The Asian Pacific Women's Center was the first in the country, in 1993, to provide housing and
social services for battered Asian American women. (Two other community groups in Los
Angeles, the Center for the Pacific Asian Family and the Little Tokyo Service Center, now also
provide housing.) The center has six fully furnished apartments opened three and a half years
ago. Families can stay rent-free for as long as two years, while the women sort out immigration
status, take care of legal problems, secure housing vouchers, find jobs, get counseling and learn to
live without their abusive husbands or boyfriends. After the families leave the apartments, the
eight-member staff keeps in touch with the families.
The center, which operates on a $300,000 yearly budget funded mostly through grants, primarily targets the Asian community. But while about 60% of the families are Asian, the center also has helped Latino, African American, African and white families. Half the women are involved with men of their own race; half are involved with men of other races. Since 2000, 21 families have graduated from the Asian Pacific Women's Center program. None of the women have returned to their abusers. (Source: Jia-Rui Chong, Los Angeles Times, Dec,. 28, 2003).