Abused Women’s Aid In Crisis (AWAIC) is dedicated to domestic violence safe shelter and intervention. We value education, advocacy, partnership, sustainability and credibility. In the fall of 1976, a volunteer group of determined Anchorage women decided to address their concerns about domestic violence in the community. Hard work and persistence resulted in the creation of a safe home for battered women and their children in August 1977. Initially, the shelter provided only temporary, emergency refuge where victims could escape abuse and have time to consider their options for the future.
As staff collected more information on domestic violence, programs expanded to include the dynamics of battering, addictive behavior patterns, traditional male/female roles and how violence is perpetrated in society. The non-residential services program has enabled AWAIC to reach out into the community, offering information and skill-building groups for non-residential program participants. It also provides community education through public and school presentations. In January of 1983, AWAIC opened the doors of its present facility. For the first time all of AWAIC’s programs were in one building. The 52-bed shelter allows women and children a stay of up to one month. Extensions are approved on a case-by-case basis. It is unfortunate that society needs a domestic violence program. Given the need, it is fortunate that a shelter does exist, as well as an educational program for victims and their children. Only through the awareness and efforts of many can we continue AWAIC’s services and hope to achieve our goal of eliminating domestic violence from our community. AWAIC is committed to stopping violence before it starts by investing resources in evidence based prevention strategies that work toward breaking the cycle of violence for the next generation. AWAIC offers community based education to Anchorage School District students and other youth, professionals who interact with victims of violence, as well as to general community members.
In the last year, AWAIC staff provided 84 presentations to 1,816 youth in the community, 36 trainings to 898 professionals, 47 community presentations to 7,223 community members. Funding for the AWAIC Community Education and Prevention Program is generously provided by The Allstate Foundation and ConocoPhillips Alaska. AWAIC is proud to have these partners in working toward ending domestic violence in our community. Last year, with their support, AWAIC reached 9,937 youth and adults in Anchorage with domestic violence information and messages of safety and respect in relationships. Statistics show that one in three teenagers have experienced violence in a dating relationship.
Look around. Yes, you know someone who is not in a healthy relationship. Women ages 16 to 24 experience the highest per capita rates of intimate violence—nearly 20 per 1000 women. (Bureau of Justice Special Report: Intimate Partner Violence, May 2000) About one in three high school students have been or will be involved in an abusive relationship. A survey of adolescent and college students revealed that date rape accounted for 67 percent of sexual assaults. AWAIC is committed to addressing dating violence in Anchorage. AWAIC provides healthy relationship groups to Anchorage School District students as well as training about domestic violence to professionals who interact with youth.