Nonprofit aids women of the South Asian diaspora struggling to survive domestic violence

Gender-based and domestic violence affects 35% of females worldwide and 25% of women in America, but the statistic for South Asian women in the United States surges to 40%.

Abuse destabilizes women and children physically, psychologically, economically and in many other ways. The survivors have to navigate through a layered life and deal with multiple issues on a daily basis, something that people living in healthy domestic environments may not be aware of.

In addition to undergoing emotional trauma, jumping through the hoops of the immigration system, getting protection orders against the perpetrators, these survivors may not even eat every day because 75% of them live below the federal poverty line. English is not their native language as the overwhelming majority are immigrants and refugees. Due to their diverse faith, the survivors often do not have access to mainstream faith-based institutions.

They would fall through the cracks and not even become statistics if it were not for Sakhi, a nonprofit founded in 1986 in New York that has served more than 12,000 survivors of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence.

Sakhi works hand in hand with active outreach local lawyers and even community-based stores in order to assist survivors through an array of culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate services.

Its programs assist with crisis intervention, safety-planning, and ongoing emotional support, translation assistance and advocacy in court, during healthcare visits, at public benefits and welfare agencies. Sakhi also provides weekly support groups; connections to counseling, low-cost or free health consultations and exams, public benefits, shelter and/or housing.

Sakhi promotes self-sufficiency, civil integration, poverty reduction and purging the cycle of violence so the survivors can live a decent life that every human deserves.

Providing these services during COVID-19 made it very challenging. The pandemic increased racial biases and lack of social justice along with food shortages and price hikes of staple items.

But throughout the epidemic Sakhi has remained responsive and present in survivors’ lives, ensuring that their basic needs were met.

Prior to the health crisis, Sakhi’s program was available five days a week as a resource to those with limited access to food, hygiene and infant products. Later Sakhi expanded their Food Justice Program (FJP) to make more nutritious, shelf-stable, easy-to-prepare, and culturally familiar food available to clients facing food, housing and income instability.

These survivors, despite dealing with so many challenges, want to integrate in the community and become contributing members of the society.

For more information or to make a donation visit Donations can also be made in kind or through rendering services by visiting support-clients/