“Violence is everywhere, and yet the stories are hidden. Survivors should be empowered and validated both by telling their stories in safe spaces, but also in building a larger community of awareness and understanding so that the real work of ending violence can begin.
This has been my calling for 20 years. I feel like it’s a privilege for me to provide peace of mind to victims and empower them with knowledge. I am human. I am able to empathize, provide the necessary cultural insights, and breakdown barriers to engage and create dialogue.
As a Kaur, Sikhi and the link of learning and knowledge is my biggest takeaway. This is also my biggest takeaway for the women I support. I just want them to talk to a professional to know their legal and human rights. Whether they chose to do anything is their choice. I just encourage them to empower themselves with knowledge. That its okay to be scared and vulnerable. That there are resources and professionals to help, rooting and guiding them to be safe and live in peace.
In my opinion, one of the last hurdles to eradicating abuse is the culture of silence and shame that exists still today. Victims are led to believe they are alone, that no one will believe them, and that others will think less of them. For South Asian women especially, heavy societal, family, and status pressures generally fall on the victim instead of on the person committing the crime.
Every woman’s situation is complicated and unique, and there is no stereotype. Every single survivor of abuse is different from her peers, and by sharing stories we can educate ourselves as to just how pervasive domestic violence and sexual abuse/assault is, and how it crosses all cultural, racial, and socioeconomic lines. This is our society’s collective issue, not simply a problem of those directly impacted."