Somy Ali on domestic abuse case calls: Last year, we had 10-15 cases in a single day, now it’s 20-30 cases needing our services
As she tirelessly works to help victims of domestic violence and rape, through her US-based NGO No More Tears, actress Somy Ali says that the number of cases per day have increased this year. She says that while her job is not easy, helping women and children is what keeps her content.
“It would have been wonderful to say that the rate of sexual and physical violence has gone down significantly, but it’s completely the opposite. Last year, we would get about 10-15 cases in a single day and now it’s more like 20-30 cases needing our services as well as a safe space to get away from their perpetrators,” she says.
She adds, “It’s not easy to do this kind of work and now I am in my sixteenth year of running NMT, however, the immediate gratification is what keeps me going. The best analogy that I can think of is like watching a horror movie on a daily basis with a surprisingly happy ending. The shift I witness after the victims are out of danger and begin the healing process is my reward and hard to express in words in terms of seeing them thrive. Many have gone on to become nurses, teachers, lawyers, and even victim advocates themselves. This, in itself, is worth every minute of the time that I put into the transformations of victims to survivors. It’s victorious in every sense and a purpose to exist on this planet like no other, at least for me.”
Ask her for tips on keeping a sound mental health, and she says, “Surround yourself with people who lift you up and stay away from those who are condescending and make you feel small due to their own insecurities. Also, I can’t stress how much our physical and mental state are intertwined which is why we have to do some sort of workout even if it means power walking for 30 minutes a day. It’s a scientifically proven fact that exercising eliminates depression and increases dopamine in our brain which brings us happiness. Lastly, never give up on your dreams. You must realise that we are in a different era now as opposed to the treatment of women in the 50’s or even prior to The MeToo Movement.
Things have changed radically and there is dialogue about equal pay, gender equality, stigmas on speaking of sexual abuse and domestic violence are being addressed. While I am not fully gratified with where I would like our gender to be, it’s a huge progression from where we were. Point being, live, simply live as you want to and do what makes you happy. Forget and ignore the trolls as they will always be there. There will always be someone judging you and talking about you behind your back not having the slightest idea of the experiences one has endured. So, if you want to pick a new profession at 40, 50 or any age, just do it. I can’t emphasize enough on the significance of never giving up on your dreams. Even if you fail, as you lay on your deathbed you will know that you gave it your best shot and didn’t give two hoots about those who brought you down.”
Talking about the plan for No More Tears, she says, “I am excited about making it bigger and its expansion in different countries since we are already established nationally in the US and have also flown in victims from the Ukraine and India. We are approaching over 40,000 rescues this year, but I am not done yet. I want to work harder and take NMT to another level where it can bring salvage to those who are in need and suffering.”