If you are experiencing domestic violence, please call Saheli’s helpline at 1-800-4SAHELI, or visit our resource directory here for organizations, hotlines and further information.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence defines domestic violence as a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control through fear and intimidation, often including the threat of use of violence. The controlling partner believes they are entitled to control the spouse.
Historically, in many cultures including those of the South Asian Sub-Continent, domestic violence has been an accepted fact. Today, in many traditional South Asian homes it is considered the “duty” of the wife to keep the marriage and family intact despite abuse. You have the right to know that abuse of any kind is not okay! You have the right to be free of abuse. Even if you are not a legal citizen or permanent resident of the United States, you have the right to call the police, use medical and mental health services, and to seek a restraining order against your abuser.
Are you in an abusive situation?
- Spend time watching your partner before speaking
- Doubt your judgment or think you are crazy
- Fear your partner or fear that nobody will believe you?
- Feel depressed, trapped and powerless
- Constantly make excuses for your partner’s behavior and believe that you can help him change if only you changed something about yourself?
Does your husband, family member, or partner do any of the following?
- Make you feel like you are unable to make decisions?
- Put down your goals and accomplishments?
- Deny access to family bank accounts, cars, credit cards and control all the money in the family, including what you earn?
- Control you activities, preventing you from meeting friends and family, or socializing?
- Check up on you constantly?
- Threaten you with deportation or abandonment?
- Insult and humiliate you in private or public?
- Encourage other family members to mistreat you or use you like a servant?
- Become jealous and accuse you of having affairs?
- Provoke you into having arguments?
- Abuse and humiliate your children and then blame you?
- Pressure you sexually for things you aren’t ready for or willing to do?
- Treat you roughly – grab, push, pinch, shove, kick or hit you?
- Threaten you with dangerous weapon?
If any of these are happening in your relationship, you need to talk to someone. Without help, the abuse will continue. Call the Saheli helpline at 866-472-4354 and talk to an advocate.