Date Range: 19822009
Survey Conducted: Wed, 2009-12-09
Creator: New York Asian Women’s Center

History: One of the first organizations in the United States to address the linguistic, social, and economic barriers that prevent many Asian immigrant women from accessing domestic violence services, Womankind (formerly and at the time of the survey known as the New York Asian Women’s Center, NYAWC) aims to empower Asian women to experience their lives free from violence. Founded in 1982 by a group of volunteers led by Pat Eng, Womankind began as community awareness project to educate communities in Chinatown about domestic violence issues. Recognizing the need for an advocacy organization that engaged in direct service, Womankind set up a single-line, volunteer-run emergency hotline for abused women seeking help. Today, the emergency hotline (1-888-888-7702) operates 24-hours a day/seven days a week, provides services in 18+ different languages and dialects including Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Bengali, and receives over 3,000 calls each year.

Womankind also provides shelter for women and children fleeing violent situations. In 1985, volunteers began taking battered women and children into their homes, establishing the first domestic violence shelters for Asian women on the East Coast. In 1998, Womankind rented a number of “safe apartments” for their clients, and today, the organization runs two 24-hour shelters, which, in total, have a 40 bed-capacity. Womankind’s other programming efforts include community education and outreach, a children’s program, and a youth mentoring program in collaboration with a major New York City university. Serving as advocates for their mostly low-income Asian immigrant clients, volunteers and staff members often accompany women to court and help them navigate the welfare, immigration, and legal justice systems. Womankind also offers training workshops about issues facing Asian communities in New York for law enforcement personnel, health providers, educators, and social service organizations. In 2005, Womankind launched Project Free: Ending Modern-day Slavery program to serve victims of human trafficking. The organization has been the recipient of a number of honors including the Eleanor Roosevelt Community Service Award from Governor Mario Cuomo, the Ms. Foundation’s Gloria Steinem “Women of Vision” Award, the Celebrating Women’s Lives Award from Sakhi for South Asian Women, and Newsweek’s Community Champion Award.

Sources: “About Us.” Womankind’s website. Accessed November 18, 2021. https://www.iamwomankind.org/about-us/

Pica, Christopher. “WAC Lighting Donates Nearly 100 Fixtures To Happy House Shelter Of the New York Asian Women’s Center.” Metropolis Mag. April 14, 2009. Accessed February 5, 2015. http://bit.ly/1AsAaJv.

Zheng, Bin Yun. “Helping Asian Women Live Life Free of Abuse.” Asians in America Magazine. March 2008. Accessed February 5, 2015. http://bit.ly/16zxjC5.

Summary: The Womankind’s (formerly NYAWC) records total 359.5 linear feet and contain client files, outreach and resource materials, development records, fiscal reports, human resource information, media clippings, and various programmatic files relating to Womankind’s major direct service initiatives, including its shelters and 24-hour multilingual hotline.

Closed and active client files, which date back to the organization’s founding in 1982, make up the bulk of the collection at 130.5 linear feet. These files, stored in a series of cabinets, are organized chronologically, and include documentation of the services provided by Womankind to each client and correspondence with the client and legal partners. An additional 30 linear feet of client files are housed in Womankind’s various shelters. These files are strictly confidential.

Multilingual outreach and resource materials in Bengali, English, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese occupy 31.5 linear feet. Contained within this section are two linear feet of brochures advertising Womankind’s hotline, informational pamphlets on divorce and filing an Order of Protection, and educational information about domestic violence (how to identify it and how to get help) as well as 10 linear feet of vocational training guides. Additional resource materials for clients include guides covering topics ranging from children’s summer camps to financial education, which are kept in binders.

Womankind’s press files total 10.5 linear feet and include 0.5 linear feet of press kits and anniversary celebration brochures, four linear feet of photographs from events, parties, and the annual gala, and six linear feet of the organization’s newsletters (1991-97), public service announcements, and press clippings. These clippings are organized chronologically and have been pulled from English (New York Times, New York Daily News), Chinese (Ming Pao Daily News), Japanese (Yomiuri Shimbun), and Korean language publications.

The organization’s fiscal records measure 40.5 and include Womankind’s monthly, quarterly, and annual reports. Comprising of 18.5 linear feet are development files, which document fundraisers (1992-present), annual galas, grant proposals, the Board of Directors, and correspondence with individual and corporate donors.

The human resource files amount to 30 linear feet and span the organization’s existence, comprising of employee files, timesheets, and sign-in sheets. In addition, Womankind maintains 6.5 linear feet of volunteer files, including training materials, documentation on various volunteer projects, and recruitment information.

Finally, Womankind’s programmatic records include 21 linear feet on the organization’s hotline including hotline logs (1995-2006); 23.5 linear feet on its shelter operation (including information on the Office of Children and Family Services policies and regulations); 6 linear feet on program research analysis and internal date tracking; 3 linear feet on new programs and advocacy; 3 linear feet on contracts and partnerships; 3 linear feet on agency organizations; and 2 linear feet on contracts, task force initiatives, organizational planning and effectiveness, and Womankind’s Millennium Report.

Total Size: 359.5 linear feet
APA-related Size: 359.5 linear feet
Languages of materials: English, Bengali, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, and Korean
Arrangement: other
Location: Womankind’s offices
Bibliographic Control: inventory
Conditions Governing Access: Inaccessible to the public.

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