Domestic violence against Indian women concerning

Think twice before marrying your daughter to an NRI! That’s the message that comes across through numerous domestic violence cases that come to light from Indian families in New Zealand. And the reported cases only scratch the surface, since many women suffer silently behind the closed doors.

“Real Life: Broken Brides, Broken Promises” is a programme about domestic violence among Asian families living in New Zealand. The documentary, which goes on air on Wednesday 7 September at 9.30pm on TV One, features the stories of some courageous Indian women who took a stand and decided to share their experiences with investigative reporter Rob Harley, who was inspired to make the documentary following the death of a young and vibrant Indian bride.

According to the programme producers, many women from Asian countries are attracted to grooms in New Zealand. But these marriages turn ugly and violent, ” sometimes leading to death.”

“The documentary Broken Promises Broken Brides, hears the heartfelt pleas of activists and ordinary mums and dads in India who are asking why more isn’t being done to deal with these cases.

“During the course of his investigation, Harley discovers that one Asian Women’s Rights group is fielding up to 600 calls a month from young wives, who are being bashed, humiliated and in the words of one anguished Indian father, ‘tortured’ behind closed doors in Kiwi homes.

“This documentary has required what Harley calls ‘enormous courage’ on the part of several women to speak out.”

Earlier this year, a woman’s support group (The Auckland Coalition for the Safety of Women) sought $120,000 funding from Auckland Council for initiatives to keep women safe from sexual abuse and violence during the Rugby World Cup which begins this month. International reports have shown links between major sporting events and rise in sexual and physical violence against women.

One such report – Mitigating the Risk of Men’s Violence against Women Increasing During the Rugby World Cup 2011 – is authored by Debbie Hager from the Homeworks Trust, and Diane Woolson Neville, from family violence prevention project Te Rito Rodney.

The report warned of a potential for increased violence towards women and children during the tournament regardless of the All Blacks’ on-field fortunes.

“Some studies suggest that winning matches leads to increases in frequency of family violence, while others suggest that losing matches leads to increases in frequency,” the report said.

The bad news does not end here.

The recent earthquakes in Christchurch have also reportedly increased anxiety and depression, leading to rise in domestic violence cases. Senior Sergeant Peter Laloli, of the Hornby police, told The Star Canterbury that officers had been attending a growing number of mostly minor disputes in recent weeks in Christchurch.

“There seems to have been an upsurge since the earthquakes,” he said.

“People’s tolerance seems to be low at the moment and small issues are enough to tip them over the edge.”

If you are a victim of domestic violence, or know anyone who is, please contact Shakti on 0800 SHAKTI or visit their website.


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