Research Study Documenting Justice System Responses to Intimate Partner Violence in S. Asian Households

The Asian Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence (APIIDV), in collaboration with the University of Michigan School of Social Work, is embarking on a groundbreaking research project to enhance understanding of Asian battered women’s experiences with the criminal justice system (CJS), and to develop recommendations for its responses to intimate partner violence (IPV) in Asian communities.
The project is conducting confidential interviews with 220 Indian and Pakistani women to learn about the factors which influence Asian battered women’s help-seeking and the effectiveness of criminal justice interventions for Asian women. The findings from this project will help shape professional trainings and policy recommendations that will improve the quality of support the criminal justice system provides to Indian households.
This project, called the Life History Calendar Study, comes at an important time considering the alarming rates of domestic violence. Raj and Silverman report that 41% of Indian women in their study experienced domestic violence, of which 65% also reported intimate sexual abuse. In the extended family home, women also report being abused by male and female in-laws and other members of the family (Journal of American Medical Women's Assoc.2002; 57(2)).
“The Life History Calendar Study is collecting data about domestic violence over the lifecourse and the responses Indian battered women receive when they reach out for help from the criminal justice system,” states Firoza Chic Dabby, Director of the Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence.
“For many abused women, contacting the criminal justice system is a huge issue and a matter of life or death in many circumstances. It is important that we understand Asian battered women’s unique needs, which call for different and/or additional criminal justice interventions,” says Atashi Chakravarty, Executive Director of Narika, a leading Bay Area organization addressing domestic violence in the South Asian community since 1992.
The Life History Calendar Study is recruiting Indian and Pakistani women between the ages of 18-60 years, who have experienced abuse in current or past relationships whilst living in the Bay Area (in cities such as Berkeley, Fremont, Hayward, Oakland, Palo Alto, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, etc.). Abuse includes being hit, kicked, pushed or slapped; forced to have sex; being followed or stalked after a relationship ends; being harassed with phone calls, text messages or e-mails; and/or being physically or sexually abused or stalked in other ways.
Call the Life History Calendar Study at 1-800-354-0386 to arrange a confidential interview in English or Hindi, at a location convenient to you. Participants receive $40 as a token of appreciation and when applicable, reimbursement for transportation and/or childcare.
The following individuals and organizations endorse the Life History Calendar Study:
• Atashi Chakravarty, Executive Director, Narika
• Beckie Masaki, Executive Director, Asian Women’s Shelter
• Marily Mondejar, President, Filipina Women’s Network
• Maria Bee, Chief of Victim Services Division, Victim Services Division of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office
• Cherie Querol Moreno, Filipino American Task Force Coordinator, Community Outreach Coordinator, Communities Overcoming Relationship Abuse
• Dean Ito Taylor, Executive Director, Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach
Based at the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, the Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence is a national network of organizations and individuals and serves as a forum for information, research and resources, on critical issues about violence against women in Asian and Pacific Islander communities.

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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