“When I moved to America as an asylum seeker. I was terrified to speak or seek psychological help because I was warned that the therapist would administer medication only if I said my official name. Then they would share it with the immigration and get on the list of deportation”.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), violence affects millions of women in Africa. Violence against women goes beyond beatings. It includes forced marriage, dowry-related violence, marital rape, sexual harassment, intimidation at work and educational institutions, forced pregnancy, forced abortion, forced sterilization, trafficking, and forced prostitution. Many cultural beliefs influence the conceptualization of mental health and help-seeking among African immigrants.
Zahara Sisters is a group of African immigrants survivors of violence that contribute to understanding African immigrants’ lived experience of violence and mental illness and the role of stigma during the help-seeking process.
WHAT ZAHARA DO?
Zahara Sisters know that they pose Magical powers and believe that by speaking out we could make a
the difference for other girls.
We aim to encourage & train survivors to use their Voices to educate the communities, mentor other survivors, and become public speakers, all while maintaining their safety and practicing self-care.
How we do It?
We provide a safe space for survivors to come together and find support and encouragement
among people who have had similar experiences.
Having sexual health conversations: We talk about consent, non-coercion, honesty, shared
values, protection, and pleasure as it relates to relationships and sexuality.
Encouraging honest and open communication, we talk to you about difficult situations and discuss hypothetical situations such as sexual assault, bullying, substance use, and other difficult scenarios.
After Silence support group
After Silence is a weekly group designed to help victims become survivors, and communicate in the recovery of sexual violence. Our mission is to support, empower, validate, and educate survivors, as well as their families and supporters. The core of our program is a support group, message board, and chat room where victims and survivors come together in a mutually supportive and safe environment.
We prepare each other to tell our stories in public with dignity.
Speaking in public is one of our greatest fears. Another is exposing our inner selves. The program will prepare survivors to share their stories with each other and the public while maintaining their dignity and safety.
The program will provide a platform to use video and documentaries to share our experiences with the world. This will help educate the community and silent survivors to feel they are not alone. The ability to see and hear the person sharing the story, through the use of video as the medium, is invaluable in helping the listener to make an emotional connection. The authenticity of each story makes it even more compelling and thus more likely to evoke a response that leads to action from the listener.
Self Defense Training
We are dedicated to giving all African Immigrants children and Women the ability to protect themselves against all types of violence and to develop confidence through self-defense. We organize and partner with Prevention Action Change to build Skills and end Violence