Monday, March 10, 2003

Abuse in the South Asian-American Community

Well done article on discussing the very hidden abuse that occurs in South Asian homes, and the circumstances in which the abuse occurs.

"Sita (not her real name) came to the US on a fiancée visa, after getting engaged to a man her parents, back home in India, thought suitable. Little did this conventional Indian girl, who could not even speak much English, expect that her fiancé would demand oral sex soon after she arrived. When she refused, he began beating her. His parents, who were also in the US and knew what was happening, looked the other way. Finally, her Indian Gods helped her: a friend she met at a temple introduced her to a voluntary organisation helping abused women in the US. They rescued her.

Asma, 30, is a doctor who has been educated in the US. A few years ago, she entered into an arranged marriage with Rajiv, a handsome, bright and charismatic doctor in India. The happy couple returned to the US. They even had two children. Gradually, Rajiv started getting sexually, physically and emotionally abusive. He would force her to watch pornography and perform sexual acts she was not comfortable with. He began getting angry at small things and behaved in frightening ways -- throwing things at her, breaking plates and glasses. Asma tried sharing her trauma with her colleagues, but they dismissed her concern. They had always seen Rajiv behave as the perfect gentleman. Asma realised that, even if she wanted to leave the marriage, she could not. Rajiv had full control of their bank accounts and her paychecks."

The rest of the MD Riti's article entitled Black and Blue can be found here.


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