Say No to Domestic Violence

Sarah moved to the US in 2004 to get her Masters in Electrical Engineering. During her internship, she met her husband - they were married a year later. Sarah had noticed some aggressive behavior from her husband during the dating period but she had ignored it. However, the abuse from her husband started only after they were married. The first time he hit her was when she was driving and made a mistake. He punched her on her arm several times. This became a routine. He punched her, tried to choke her, throw things and also threatened to burn her alive every time she would disagree with him or if she made a mistake. Her husband not only abused her physically and verbally but also controlled her financially. He managed to get full access of her bank account and savings. He would transfer her salary to his account every month and controlled how much she could spend. A year after their marriage Sarah gave birth to their daughter.
Even though Sarah was independent and had a visa to work in the US, Sarah was not ready to leave her husband. She was worried about the social stigma that she would face from the community. She was concerned that it would impact her daughter and her upbringing.

Sarah continued to live in pain and fear. She was constantly worried for her and her daughter's safety. After every violent incident, her husband would bring her flowers and apologize to her. He constantly blamed her for making him angry. Initially, Sarah would believed that it's her fault and would think of ways to please him, but deep down she knew that this was not right.

Sarah had seen a Narika flyer at one of the events she had gone to with her husband. She called Narika's helpline anonymously to get more information but decided not to take any action. Two years later, Sarah got pregnant again - he hit her, causing her water to break. She was rushed to the hospital. At this point, Sarah decided to call Narika again. Narika staff helped Sarah with legal and other resources, helped her file the protective order and accompanied her to the court for her hearings. Sarah started to attend the Narika Support group which helped her connect with other women who were also survivors of violence. Today Sarah and her daughters live safely. She was able to break all the cultural barriers and stand up for herself and her daughters - we respect her so much for that.

Narika is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that helps immigrant survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking in the Bay Area for the last 25 years. Women and children fleeing abusive homes often need support for emergency medical expenses, groceries, diapers, formula, transportation, child care, food etc. Narika’s mission is to promote women’s independence and economic empowerment by helping domestic violence survivors with advocacy, support, information, referrals, and education.


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Nisha Oza 
Berkeley, CA
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