Indian-American attorney Anu Peshawaria has authored a book on domestic violence within the South Asian community in the US based on her personal experience and interaction with women victims.
The book, ‘Never Again’ was released in San Francisco over the weekend.
This is her third book. The previous two - ‘The Immigrant’s Dream’ and ‘Lives on the Brink’ - drew the attention of lawmakers to address the root cause of domestic violence within South Asian families in the United States.
Although there has been no national studies on Indian and South Asian women facing domestic violence in the US, there are reasons to believe that this is a growing problem, Peshawaria said.
“My extensive engagement with women trapped in abusive relationships tells me that one common feeling among them is utter helplessness exacerbated by what the society back home might say about their failure to make their marriages work,” she said.
“I also find that a majority of these women would not only muster enough courage to speak out but even take legal action if they had a helping hand either from individual attorneys like me or legal aid groups,” the California-based lawyer said.
Sharing her experience while interacting with the victims of domestic violence, Peshawaria said overarching their rather harrowing lives is the fear of social stigma that is particularly intense for the women who come from South Asia.
“More often than not, they have been told stories about how a wonderful life awaits them in America, the world’s richest country, which would be a dramatic improvement for them compared to what they experience in India,” she said.
“With that as the backdrop, to find oneself in an abusive relationship so far away from familiar surroundings makes things much harder for them. The consequence is that many of them choose to endure abuse rather than upset the rhythm of their lives,” Peshawaria said.
In a message to the book, Indian Consul General in San Francisco Sanjay Panda said focusing on the plight of women and taking up their cause by flagging their legal rights, Peshawaria has been able to bring to the fore an issue recognised as a significant social malaise by governmental and non-governmental agencies both in India and in the United States.