The History of AWAIC
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.