Working within and across communities, we provide culturally relevant education and innovative projects that deepen our collective understanding of how systems of power create conditions that perpetuate violence in our homes and daily life. Through building relationships with youth and adult community leaders, we bring awareness and incite action against domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. We work towards shifting cultural and societal norms that allow violence to continue while lifting up values within the community that cultivates resilience, equity, and justice.

Many Asian, South Asian, and Pacific Islander communities are bound together by shared experiences of migration and the struggle to survive as marginalized communities. We deeply value our each other’s safety and wellness. API Chaya believes in the inherent power of our communities to come together in response to violence and strengthen our capacity to work towards a more just and loving world.


Annual Candlelight Vigil

Every year, we hold an annual vigil to remember those whose lives have been impacted by violence. In 1995, Susana Remerata Blackwell, her unborn baby Kristine, Phoebe Dizon, and Veronica Laureta were shot and killed at the King County Courthouse by Susana’s abusive husband. Susana was seeking a divorce. This tragedy was one of the reasons our communities worked to form API Chaya (formerly the Asian & Pacific Islander Women & Family Safety Center and Chaya). A shared sense of urgency created today’s advocacy and community organizing programs. While this event occurred over twenty years ago, the epidemic of domestic and sexual violence in our communities continues. API Chaya is committed to creating spaces for survivors and our allies to gather, share stories, and work towards building a world where all people can heal and thrive.

On March 7, 2019 we invite you to join us at the Bertha Knight Landes Room at City Hall at 4pm as we gather, reflect on survivorship, and march to the King County Courthouse for a brief program outside. There will not be a program inside the courthouse after. As we prepare for the 25th anniversary next year, our staff and program participants will be spending time with our founding mothers, re-grounding in our own stories and deepening our commitment to this legacy. Throughout the year, API Chaya will be offering more healing spaces for us and our loved ones, recognizing that survivors must feel consistently connected to build power and lead this work.

Survivors are exposing abuse and exploitation by those in power in record numbers, and we demand to be heard and believed. We invite our community to honor the survivors in your lives by taking a moment to reflect about how you can show support, hold space for vulnerable stories, and take action to stop rape culture and end systemic violence.

For information on this year’s vigil, please click here.


The Natural Helpers Project was started over 15 years ago to develop bilingual outreach volunteers that help link people experiencing domestic and sexual violence and human trafficking to our services. The volunteers are trained to recognize the dynamics and warning signs of these issues. They understand the barriers to obtaining services in API communities and they seek out assistance for families and individuals in need.

These volunteers are natural helpers in their community. They are hair stylists, lawyers, faith leaders, business owners, day care providers, doctors, teachers, community organizers, etc. They are the ones people come to when they are having problems; they are the ones who are willing to help. Natural Helpers find other potential natural helpers to create a network of individuals who become our eyes and ears in our communities.

The Natural Helpers Project is especially valuable because it also works as a leadership development program that nurtures natural community leaders to address gender-based violence in our communities and to work for long-term social change. It works within the framework of community accountability and transformative justice, although it was developed before these concepts became popular.

Currently, API Chaya offers our Natural Helpers Training once a year. It is free to current volunteers and is open to community members for a small fee. The training provides an overview of systems of oppression with a deep focus on gender-based violence and community-based responses.

If you are interested in becoming a Natural Helper, please contact

language access project

API Chaya is building on its Natural Helpers program and creating the Multilingual Natural Helpers Program. This development is part of a broader shift to improve language access, not just for clients, but for all multilingual people – including survivors of violence, folks with disabilities, low-wage workers, and workers in prison – as part of our vision to end violence. For more information, contact

community education series (ces)

In 2016, we launched the Community Education Series to make our training more accessible to more people in our communities. This training series takes place every 4th or 5th week of the month and rotates between four core topics twice a year: domestic violence, sexual violence, human trafficking and community organizing & bystander intervention. Natural helpers who are interested in co-facilitating these trainings meet monthly.

For more information, contact

rapid response team

API Chaya’s Rapid Response Team (RRT) is a group of volunteers who will activate and coordinate our Rapid Response network, including people who are currently signed up and our broader networks if necessary (through listserve or Facebook). Volunteers will build and share intervention skills necessary to respond to violence and oppression happening in our communities. This group will be facilitated by API Chaya’s volunteer coordinator.

We will be responding to the following:

  • Policies on local and national levels that impacts the communities we serve i.e. Muslim ban

  • Specific events that require a community response i.e. targeted hate violence, raids, national calls to action, etc.

  • Local actions connected to campaigns we are a part of i.e. No New Youth Jail

  • Media/news that need to be signal boosted or corrected.

For more information, contact


RISE! Is a peer facilitated collective centering sexual assault and abuse. We speak of the “unspeakable” through gathering, sharing food, and using art as a tool for cultivating a wholeness that is powerful, messy, contradictory and everything in between. 

Some previous RISE! Projects:

RISE! 2014 Showcase Facebook Link

RISE! 2018 Healing Gathering Facebook Link

Surviving the Holidays Zine

What are RISE! Monthly meetings?

Generally, RISE! Meets once every 1-2 months in order to:

  • Build community 

  • Share food

  • Share practices and prompts connected to survivorship

  • Offer and gather support around aspects of trauma as a survivor (ex: navigating family, triggers/flashbacks, etc)

  • “Plan for impermanence” through skill, tools and resource sharing that can live within community 

  • Center survivor leadership and brilliance 

For more information, contact 


The Queer Network Program (QNP) works to mobilize the QTBIPOC community to address and prevent intimate partner violence. In order to do this, we work to build skills among community members, raise the visibility of our community and concerns, and support survivors of violence.

QNP hosts monthly to bi-monthly QTBIPOC Snack n’ Chats with the intention of gathering Seattle QTBIPOC together over food to:

  • Relationship build

  • Have social time

  • Skill-share

  • Think deeply about what it really takes to create a “net-that-works” (term from People's Institute/EPIC).

  • Disrupt intra-communal harm & violence in our Seattle QTBIPOC communities.

Core features of Snack n’ Chats:

At each QTBIPOC Snack n’ Chat we provide food (vegan & veggie), icebreakers, space to connect and stations for resource sharing, pod mapping, Black & Pink letter writing, community announcements and a self care/spoons corner. Every other Snack n’ Chat we partner with & pay community facilitators to share skills-based workshops for participants.  

For more information, contact


QTFOCs is a network of queer and trans parents and families of color. We provide facilitated gatherings to increase parenting skills, build community, and discuss gender, identity, sexuality, and race in the context of queer parenting. In partnership with Families of Color Seattle and the Northwest Network of Bi, Trans, Lesbian and Gay Survivors of Abuse. 


In 2005, the Queer Network Program, in partnership with the International Examiner and with support from Asian Women's Shelter, Japanese Americans Citizens League and Asian Pacific Islander Homophobia/Heterosexism Education Project, published a book documenting stories of Queer API women survivors of violence. "A Breath of Fresh Air" is an original project that focuses on the support that friends and family provided to help survivors feel heard, stay safe and heal from abuse. We launched the book in April 2006 and hope that it will serve as a resource for folks in the community to support their loved ones. To get copies of the book, please send $5-20 sliding scale donation to:

API Chaya
ATTN: Queer Network Program
PO Box 14047
Seattle, WA 98114

For more information or to get copies of "A Breath of Fresh Air," please contact:

Lourdez Velasco
Queer Network Program Coordinator
(206) 467-9976


youth Program

API Chaya believes strongly in building the leadership capacity of youth to address issues of domestic violence and sexual assault in our community. We facilitate a weekly leadership group in collaboration with the Filipino Community Center called FYRE – Filipino Youth Rising to Elevate. In this group, we support youth in building skills around engaging with their communities around issues of oppression, domestic violence, and sexual assault.

We also provide training for youth and young adults on the following topics often in collaboration with other API organizations:

•    Dating & Domestic Violence

•    Sexual Assault

•    Healthy Relationships

For more information please contact and/or

Youth Leadership Program: FYRE

Filipino Youth Reunite to Elevate, FYRE was launched in the Spring of 2015 in collaboration with the Filipino Community of Seattle and API Chaya. FYRE is a program for young people interested in gaining leadership skills, building community, and learning about issues that impact Filipino youth. We have activities and discussions around gender-based violence and consensual relationships as well as Filipino identity and culture. 

In October 2015, the Filipino community lost three lives that were affected by the inherent violence of sexual assault. This sparked many dialogues in FYRE about what safety and healing meant for us and for our surrounding community. FYRE develops youth leaders and peer educators in nourishing relationships and in challenging rape culture. As young leaders, we strive to not only learn about the injustices we face but also how to make positive change happen within our homes, schools, and communities. 

For more information please contact

Instagram: 206FYREflies

disability justice project

API Chaya launched The Disability Liberation Project in 2015 to highlight the value and brilliance of people with disabilities in our communities while exploring the intersections of disability with domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking.

Living in a society saturated with negative attitudes about disability, we all have a lot to learn. We're learning as we go and we’d like to learn with and from you. We're starting small - networking with folks in the field of disability services and activism, hosting and cosponsoring events and trainings here and there. Stay tuned for upcoming events.

Please contact Jessie at if you're interested in getting involved (especially if you're a LGBTQ and/or immigrant or person of color with a disability)!

Peaceful Families Taskforce (PFT)

The Peaceful Families Taskforce (PFT), which was established in 2003, represents the faith based component of API Chaya’s community organizing work. API Chaya recognizes that the needs of survivors and communities of faith may require a particular type of support and understanding, especially when these needs intersect with culturally specific issues such as immigration, race, and income level.

During the early years of the PFT, its work was concentrated within the Muslim communities in and around the Puget Sound area, and entailed building partnerships with masajid, and raising awareness of the impact of domestic violence in Muslim communities.  The PFT built networks with local masajid, and provided various training and awareness programs to local communities.  Also prevalent in the work of the PFT was its research project conducted in 2012, studying the role of masajid in building peaceful families. This research concluded earlier this year.

During its more recent history, the work of the PFT has both broadened and deepened within the context of community organizing. We have increased the programming and services offered in collaboration with our partners in the Muslim community, and have also broadened our work to reach different faith groups. An example of this is in our DV prevention work, which in 2017 included a series of inter-generational parenting classes, tailored towards communities of faith, and held at the IMAN Center, Kirkland, the Muslim Association of Puget Sound, Redmond, and the United Beacon Methodist Church, Seattle.

We anticipate that our work within faith based communities will continue to grow and develop, and will equip their members with the skills and knowledge to strive towards the creation of s society that is free of violence.

For further information on the work of the PFT, please contact