Timeline – Achievements and Milestones
2010: AWS moves into its first outside training space, the
Dandelion Room, as a result of the success of the Dandelion
2009: QAWS becomes Queer Asian Women & Transgender Services
(QAWTS) to formalize its commitment to the inclusion of all
survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking.
2008: QAWS launches Chai Chats, a safe and confidential
community-based initiative which equips AWS's LGBT community
members with tools and strategies to practice and promote healthy
relationships in all areas of their lives and communities.
2007: The Multilingual Digital Storytelling Project is launched
in collaboration with the Center for Digital Storytelling. AWS
empowers immigrant survivors to tell their stories in their own
voices and languages, and to create powerful multimedia
presentations about violence against API women.
2003: QAWS convenes the first "Transforming Silence into Action"
national gathering of queer Asian Pacific Islander (API) activists
and advocates addressing intimate partner violence in API LGBT
AWS hosts the first national Powerful Peers Forum, a gathering
of advocates who participated in the Peer-to-Peer Technical
2002-03: AWS becomes the first, and to date the only, domestic
violence shelter in the Bay Area to create an anti-trafficking
program. Together with API Legal Outreach and Narika, AWS
forms the Asian Anti-Trafficking Collaborative (AATC), which
provides services and advocacy for trafficked survivors.
2002: Launch of the national Peer-to-Peer Technical Assistance
(TA) Program, in which AWS works one-on-one with anti-violence
agencies around the country in a peer-based approach to deepen
relationships, build skills, and strengthen the diversity and
sustainability of the work to end violence against women.
2001: The powerful testimony of AWS residents helps lead to the
passage of the San Francisco Language Access Ordinance.
2000: The Community Building Program, which includes community
education, grassroots mobilization, technical assistance and
advocacy, is formalized and launched.
The Organizational Development Team is formed to hold the health
and sustainability of the organization, and to ensure that each
staff person plays a role in the growth and direction of AWS.
1997: Lesbian Services expands into Queer Asian Women's Services
(QAWS) Program. QAWS works on innovative prevention
strategies and advocacy to make existing services accessible to
queer survivors of relationship violence.
The AWS Collaborative, in partnership with the San Francisco
State University's Department of Women's Studies, sponsors
"Gathering Strength: Coming together to end domestic violence in
our Asian & Pacific Islander communities," a forum attended by
over 350 people.
1995: The AWS Collaborative is formed by AWS, API Legal
Outreach, Cameron House and Narika, to ensure a network of
services, ranging from intensive case management to legal support,
is provided to survivors.
AWS spearheads the creation of the Citywide Multi-Language
Access Model Project, where its pool of trained language advocates
is shared with agencies throughout San Francisco. As of 2010,
the project has expanded to include API Legal Outreach, Rosalie
House, Brennan House, Communities United Against Violence,
W.O.M.A.N. Inc., Narika, Clara House and Gum Moon Women's
1994: The powerful testimony of AWS residents helps lead to the
passage of the battered immigrant women provisions of the federal
Violence Against Women Act.
1991: The Multilingual Access Model (MLAM) Program is created to
offer language support to non-English-speaking survivors of
violence. As of 2010, AWS offers on-call support in over 30
languages and dialects.
1990: The Lesbian Services Program is established to increase
AWS's accessibility to lesbian survivors and address homophobia in
both API communities and existing domestic violence services and
1988: AWS is founded as the first shelter in northern California
and the third in the nation to offer cultural and
language-accessible services to non-English-speaking Asian refugee
and immigrant survivors of domestic violence.