About Us

Saheli, a community-based  organization in Massachusetts founded in 1996 with the mission to empower South Asian women and their families to live safe and healthy lives.

Saheli is led by dedicated volunteers  consisting of board members, an advisory committee and eight staff members, we have our headquarters in Burlington, MA.  Saheli is uniquely focused on the needs of  South Asians (from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka). Saheli staff and volunteers speak several South Asian languages, including Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi and others.

We offer survivors of domestic violence a variety of free services. We support people of many religions, ethnicity, age, gender or sexual orientation. Our popular community programs serve immigrants and families from all over the world and include financial aid to manage a domestic violence incident, funds to develop workplace skills, free computer and financial literacy classes, free counseling from two licensed counselors and social workers. This is a small community and we understand the need for privacy and confidentiality. All clients’ information is kept strictly confidential.

Saheli is a partner of the India Association of Greater Boston, a member of the Indian American Forum for Political Education (IAFPE), and the Indian Circle of Caring (ICC).

See the video providing an overview of Saheli’s work



Interview with Saheli Advisory Committee Member, Sweta Mepani, Voices of Somerville, July 2014

Our History

Saheli was founded in 1996 in collaboration with the India Association of Greater Boston (IAGB) with the mission of providing services to the South Asian community. The organization was created by South Asian immigrant women who witnessed the unacceptable rates of domestic violence in the community. They realized that there were no services that catered specifically to the needs of South Asian women and were determined to fill the gap. What began as a small, volunteer-run operation is now a respected and regionally well-known organization.

In its 21 year history, Saheli has helped thousands of women to reclaim their lives, protect their families, and secure a brighter future.

Saheli is guided by a Board of Directors who are all South Asians and an Advisory Committee of distinguished community leaders of many races and ethnicities. Saheli welcomes you as a volunteer- find out how to get involved!


How can Saheli Help You?

Staff and volunteers provide many supporting services and resources to those experiencing domestic abuse and violence, abandonment, and divorce and separation. Saheli also helps women with skills training, career and health planning, and creates cultural and social volunteer opportunities. In addition, Saheli has a special emergency fund to help women in domestic crisis. Each year, Saheli holds fundraisers to mobilize resources for protecting and empowering South Asian women and families.

When you contact Saheli yourself, through a friend, Police Department, or e-mail know that: Saheli will create a safe, non-judgmental environment with a range of culturally sensitive, language specific information and support services, and listen and educate you about your options. Our goal is to help empower clients to reach a point where they can be self-sufficient, healthy and free from violence.

Click here to learn about the services we provide to our clients.