SAHELI CELEBRATES 20TH YEAR IN SERVICE
Domestic Violence Non-Profit Assists Immigrant Community in Austin
As the Asian community in Austin grapples with the news about the young wife who set her husband on fire with gasoline, SAHELI quietly celebrates its 20th year of service in Austin.
SAHELI (Support, Advocate, Heal, Empower, Listen, Inform) was started as an informal support group for Asian women dealing with family violence in 1992. In 1994, it became a 501 c(3) organization and now has a 24 staff and contractors providing culturally and linguistically specific services to those affected by domestic violence, sexual assault or trafficking in underserved immigrant communities.
Services to clients include a confidential help line, crisis intervention, group and individual counseling, legal advocacy as well as an economic empowerment program to help with housing, job search and training, financial literacy, education and other skills to promote long term self sufficiency.
Many of our clients come from Austin’s growing immigrant community. Because of their background and experience, these clients face unique barriers in accessing services compared to mainstream survivors. As a response to these barriers, SAHELI offers culturally and linguistically specific assistance in over 20 languages.
This ability to bridge cultural differences is more than just about linguistic ability or limited English proficiency. It allows for tailored outreach that creates effective prevention strategies. Additionally, specialized services ensure that clients have meaningful access to resources that help them make decisions that are best for their circumstances with safety as a priority.
The spousal burning has engendered significant media coverage. It may be a case of wife abusing husband; it may be a case of husband abusing wife and she could not longer take it. Regardless, SAHELI has provided and continues to provide support to all the other family violence cases that play out in the community that do not make the news.
To learn more about SAHELI and its services, visit www.saheli-austin.org or call our helpline at (877) 281-8371.