounded-not only as an immigrant or refugee but also from the existence of their LBQT relationship itself.

Since its creation in 1991, Asian Women's Shelter's Queer Asian Women and Transgender Support (QAWTS) Program, one of the first and only programs of its kind in the nation, has been at the forefront in addressing intimate partner violence in the LBTQ community. In addition to providing comprehensive services for queer survivors of violence, QAWTS works on innovative programs and prevention strategies.

QAWTS utilizes a two-part prevention model. The overall goal is to shift socio-cultural norms from those that justify or allow violent behavior between intimate partners to new norms that promote non-violent, healthy relationships. API queer immigrant and refugee leadership are integrated throughout the program so that the program is by and for the community. The two program components include:

Chai Chats, which supports API LBQT community members to practice and promote healthy relationships through a 10-session cycle of community-centered training, dialogue, and skills-building. Each session focuses on concrete skills for modeling, nurturing, and promoting practices of healthy relationships. Chai Chats offers a safe space to explore the complex issues surrounding queer relationships. This year, due to popular demand, we expanded Chai Chats to the East Bay.

Homophobia Busters - Homophobia and transphobia are major barriers to seeking help and resources for queer relationship violence. Homophobia Busters trains and activates cohorts of anti-homophobia allies within API immigrant and refugee communities. These allies, many of whom are heterosexual, directly address homophobia and heterosexism in their social networks, reducing isolation of API LGBTQ individuals and relationships, creating increased social support for the API LGBQT community and reducing the incidence of IPV.

QAWTS is currently undergoing an extensive and exciting evaluation supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Strengthening What Works initiative.



Anti-immigrant sentiment and homophobia are rearing up in the forms of frightening policies and national attitudes every day. Conditions that contribute to intimate partner violence (IPV) are deepening and spreading. Asian & Pacific Islander (API) LGBQT people, particularly those who are immigrants or refugees, already tend to be among the most invisible and underserved in our society. When experiencing violence, they have few, if any, places to turn. Their marginalization is compounded-not only as an immigrant or refugee but also from the existence of their LBQT relationship itself.
Since its creation in 1991, Asian Women's Shelter's Queer Asian Women and Transgender Support (QAWTS) Program, one of the first and only programs of its kind in the nation, has been at the forefront in addressing intimate partner violence in the LBTQ community. In addition to providing comprehensive services for queer survivors of violence, QAWTS works on innovative programs and prevention strategies.
QAWTS utilizes a two-part prevention model. The overall goal is to shift socio-cultural norms from those that justify or allow violent behavior between intimate partners to new norms that promote non-violent, healthy relationships. API queer immigrant and refugee leadership are integrated throughout the program so that the program is by and for the community. The two program components include:
Chai Chats, which supports API LBQT community members to practice and promote healthy relationships through a 10-session cycle of community-centered training, dialogue, and skills-building. Each session focuses on concrete skills for modeling, nurturing, and promoting practices of healthy relationships. Chai Chats offers a safe space to explore the complex issues surrounding queer relationships. This year, due to popular demand, we expanded Chai Chats to the East Bay.
Homophobia Busters - Homophobia and transphobia are major barriers to seeking help and resources for queer relationship violence. Homophobia Busters trains and activates cohorts of anti-homophobia allies within API immigrant and refugee communities. These allies, many of whom are heterosexual, directly address homophobia and heterosexism in their social networks, reducing isolation of API LGBTQ individuals and relationships, creating increased social support for the API LGBQT community and reducing the incidence of IPV.
QAWTS is currently undergoing an extensive and exciting evaluation supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Strengthening What Works initiative.