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Thursday, 8 February, 2001, 13:10 GMT
More Asians reporting violence at home
Asian woman
Many Asian women do not report violence in the home
An investigation by BBC Midlands has revealed that a growing number of Asian women are reporting incidents of domestic violence to the police.

The research carried out in the Midlands police region showed that almost 4,000 Asian women reported being abused by their partners in the last year.

But Asian community workers say the incidence may be much higher as many women do not come forward because of cultural barriers, lack of information about the options open to them and fear of the authorities.


There were times when he'd strangle me and I'd be choking for air and I'd be very frightened

Daljit
One woman who did go to the police, "Daljit", was disowned by her family after going to live with a man in Birmingham.

She said the relationship soon turned violent.

"There were times when he'd strangle me and I'd be choking for air and I'd be very frightened.

"And that's the reason I didn't leave him because I was scared for my family as much as for myself," she said.

'Fighting back'

Barrister Usha Sood said she was dealing with a growing number of cases of Asian women taking their partners to court.

"The woman is fighting back not for the sake of financial greed and not for the sake of wanting to escape from an abusive marriage alone.

"What these women want is to have their honour and their rights protected," she said.


What these women want is to have their honour and their rights protected

Usha Sood
Barrister
Jasvinder Sanghera, who runs an advice centre for Asian women in Derby, believed the situation was not improving despite more women reporting violent partners.

She has got the backing of a local MP, Helen Brinton, in her campaign to raise awareness of domestic violence within Asian communities.

"I have an opportunity to lobby parliament to tell them that these things are real.

"They're getting worse, things are not getting better," she said.

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