What are culturally-specific organizations and services?

Monsoon Asians & Pacific Islanders in Solidarity, formerly called Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa, is a culturally-specific organization serving victims/survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence, stalking, and human trafficking in Iowa.  We define culturally-specific organizations as organizations led by individuals from the community being served, in this case, the Asian & Pacific Islander communities.  Our staff and board are from the API communities.  We value the knowledge and expertise of individuals from our community whether they are newly-arrived refugees/immigrants; whether English is their first language; whether they have GED or have high school diploma.  Our cultures and traditions are deeply embedded in our practice.   We will work with one survivor and their family for 5, 10, 20 hours since culturally-specific services entails more hours in comparison to working with an individual who is familiar with the system or speaks fluent English.  It is typical for a Monsoon staff to work with a survivor/victim for more than 20 hours.   We do not do case management and we do not see longer periods of work with a survivor as a weakness.  Victims/survivors who reach out to us are not seen as “cases” but as community/family members.  We provide services as if the person who came to us is our sister, auntie, mother, brother, uncle, niece, nephew.  We define boundaries differently from mainstream service providers or ethnic based organizations that are not culturally-specific/follow  mainstream practices.  If you would like to know more information about our work, contact us at