Through Sikh Family Center's National (free, private, and bilingual) Helpline, sangat members receive services in Punjabi and English including crisis intervention, appropriate referrals, and advocacy that increases the range of options for those most vulnerable.
Calls to our Helpline continue to increase. We note this is good news--as hard as the individual situations are, folks are reaching out for support and realize they are not alone!
In Fall 2022, we trained a new cohort of Peer Counselors to answer Helpline calls. Our specialized trainings for Peer Counselors, which spans 25+ hours and includes partnership with Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, covers critical information about trauma-responses, danger assessment, and the signs and dangers of strangulation.
Our Peer Counselors:
*Provide bilingual, trauma-informed emotional support.
*Listen and reflect with callers in complete privacy.
*Help callers identify and sort priorities.
*Search to find callers the support they want through our growing national network of contacts.
Now we seek to boost our Urgent Action Fund to cover expenses for time-sensitive financial support and services we provide to our callers, including:
- New Phones (e.g. recently to a woman being stalked)
- Phone card (E.g. to an immigrant survivor of domestic violence)
- Motel costs (E.g. ten days of stay for mom and child when no shelter beds were available in her neighboring counties)
- Low Bono/discounted assessment & counseling services (e.g. for a child trauma survivor)
- Legal filing fees (e.g. emergency petitions)
- Short-term Rental Assistance
OUR DRIVING BELIEF: Various social and cultural barriers prevent the equitable, just, healthy and strong Sikh panth envisioned by the Gurus.
ONE of our key strategies is to sustain and enhance quality Helpline peer counselor support for survivors of violence and other forms of trauma.
Anticipated Results: *Community members of all ages know help is available and become more likely to overcome shame and fear of reaching out when faced with challenges. *Voices and experiences of the most impacted informs Sikh Family Center's strategies. *Survivors of violence feel heard, supported, empowered to make informed choices and their immediate needs for protection are met more often.