Woman leads organization that helps survivors of domestic violence

CHICAGO — Arshia Hasnain was raised to give back to her community, and she often volunteers.

But after stories of domestic violence began to surface in her community, she decided to start an organization that cares and supports survivors of domestic violence.

She is dedicated to breaking the cycle of domestic violence.

“You always think how can you help? How can you help?’ said Hasnain.

Hasnain grew up in Hong Kong and has spent at least 20 years in social work and activism helping victims of domestic violence.

A founding member of Empowering Women NFP, the non-profit, volunteer-based organization provides resources for survivors, particularly migrant women, who are often neglected by the system.

Her group provides immediate housing and advisory services to those who need them now and in the long term.

“A lot of women, going back to the immigrant population, don’t know what their rights are,” she said. “They don’t know the language and that’s why we help them to find their way around.”

Farah Chalisa is a volunteer advocate dedicated to empowering women. She says many do not have a clear understanding of their legal rights in a domestic violence situation while they are here on visas.

“We provide them with instant legal assistance, resources to turn to and simply answer their questions, make them feel comfortable and supported, and let them know there is help out there,” Chalisa said.

In just two and a half years, Hasnain said the organization has helped an estimated 3,000 women, many referred through a partnership with the Chicago Police Department. This includes the 24th Ward in Rogers Park.

Hasnain’s team tied ribbons at Rogers Park Station in October for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

But that’s just one of the things they do to make their presence known in the community throughout the year. They also host food drives and a global 5K walk and fundraiser.

There is also vocational training, including a 12-week sewing course.

The organization continues to grow and encourages everyone to do their part to break the cycle of violence.

https://wgntv.com/news/chicagos-very-own/woman-leads-organization-helping-domestic-violence-survivors/ Woman leads organization that helps survivors of domestic violence

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