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The Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women (LACAAW) is a non-profit, feminist, multi-cultural organization whose goal is the elimination of violence against women and children. Because this violence takes many forms and exists on many levels of society, we have adopted several approaches in our work: education, prevention, and intervention. We provide services that inform the community about the problem of violence, teach women to defend themselves against it and offer intervention and support for its survivors. Since we seek to empower women, we believe that: self-defense is the most effective mode of self-protection; peer counseling is the most effective mode of intervention; and education is a vital source of preventing abusive relationships.
We are a feminist organization. By this we mean that; while different groups within the organization perform different functions, we recognize that all memebers are peers; the volunteer memebership constitutes the primary policy-making body of the organization; we value their experience and are attentive to the feelings of our members. Furthermore , in our counseling we are sensitive to the historical and sociological status of women in our culture, and to that end, we support the greatest range of options, be they social, reproductive or otherwise. We are part of a large network of people active against violence and thus our work cannot be separate from the awareness and repudiation of sexism, racism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination. We recognize that ending violence against women and children will not end overnight. We are working to improve the quality of life for all people in a patriarchal society that ranks the concerns of women and children as a low priority. The work we do is difficult. It requires a strong commitment to the community, much perseverance and a little faith that one day we will need to celebrate the fact that our services are no longer necessary. Until that day, we will work together to maintain our vigor, flexibility and responsiveness to the needs of the women and children in our society.
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