History, Mission, & Values

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Like a physical arch provides safety and support to a building and its inhabitants, ARCh’s mission is to provide a safe and supportive online space for you.

ARCh is a project of Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa. Monsoon’s mission is to end all forms of gender-based violence and build healthy communities through transformative justice and social change. Their programs include free and confidential direct services to the Asian/Pacific Islander community in Iowa, community outreach and education, violence prevention and technical assistance.

Although Monsoon is a culturally specific program, ARCh is not. Launched in January of 2016, ARCh is here for the use of all Iowans who have experienced abuse, stalking, or sexual violence, as well as their loved ones.

ARCh’s foundational values are:

Image: A handshakeSocial justice

Social justice is based upon the values of equity, opportunity, quality of life, and self-determination for individuals and communities. It recognizes the importance of identity, intersectionality, privilege, oppression, and other historical and social contexts in understanding and resolving social issues. It emphasizes action and continuous improvement. Monsoon, its sister organization Nisaa, and ARCh strive to operate in a socially just way in their everyday and long-term activities and goals.

Image: A series of concentric circles with an arrow pointing from the outside toward the insideA margin-to-center approach

If we can appropriately serve survivors who are more marginalized in society, we can also serve those who are less marginalized. We are committed to serving all survivors appropriately to the best of our ability, so we are intentionally inclusive, intersectional, and margin-focused in our outreach and training.

“…the struggle to end sexist oppression that focuses on destroying the cultural basis for such domination strengthens other liberation struggles. Individuals who fight for the eradication of sexism without struggles to end racism or classism undermine their own efforts. Individuals who fight for the eradication of racism or classism while supporting sexist oppression are helping to maintain the cultural basis of all forms of group oppression.”

— bell hooks, Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center

Image: A brain with a warning symbolTrauma-informed support

Trauma affects human beings in profound ways physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. We are committed to being aware of the effects of trauma in order to better understand and affirm your experiences.

Image: A person in silhouette in front of a starSurvivor-centered work

Abuse and sexual assault are are beyond the control of those who experience them, and regaining a feeling of control is part of the healing process. We support you as you process these experiences and make your own decisions. We are committed to believing your stories, validating your feelings, and following your lead.