Economic Empowerment Program

Building Pathways to Financial Independence

Sakhi’s Economic Empowerment Program is a pioneering model of linguistically-specific and culturally-sensitive services that exists to ensure the financial stability and economic security of survivors of gender-based violence.

Sakhi recognizes that economic control is a common form of domestic violence. Between 94-99% of survivors of domestic violence have experienced financial abuse. Furthermore, between 21-60% of survivors of intimate partner violence lost their jobs due to reasons that stem from the abuse. 

We believe that self-determination and self-access––the ability to make decisions for one’s self and access a pathway to one’s own goals––is key to an individual’s long-term safety and security.

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 support survivors in navigating the public benefit system, co-create individual career plans, and offer further case management services, such as legal financial referrals for identity theft issues, debt consolidation, tax consultancy, and more.

Through our EE Program, survivors can access:

  • EE Connections, a bi-monthly support group, which is a safe space for survivors to discuss and learn about various economic-related topics that are most important to them
  • Support navigating the public benefits system
  • Tax filing support
  • English as a second language (ESL) class
  • Soft and hard skills trainings, including sessions on financial literacy and digital skills
  • Career planning and counseling
  • Credit repair referrals
  • Legal financial referrals for identity theft issues, debt consolidation and tax consultancy
  • Scholarships, both in-house, through The Swarna Chalasani Scholarship Fund, and through partners

If you are a survivor looking for support, please reach out to us.

The 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, and folks are able to apply as many times as they like.  Through our support, we have supported survivors through nursing school, college, masters programs and other programs that have enabled them to achieve their educational aspirations.