Manavi marches against violence to South Asian Women

By SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, 28 October 2010, 19:25 Hrs
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New Jersey: Manavi, the 25-year-old women's support group for the tristate area, marched to highlight issues of domestic violence that continue to plague the South Asian community even as subgroups continue to enjoy the status of 'model minority' with high average levels of income and education, reports Desi Talk.

The group sought to highlight that all is not well with Indian-American and other South Asian women in its 'silent march' on Newark Avenue in Jersey City, N.J. Organizers said that they chose the venue because more calls for help have been coming into the organization from Jersey City. Around 25 people, including Manavi staff members and volunteers, held placards that read 'You have the right to live safely in your own home' and 'There is no excuse for domestic violence.' They handed out flyers detailing Manavi's services, including two employment workshops that will be offered as a part of the Manavi's new Economic Empowerment program. The organization has been holding this march for six years now to coincide with the National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October.

The organizers of Manavi believe that some analysts think that an economic recession can lead to an augment in incidents of domestic violence. This rise in domestic violence cases becomes apparent when partner organizations begin to tell Manavi they have a backlog of cases and cannot give as much help as they did the year before, or when safe homes and shelters are full and Manavi has to find place in other counties for women. "In 2008, we assisted 367 women, of which 270 were first-time callers. Most of our callers are Indian-American; in 2009, we assisted 404 women and 307 of them were first-time callers. This year, so far till October, we have given some assistance to more than 400 women," says Sonia Huq, Outreach Coordinator at Manavi. But she emphasized Manavi may not be capturing all the numbers.

The New Jersey-based women's rights organization was set up in 1985, and helps women through a range of programs such as culture-specific supportive counseling, legal assistance through clinics and referrals, interpretation, prop up groups and transitional housing.

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