SAKHI FOR SOUTH ASIAN WOMEN

aka Sakhi   |   New York, NY   |  http://www.sakhi.org

Mission

Sakhi for South Asian Women exists to represent the South Asian diaspora in a survivor-led movement for gender-justice and to honor the collective and inherent power of all survivors of violence. Sakhi is committed to serving survivors through a combination of efforts including—but not limited to—direct services, advocacy and organizing, technical assistance, and community outreach.

Ruling year info

1991

Executive Director

Ms. Kavita Mehra

Main address

PO Box 1333 Church Street Station

New York, NY 10008 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

13-3593806

NTEE code info

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Family Violence Shelters and Services (P43)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (P01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Sakhi for South Asian Women exists to end gender-based violence. Founded in 1989 by five pioneering women, Sakhi was created to fill a critical void in the community: culturally and linguistically competent services for South Asian survivors of gender-based violence. Sakhi is the second-oldest South Asian organization of its kind in the United States and the first to break the silence surrounding gender-based violence within the New York metropolitan area’s large South Asian immigrant population. We aim to unite survivors, communities, and institutions to eradicate gender-based violence and create strong, healthy communities.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Anti-Violence Program

Sakhi creates a safe place for South Asian survivors who have experienced abuse. We affirmatively support all survivors of all genders, races, ethnicities, religions, sexualities, castes, or any other identity markers. We are committed to supporting survivors through an array of culturally-sensitive, linguistically-appropriate services, including crisis intervention, safety-planning, and ongoing emotional support.

Each year, Sakhi’s Advocates support over 400 South Asian survivors of gender-based violence and their families with intensive one-on-one support and field more than 2,000 calls on our helpline.

As of 2021, we have transitioned our Domestic Violence Program and Sexual Assault Program, into the Anti-Violence Program (AVP).

AVP sets a new horizon for us. We seek to address violence from an expansive point of view. It occurs not in a familial, workplace, cultural, or any other vacuum, but rather in a greater social context that is wed to hierarchical power dynamics.

This shift is representative of nearly a decade of reflection, dialogue, and growth. It indicates the evolution of our values practice and our commitment to meeting survivors’ needs. In 2011, as our work increasingly intersected with broader movements, Sakhi adopted a gender justice framework into our structure and programs. This framework offered us an anchor for our platform and a vocabulary for our long-term visions.

In particular, the term “domestic violence,” although still relevant, has gained counterparts within the gender justice movement. Terms such as intimate partner violence, gender-based violence, sexual violence––among others, are essential to addressing violence in its many forms.

Program Areas
- Sakhi also supports students and faculty with Title IX Sexual Assault and Harassment cases.
- Crisis intervention
- Support navigating law enforcement and legal systems
- Assistance finding access to mental, reproductive, and general healthcare providers,
- Ongoing emotional support throughout survivors’ healing journeys
- Forced marriage case management
- Elder abuse case management



Forced Marriage Initiative
Sakhi provides support to anyone who has experienced forced marriage or is seeking more information on forced marriages. Forced marriage refers to a marriage in which at least one person did not consent to the union. Tactics such as fear, guilt, fraud, or shaming are often used to coerce a person into marriage.” If you or someone you know is being forced into a marriage, please contact Sakhi’s helpline at 212-868-6741 from Monday-Friday, 10am -5 p.m or text 1 (305)6972544, email [email protected]

Resources:

tahirih.org | preventforcedmarriage.org

Ending Child Marriage in New York – Sanctuary For Families

Elder Abuse Program
Elder members of the South Asian Community are disproportionately impacted by gender based violence (GBV), due to limited mobility and other issues. We at Sakhi for South Asian Women have noticed that this group is particularly vulnerable to mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety. To meet this need for mental and emotional care, we have been offering a therapeutic support group. Sakhi offers services to South Asian survivors of gender based violence who are age 55 and above. If you need help please contact Sakhi’s helpline at 212-868-6741 from Monday-Friday, 10am – 5pm, email [email protected]

Resources:

JASA at [email protected]

*Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1447758/
This project is supported by Grant No. 2014-KS-AX-0001 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.

Population(s) Served
People of Asian descent
Women and girls
Families
Children and youth
Immigrants and migrants

The Economic Empowerment Program seeks to provide financial stability and economic security to survivors of domestic violence from the South Asian Diaspora. Sakhi recognized early on the close links between domestic violence and economic control as well as self-sufficiency and the ability to make choices that enable safety for women and their families. Realizing the need for services aimed at improving survivors’ economic opportunities, Sakhi has provided skills-enhancement activities since the mid-1990s under the banner of the Economic Justice Project. In 2001, our efforts were formalized under the Economic Empowerment Program. We currently provide case management, workshops and trainings, and scholarships to women so that they can access public benefits, jobs, credit, banking and other forms of support so that they can reach their goals of self-sufficiency and safety.
Swarna Chalasani Scholarship Fund
Through the Swarna Chalasani Scholarship Fund, which was established in 2002 in the memory of a beloved volunteer who passed away in the tragic 9/11, Sakhi advances the ability of survivors of violence to complete higher educational goals and supports them in obtaining the necessary licensing and vocational certificates in order to obtain and retain jobs. There are two cycles a year, with an average grant of $1,500 per survivor. Survivors are able to apply as many times as they like. Through our support, we have supported women through nursing school, college, masters programs and other programs that have enabled them to provide for themselves and their family.

Population(s) Served
People of Asian descent
Families
Immigrants and migrants
Women and girls
Low-income people

Sakhi’s Food Justice Program is the first such program for South Asians in Manhattan. Prior to the current circumstances, it was available five days a week as a resource to those with limited access to food, hygiene, and baby products.

This program was born out of the fact that we here at Sakhi have both witnessed and experienced how destabilizing it can be to go without basic necessities while already undergoing severe trauma. Sakhi has a history of supporting such needs—this next step was a part of our evolution, as we establish a trauma-informed program.

Throughout this public health crisis, Sakhi remains responsive and present in our clients’ lives. As rates of domestic violence continue to rise, our team is ensuring that clients’ basic needs are met during this unstable moment.

Sakhi is expanding our Food Justice Program (FJP) to make more nutritious, shelf-stable, easy-to-prepare, and culturally familiar food available to clients facing greater housing, food, and income instability. Sakhi clients are reporting both shortages of staple items at local grocery stores (milk, eggs, bread) and fast-rising prices in the Banladeshi and Indian grocery stores they normally go to. COVID-19-related bans on price gouging do not at this time include groceries.

Addressing these challenges, we have weighed different options to begin distributing food to clients at their home, increasing the food quantities for the delivery of each order, and creating a rotation so clients can receive food regularly and safely. We are working with a chef-consultant to source and assemble cost-efficient, nutritionally balanced, and easy-to-prepare food packages for clients and their children. Sakhi staff advise on culturally appropriate items and we are hiring a contract driver to make weekly deliveries.

Population(s) Served
People of Asian descent
Women and girls
Family relationships
Immigrants and migrants
Low-income people

Over 90% of the survivors that we work with are immigrants. We work towards ensuring that they can reside in this country legally and reduce their isolation through promoting civic participation. We provide information, services and advocacy to ensure that despite their immigration status, the women we work with have access to participation, resources and avenues to legal residency.

-We offer monthly immigration legal clinics to assist women in immigration-related matters and assist them on the path to citizenship.

Population(s) Served
People of Asian descent
Women and girls

Sakhi is a social change organization. We believe that in order to build a violence-free society, we must engage all members of our community in the responsibility of condemning domestic violence. In order to achieve this goal, Sakhi uses unique media tools - including an interactive digital newsletter (with about 400 visits a month) and an award-winning website (www.sakhi.org) featuring a Public Service Announcement, videos, virtual postcards, and more resources - to call on the community to end violence. Each year, Sakhi also organizes or participates in forums, meetings, conferences, marches, panels, and other outreach/education events. We also work with community-based partners, the South Asian and mainstream media, schools, universities, religious institutions, and community and cultural centers to raise awareness about the issue of domestic violence.

To help support our outreach work, Sakhi prepares volunteers to be leaders and resources for their communities. After they are trained, outreach volunteers assist Sakhi in its community engagement work by helping to plan Sakhi’s various outreach events as well as by attending, tabling, and presenting at these events. Volunteers also play a role in building community partnerships, and we encourage them to interact with community members and leaders about our cause.

Population(s) Served

In 2016, Sakhi developed our Youth Empowerment Program (YEP) as a way to support the healing of young survivors. We recognize that people of all genders and ages are affected by interpersonal and gender-based violence. In addition to supportive services for youth between the ages of 6-24, our program provides a safe space to freely explore issues around identity, family, relationships, and positive sexuality and gender. Sakhi seeks to support young people as they break cycles of interpersonal and gender-based violence.

Individual Youth Mental Health Counseling
We offer individual mental health counseling for youth between the ages of 6-24 who have experienced interpersonal, domestic, or gender-based violence. These one-on-one, 45 minute sessions are typically held on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, depending on availability. For more information contact [email protected]

Internships & Mentoring
We are committed to training the next generation of leaders in the movement to end gender-based violence. Interns receive in-depth training and ongoing individual supervision on a weekly basis. We also offer a limited number of internships for MSW and BSW students. If you are interested in applying for an internship, please contact [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected]

Referrals & Case Management
For youth survivors of interpersonal, domestic, and gender-based violence we offer some case management and referrals. This includes referrals to legal agencies, academic counseling, doctors, financial advisors, and shelters. We are also able to provide some support for emergency food, schooling, and housing needs on a case by case basis.

Youth Programs
Sakhi hosts a variety of programs for families who have experienced violence. Depending on the varying needs of our clients we host support groups for parents and their children to strengthen their relationships and heal from trauma. In the past this has included arts workshops, yoga workshops, summer programs, wellness programs, field trips, and ongoing support. Please contact [email protected] to find out more about what we are offering at this time.

We also host after-school peer support groups for teens and young adults to help them navigate survivorship, relationships with family, friends, and intimate partners, academic and career choices, physical and mental health challenges, and more. Youth Support Groups often feature guest speakers and South Asian leaders from a variety of fields and agencies. All support groups aim to strengthen communication, leadership, critical thinking, and conflict resolution skills among our young people and are co-facilitated by our youth interns, who receive extensive training from Sakhi Staff.

Population(s) Served

Preventing homelessness and increasing access to housing has been core to Sakhi’s efforts to support South Asian survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) since the early 1990s. In addition to years of experience providing housing counseling through our Economic Empowerment Program, in April 2019 Sakhi expanded its housing program to provide tenant-based rental assistance.

Many survivors do not leave abusive situations due to the difficulties of obtaining safe, independent housing. South Asian survivors often face added barriers such as limited English proficiency, limited work experience, and xenophobic discrimination.

In 2016, 22% of Sakhi’s clients chose to not change a violent living situation even after six months of working with a Sakhi Program Advocate and being presented with short-term housing options. Rather than quickly move to temporary or emergency housing, many Sakhi clients choose to remain in dangerous circumstances, waiting to find longer-term housing.

As such, we recognized the need for a longer-term stable housing program.

Our program supports clients with full rent for two years in an apartment of their choice in a location that is safe and accessible. In addition, Sakhi provides help with safety measures, relocation, security deposit payments, and utilities.

Population(s) Served
People of Asian descent
Children and youth
Family relationships
LGBTQ people
Low-income people
People of Asian descent
Children and youth
Family relationships
LGBTQ people
Low-income people

Gender-based violence is a public health issue that affects all communities. Gender, patriarchy, and culture interact in complex ways that influence our physical and mental health. As a result of their experiences as immigrants and people of color, South Asian survivors often suffer from unaddressed complex trauma. Additionally, in many communities, addressing mental health, like addressing domestic violence, can attract stigma, rejection and further isolation.

We have long been a part of the movement to open a dialogue around mental health, especially as it relates to gender-based violence. As trauma-informed service providers, we understand the importance of having mental health services be available to the community. Mental health services are neither affordable nor accessible for most U.S. residents. Furthermore, those services that are available are rarely culturally- or linguistically-specific. Therefore Sakhi’s Mental Health Program offers:



Individual Counseling:
– In Sakhi’s counseling program, evidence-based practices (EBP) are uniquely honed to include South Asian perspectives. Counseling services include mental health assessments, individual one-on-one counseling sessions, and referrals and follow up with outside providers if possible.

Support Groups:
– Sakhi counselors and program advocates facilitate “Chai and Chat” support group sessions open both to clients moving out of one-on-one counseling and clients who prefer a group setting. Some examples of the topics raised by participants/clients in session can include: loss of identity, sexuality and consensual interactions, emotional regulation, internalized shame, psychoeducation and redefining boundaries.
Throughout the pandemic, our counselors adapted sessions to be remote through teletherapy and responsive to immediate needs. We created the new support group “Valuable Connections,” as a safe space for survivors to process their feelings and thoughts. In addition, we also introduced a “Mindfulness Moments” series as a part of our newsletter to encourage survivors to practice positive mental health independently. We continue to create plans around when and if survivors can be contacted, and how.


Sakhi started providing in-house mental health supportive counseling in 2017, and hired a full-time mental health counselor in 2019. We are currently seeing 48 clients in individual sessions and have three support groups with a capacity of 8 clients each. In 2020, we saw a total of 77 clients. We currently provide mental health services in English, Hindi, Urdu, Bangla and Punjabi.

Population(s) Served
People of Asian descent
Women and girls
People of Asian descent
Women and girls
Children and youth
Parents
Immigrants and migrants

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of participants who gain employment

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls

Related Program

Economic Empowerment Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

43 Clients have been placed in paid work, and employment training opportunities, based on theirspecific profiles. (January-December 2017)

Hours of one-on-one economic empowerment

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls

Related Program

Economic Empowerment Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of clients who complete job skills training

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls

Related Program

Economic Empowerment Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2017, Sakhi’s EE program worked with 246 clients, of which 73 were continuing clients.The 73 clients continued from both 2016(40) and 2015 (33). 55 completed job skills training.

Number of participants who felt that they have been provided with a range of options for future employment

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Economic Empowerment Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

55 attended training and interview prep; 143 resumes were created, and more than 100 clients have been pitched to local businesses providing clients inroads to network, engage with employers.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

1. To provide a safe space for South Asian survivors of intimate partner, gender-based, and domestic violence.
2. To provide crisis response and address safety concerns
3. To honor the inherent & collective power of all survivors using a trauma-informed approach that creates opportunities for physical, financial, and emotional well-being

Our staff is fluent in 8 different South Asian language. Besides our existing programs, we also provide these additional services

•CHAI & CHAT: a weekly support group that provides a safe space for Sakhi clients to build community and share their culturally-specific struggles, anxieties and strategies for healing, all facilitated by a trained psychologist

•MINDFULNESS SATURDAYS: a monthly client-led workshop
where women discover their inner talents, nurture existing skills,
and build confidence by leading sessions and sharing knowledge

•NAVIGATE YOUR CITY: a quarterly event where Sakhi
clients break isolation, embrace independence, and discover the
city they live in, often for the first time

•YOUTH EMPOWERMENT: offers youth a safe space to discuss and explore issues around healthy relationships, positive sexuality, and gender, while also teaching leadership skills

Sakhi has been serving domestic violence survivors in the New York metropolitan area for 28 years. Sakhi was founded in 1989 by five South Asian women who recognized that cultural barriers were preventing South Asian victims of domestic violence from seeking help. Today, Sakhi specializes in serving immigrant women who must overcome significant cultural and linguistic barriers to life the United States and are unfamiliar with the protective options and resources available to them in this country.

Sakhi's accomplishments in the community in providing services to victims of domestic violence include:

Sakhi is the only domestic violence agency in the city of New York that is dedicated to serving the region's growing South Asian community.

We have been able to grow and expand our programs through the creation of our Youth Empowerment Program and Sexual Assault Services in recent years. We would like to further expand these programs to serve survivors of sexual assault and their children. We also hope to grow our newly established counseling services.

Financials

SAKHI FOR SOUTH ASIAN WOMEN
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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SAKHI FOR SOUTH ASIAN WOMEN

Board of directors
as of 06/04/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Vidya Satchit

Pfizer

Term: 2018 -

Nandini Mongia

Anitha Iyer

Deepti Jain

Bushra Mannan

Sunanda Nair-Bidkar

Shaheen Rushd

Beesham Seecharan

Nilufer Shaikh

Nalini Tiwari Greenan

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Not applicable
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 6/4/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Asian American/Pacific Islanders/Asian
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data