Men Against Violence A Service by Saheli in Greater Boston & New England Saheli 2014
Who is Saheli? • Non-profit providing help to survivors of domestic violence • 17 years of service to South Asian families • Services: • Survivor Aid - Domestic Violence & Violence Against Women • Physical and Mental Health • Economic Empowerment Program • Men Against Violence Initiative
Vision and Mission Our Vision To create an abuse-free environment for South Asians Our Mission To empower South Asian women and their families to lead healthy and safe lives in the United States
Domestic Violence is Not Just a Woman’s Issue • Women advocates have worked alone against domestic abuse and violence for a very long time. • We are not winning the war against domestic violence • The time has come to engage men and youth in this struggle
Is this abuse a new social problem? • Domestic violence has been a social issue throughout history. • Largely been ignored in laws and politics up until recent decades. • Reasons • Has a lot to do with women having been regarded as subservient to men. • In subservience, abuse and violence were seen as being an acceptable way to control the family. Today roles for men and women are being looked at through the lens of respect and equality rather than dominance. Laws have been created to provide safety and to work towards encouraging relationships that are free of abuse and violence. Today we understand domestic violence affects the entire family, even the children. Increasingly, everyone is very concerned about the impact of domestic violence on children.
What are the statistics? More than two million*injuries every year from intimate partner violence Approximately15.5 million children in the U.S. exposed to domestic violence in their homes last year** On average, more than three women a day are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the United States*** Perhaps, you may think this doesn’t happen to my friends or me? None of us are immune to such violence in our society, including you, your family and friends……. *Source: CDC **Source: McDonald, R., Jouriles, E. N., & Ramisetty-Mikler, S., et al. *** U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics
Statistics for South Asians in Greater Boston • 40.8% - Women physically and/or sexually abused by male partners in their lifetime • 65% of these reported physical abuse AND sexual abuse. 30.4% of those reported injuries, some requiring medical attention. • 15.8% reported injury or the need of medical services as a result of a partner’s violence. • No significant difference was found in the prevalence of domestic violence between arranged marriages and non-arranged marriages. • Only 11% of South Asian women received counseling services for abuse. • Only 3.1% of the abused South Asian women obtained a restraining order against an abusive partner. Women in MA, over 33% of women obtained a restraining order (the past 5 years) • Such victims are more likely to experience “poor physical health” (19.5% vs. 6.7%), “depression (31.8% vs. 10.2%), “anxiety” [in 7 or more of the last 30 days], and “suicidal ideation (15.9% vs. 2.5%) [during the last year] Source: Raj A, Silverman J. Intimate partner violence against South-Asian women in Greater Boston. Journal of American Medical Women’s Association. 2002; 57(2).
Children who grow up in abusive situations exhibit these behaviors* • Physical Complaints - headaches, stomach aches, bed wetting or ulcers • Eating Problems - Increased or Decreased appetite • Trouble Sleeping - being tired all the time • Physical Injuries • Hair Pulling, nail biting • Temper Tantrums • Nightmares • School Phobias - Impaired Concentration • Fear of Men- and/or their voices • Fear of Being Touched - flinching when someone reaches toward them * Source: www.sablehouse.org
Why Should You Be Involved? Examples of abuse continue – The 2012 brutal rape and death in New Delhi to punish a young woman for stepping out at night in the company of a man; a 2011 Saheli volunteer losing her life to a violent domestic dispute related to the control of family finances; in 1997, a Brookline MA a physician, her 13-year old child and her father were killed by her unemployed spouse in an angry domestic dispute. This serious social problem needs the voices of men: To recognize and acknowledge this problem To volunteer and speak out against domestic violence To help Saheli right here in New England with time and money
We can use your help For an American community mostly regarded as well educated, employed, having strong family ties and roots going back to countries in Asia there have been many shocking deaths associated with domestic violence “From birth through motherhood, too many South Asian women and girls suffer from a life where being female deprives them of the most basic resources. This inequity is often enforced and maintained by violence—making them more likely to become ill and to die.*” *Jay Silverman, Harvard School of Public Health
What More Can You Do? You can advocate for all local middle school and high school sports coaches to attend training on violence against girls and boys. You can contact your local town services and suggest what they can do You can get your faith group to develop a local activity promoting healthy manhood. You can obtain and distribute information on the services of organizations like Saheli. You can commit to providing information to at least one professional or community organization that you belong to.
First Actions for a South Asian Man TODAY with Saheli Join as allies to support the work that women are already doing. Sign our “Men Against Violence Pledge” today and personally commit to domestic violence prevention Sign up to share your talents, gifts, and resources to domestic violence prevention programs in your own communities with Saheli Boston’s help.
Want to know more? Contact: Saheli, Support and Friendship for South Asian Women: P. O. Box 1345, Burlington, MA 01803 Visit us on the web: www.saheliboston.org; Facebooksaheliboston; Join Saheli’s Program called Men’s Program Against Violence by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.