Somy Ali is originally from Karachi, Pakistan, and is a survivor of sexual abuse, domestic violence, and rape in her teenage years. A former Bollywood actress, she worked in 10 films before moving to the US to pursue her education in psychology, broadcast journalism.
In 2007, she established No More Tears, a not-for-profit organization with the mission of rescuing victims of human trafficking and domestic violence. Completely volunteer-run nonprofit provides direct, immediate support. In 2020, the organization saved the lives of more than 100 victims of physical and sexual violence. Ali has won accolades for her advocacy, including the American Heritage Award from the American Immigration Council, The Daily Point of Light Award by President George H. W. Bush, The National Domestic Violence Month “A Proclamation” by President Barack Obama, and a L’Oréal Paris Women of Worth honoree.
Hi Somy, Great to have you with us today! You are doing amazing and inspirational work through ‘No More Tears,’ please share the work you have been doing with the nonprofit.
No More Tears rescues, assists, and provides a barrage of services to victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. We provide emergency stay for 10 nights, studio apartments, driving lessons, jobs, education, therapy, immigration and family law attorneys, basic needs, and above all, a guarantee that once the victim is under our care, they will never be abused again. Since our inception, we have assisted over 30,000 women, children, and men.
What inspired you to start ‘No More Tears‘?
I grew up in a home of domestic violence, and I am a survivor myself, along with my mother. A combination of childhood sexual abuse, rape at 14, and then surviving domestic violence from 16-24 gave birth to No More Tears.
Voices of many victims of domestic abuse go unheard. What is your message for them, and how can they seek help?
They go unheard because we do not care, and we do not want to listen. The society tends to victim blame rather than hold the abusers accountable. That has been my experience in 14 years of doing this work. It is easier to raise funds for abused animals than for abused women, children, and men. I am not undermining animal abuse by any means as No More Tears also rescues pets in domestic violence cases; however, it has been tough to generate funding for this mission. My message for all victims is that they do not deserve to be abused, and we are here to help them with any waiting lists if they are in an abusive situation.
As a society, how can we help and raise awareness regarding domestic violence and abuse?
First of all, as a society, we need to stop victim-blaming. We need to get educated on why victims can’t leave and the perils involved if they do try to leave. We all have social media, and it would be phenomenal if we all took the time and made an effort to post the reasons why victims can’t just get up and leave. The first step is to get educated and then start raising awareness on social media. Talk to your friends and begin a conversation about domestic violence. Let’s take the initiative of breaking the stigmas. Let’s stop victim-blaming.
What are the strategies that helped you become successful in your journey?
Never quitting. There are times like these where we are severely low on funds, but the calls for help are nonstop, but I will never give up taking a stand against domestic violence. I will always be the voice for those who are screaming yet remain unheard.
Any message for our readers.
Please conduct thorough research on domestic violence and learn the facts. Please tell people about No More Tears and how we are a salary-free nonprofit organization where every dollar goes towards our Victims’ Services Programs. We solely run on the aid of volunteers and interns. No amount is too small, and please give back by making a donation to No More Tears. We can save more lives together.
Fantastic! So tell us, how can people find out more about you?
Thank you so much, Somy, for giving us your precious time! We wish you all the best for your journey ahead!