Domestic violence is a complex issue. There are many facets to it and many different ways of approaching the issue. Sakhi has always tried to include an analysis of the work in its practice. At the same time, we believe in making information as accessible as possible to as many people as we can.
Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior which keeps one partner in a position of power over the other partner through the use of fear, intimidation, and control. Please review the power and control wheel below to see the various ways in which domestic violence may manifest.
You may have seen some of these numbers before, but take a moment to really think about the overwhelming toll of domestic violence on the families, communities, and industries of this country.
These statistics are provided by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, which gathered its information from various government agencies and research consortiums.
- Up to 1.3 million women are physically abused annually by intimate partners in the United States;
- Around the world, at least 1 in 4 women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime;
- Domestic violence is primarily a crime against women. In 2003 in this country, women accounted for 85% of the victims of intimate partner violence and men accounted for approximately 15%;
- On average, more than 3 women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in this country every day and,
- Rape, physical assault, stalking and homicide committed by intimate partners costs the medical and mental health system in this country $5.8 billion in direct costs each year.
Women of all races are about equally vulnerable to violence by an intimate partner.
Domestic violence is an issue in the South Asian community, as it is in all other communities. In one of the few studies conducted, researchers Anita Raj and Jay Silverman discovered that more than 40% of the 160 South Asian women living in Greater Boston they surveyed indicated that they were victims of intimate partner violence, and only 50% of women who experienced intimate partner violence were aware of services available to help.
Following is a brief look at why Sakhi’s language-specific and culturally-sensitive services are vital to South Asian women in the New York metropolitan area.
- Abused immigrant women may hesitate to reach out to police, shelters, courts, and mainstream violence agencies due to barriers of language, financial constraints, and fear of deportation;
- Women that reach out to Sakhi may be abused not only by their husbands, but also by in-laws and other family members; and,
- Survivors may face the cultural stigma and shame of divorce in the community, and be told that it is their “duty” to keep the family and marriage intact, despite abuse.
For more information about domestic violence within Asian American communities, please visit http://www.apiahf.org/index.php/resources/health-organization-directory2.html.