As Asian immigrant women, we have heard many stories from our fellow sisters who have been subject to physical, emotional, and sexual violence with no place to go for safety and support. These painful stories cannot be ignored because these women could be our mothers, sisters, friends, daughters, and even ourselves.
In the late 1980s women's advocates and social service providers came together in response to the growing demand for domestic violence services in the Korean American community. Out of these discussions came the formation of KAN-WIN. KAN-WIN was officially founded on August 15, 1990 on the 45th anniversary of Korea's liberation from Japanese colonial rule. This historical date signifies KAN-WIN’S vision of a world free from oppression and violence.
Over the next two decades, we have grown to become one of the premier agencies in the U.S. with the expertise in serving Asian American & immigrant survivors of gender-based violence. Through a set of intensive wrap-around services, including a multilingual 24-hour hotline, legal advocacy, transitional housing program, etc., we help address complex and unique barriers that many immigrant survivors face as they seek to escape from abuse. All of our services are free and confidential, and we strive to provide them in the survivor’s own language.
Previously, KAN-WIN went by the name of “Korean American Women In Need.” In 2013, we decided to go solely by “KAN-WIN” because our clientele became much more diverse since it opened its doors. With the name change, we want to show our commitment to meeting the great diversity of cultural and linguistic needs in the greater Chicagoland area.
There is a folk wisdom from Asia that says: Happiness increases as we share it with others; pain decreases as we share it with others. We at KAN-WIN want to be sisters and a listening ear to share the pain and walk with survivors of violence through their journey toward freedom and healing.