Our Year in Review: Investing in a Violence-Free New York City

In reflecting on our 2021, we have been proud to share how we have been: Healing through Creative Expression, Renewing our Sense of Sanctuary, and Building Power with Survivors – all in pursuit of a Violence-Free NYC.

As we enter 2022, we hope you will join us in ensuring that South Asian New Yorkers have access to services that make them feel seen and inspire them to raise their voices.

This year, all of Sakhi’s interventions bent toward our unified vision of a violence-free future for New York City. To learn more about our work in 2021, check out our Annual Report.

As we enter 2021, we will ensure that:

  • Mental health counseling is readily accessible for all South Asian survivors ages 6 and above
  • Our crisis prevention and intervention efforts continue to prioritize includes cash and food assistance
  • We build on our commitment to the healing of survivors of all sexual and gender identities through training and partnerships that can inform and improve our services
  • We continue to grow our advocacy alongside survivors and on local and national levels
  • We not only bring survivors closer to Sakhi, but also that we bring Sakhi closer to survivors. Each program department will prioritize events, educational workshops, political engagement, and networks that are organized by and for survivors in our community and beyond

Working in a remote setting has been a battle between recharging our energies and settling into new boundaries. As a team, we are exploring what it has meant to shift work that we never could have imagined as anything but in-person, to a virtual setting. We have found both new challenges and possibilities in the process. In reflecting on the past year of virtual adjustments, we sat down with our colleagues to dive into their year, and discuss what made 2021 a memorable year for them.

Memorable Moments

“Our program was still in a nascent phase in 2020, but the need for housing had skyrocketed. The eviction moratorium has been great, but there was and still is a lot of anxiety about paying rent. We knew that having a robust program that offered affordable housing options to survivors who are looking for safe, accessible, and sustainable homes would become even more of a priority. What was most exhilarating was building the program from scratch. We had a vision and we set out to see it through.”

– Pra Sibal, Housing Development Manager

“We are trying to build a framework of intersectionality that works in the community. This is not just a matter of addressing domestic violence,, we’re building a framework that is rooted in intersectionality. There’s sexual orientation, language, mental health, nationality–we want to bring all those factors together as we build power together.”

– Sue Malla, Anti-Violence Program Manager

“I always wanted to work within this community, honestly it’s why I came into this field. To be here with permission and resources to flourish has been extremely meaningful.”

– Rachana Parekh, Sakhi Mental Health Counselor

In Survivor’s Words

“After feeling powerless for so long, I am re-learning my independence thanks to Sakhi. When I was struggling, especially at the beginning of the pandemic, it was such a relief not only to be connected to Sakhi, but to speak with an advocate in my own native language. I now have access to a range of support – legal, emergency, food – and have a better understanding of how to navigate different systems. Sakhi makes me feel safer.

For me, survivorship means strength. In the past, I was often feeling depressed and afraid for my mental health. But now, I am able to find strength within myself, even when times are tough.”

– Ishrat Jahan

“Either I will die today, or I will leave. I rescued myself and my children.”

– R.K.