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Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services empowers Deaf and DeafBlind survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and harassment to transform their lives, while striving to change the beliefs and behaviors that foster and perpetuate violence. We provide comprehensive services to individuals and families, community education, and advocacy on systems and policy issues.
Abused Deaf Women's Advocacy Services (ADWAS) is a non-profit agency providing Deaf and Deaf Blind victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. In 1981, a Deaf women was brutally murdered in Seattle by her Deaf husband, which led to the founding of ADWAS in 1986. ADWAS was the first agency of its kind to provide completely accessible support and advocacy services to ASL-Deaf and Deaf-Blind survivors and their families. As part of its mission to break the cycle of violence, ADWAS offers educational workshops to the Deaf Community and to hearing people who work with Deaf clients. In 1998, in partnership with the Department of Justice, ADWAS developed a Training Institute to train people to set up similar agencies throughout the US and Canada. In the fall of 2006 ADWAS opened "A Place of Our Own" the first ever Transitional Housing and Support Facility for Deaf and Deaf-Blind Victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.
ADWAS operates a 24 hour crisis line, offering crisis intervention. Domestic violence and sexual assault case management services, counseling and support groups, safe shelter and housing, legal and medical advocacy, parenting classes and children's services are a few of the services provided. ADWAS is an active member of the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the King County Coalition Against Domestic Violence, working with other agencies around the area to achieve the common goal of one day ending domestic violence.