Banteay Srei provides social support, healing arts, reproductive health education, life skills-building, and leadership development for young Southeast Asian women impacted by sexual exploitation. Based in Oakland, CA, Banteay Srei is dedicated to providing the tools and support necessary for young Southeast Asian women and girls to empower themselves and their communities.
Banteay Srei believes that every person is entitled to living a free, happy and healthy life that is full of options. Through our programs and events that promote leadership development, cultural awareness, and self-empowerment, we are working towards creating a generation of fierce, independent, and self-empowered young Southeast Asian women.
Frustrated by the lack of specialized resources and lack of attention to the growing numbers of young women impacted by sexual exploitation, a small group of local service providers and advocates (case managers, health educators, and social workers) responded and began critical dialogue, which led to the birth of Banteay Srei (Bahn-tea-ay Suh-ray) in 2004 – to provide community-based and culturally relevant resources for young Southeast Asian women impacted by sexual exploitation.
The name Banteay Srei comes from an ancient temple in Cambodia which means “the women’s temple” – built to honor female deities and representing strength, unity, and safety. This name was chosen to inspire a space that would be created to honor women and provide tools for self-empowerment.
Banteay Srei is a youth development, asset-building organization that is non-judgmental of young Southeast Asian women who are engaged in or at risk of sexual exploitation. We seek to provide the resource that support their healthy development through self-empowerment and self-determination.
Banteay Srei empowers Southeast Asian women across generations to build community, achieve political power, and embrace the freedom to thrive.
Banteay Srei is a safe space that is pro-knowledge, pro-women, pro-Southeast Asian, pro-youth, that promotes sex positive education, community building activities and leadership development to foster cultural pride, and self-empowerment for women engaged in or at risk of sexual exploitation.