I’m doing a 5k run Saturday morning to help raise money for Apna Ghar, a shelter for domestic and sexual violence victims that serves primarily Asian women and children. I’ve been getting so frustrated whenever I think about what would drive someone to commit an act of sexual violence. Cause the issue hits so close to home, and it’s amazing how victims of sexual violence, especially when committed against them as a CHILD, effects them their ENTIRE LIVES. And it just angers me to think that someone committing such a self-absorbed act against a child either has NO CLUE how their one action will impact someone for DECADES ahead of their lives, or is so self-indulgent that they don’t care in that moment. Part of my purpose of the run, personally, is to just let off some of that steam that’s built up just thinking about the whole issue, and thinking about people close to me that have been battling with that issues for their ENTIRE mature lives. But moreover, if I can help raise some awareness among our community, and not accept the notion that this type of stuff should be brushed under a rug and not addressed, and through my actions, encourage people to realize that this shit does happen, all the better. And if I can raise money for an organization helping victims of sexual violence, all the better. Here are some books on the topic, if y’all are interested in learning more:

Speaking the Unspeakable: Marital Violence Among South Asian Immigrants in the United States – “Domestic violence in immigrant communities has received little attention until now. Speaking the Unspeakable is the first account of South Asian women’s experience with domestic violence (defined as physical, sexual, verbal, mental, or economic control perpetrated on a woman by her spouse or extended kin). Abraham explains how immigration status, cultural assumptions, and unfamiliarity with American social, legal, economic, and other institutions-coupled with stereotyping from mainstream society-make these women especially vulnerable to abuse.

Speaking the Unspeakable gives voice to abused South Asian women. Their stories reveal their weaknesses and strengths as they confront domestic violence. By placing these stories within the larger cultural, social, and political context, the author shows the individual strategies of resistance to abusers as well as the pivotal role South Asian organizations play in helping these women escape abusive relationships.”

Breaking the Silence: Domestic Violence in the South Asian-American Community – “Breaking the Silence: Domestic Violence in the South Asian-American Community is an anthology that brings together the voices of community activists, scholars, artists, and survivors to discuss the realities and effects of domestic violence on America’s South Asian community. Through a multi-faceted lens of academia, activism, and art, Breaking the Silence unites the voices of individuals and domestic violence interest groups engaged in consciousness-raising and service-provision activities within the South Asian-American community.

It is a resource both for South Asians as well as for mainstream service-providers who are increasingly being called upon to serve the growing South Asian populations around the United States. Contributors to the volume include Ananya Chatterjea, Shamita Das Dasgupta, Prema Vora, and Sujata Warrier.”

To Have & To Hit: Cultural Perspectives on Wife Beating