Thank You Neha Rastogi: An Open Letter to a Domestic Violence Survivor

From an outsider’s perspective, Neha Rastogi and her abuser lived an enviable life. But, behind closed doors, Neha endured frequent beatings and verbal abuse.

An Open Letter to Survivors of Abuse Committed by Spiritual and Religious Leaders

Recently, police in Rajasthan arrested Falahari Maharaj, a godman, for raping a 21-year-old after promising to make her a judge. Unfortunately, taking advantage of religious authority to misuse power is nothing new.

‘When Did I Become Your Punching Bag?’: The Unspoken Truth of Domestic Violence

I don’t really remember where it all started. Maybe it was when we were arguing that one cold November night. My memory plays games; at times I can feel the winds, hear the hollowness of the winter that resembles but other times, it’s as if someone put snow over my memory like a blanket. That night you got so upset you slammed your own fist down on our dining table.

MannMukti’s New Podcast “Stories of Stigma: South Asian Mental Health”: In Honest Conversation with Salma Vir-Banks

Salma’s ability to stand up and say, “Yes, I have had a difficult journey,” serves as an example to those who are secretly struggling. Her honesty lets people know that their similar struggles aren’t fictitious. They’re not being over dramatic, emotionally weak, or stupid. Her honesty lets people know that being flawed is okay and speaking up is even more so okay.

With My Mental Illnesses, One Thing Led to Another

I have dealt with substance abuse, an eating disorder, and I still struggle with depression and anxiety today. My mental illnesses are very interconnected and I’m slowly tackling them, one at a time. I think many people have trouble understanding how all of these can occur at once. I often hear from people that I did this to myself or that I’m seeking attention. There’s so much stigma around mental illnesses and I hope by being open about mine, I can help erase some of that stigma.

Help! The Pressure to Marry and Have Kids is Destroying Us

For whatever reason – biological, financial, psychological – some of us have not been lucky enough to turn our own dreams into a reality yet, if ever. Unfortunately, insensitive relatives and even friends often overlook our circumstances and fail to show compassion.

Dear Sexual Assault Survivors: You Are Not Alone, We Will Stand By You

As women, from birth we are often told to be the epitome of beauty, virginity, purity, and ladylike behavior. We have to keep our virtue, otherwise it will bring shame to the family. People will assume that you were in the wrong for wearing certain clothes, for talking to the opposite sex, for being out past dusk, when the opposite is true for men.

10 Warning Signs Your Arranged Marriage Husband Isn’t Right for You

There are a few things that are obvious red flags and need to be addressed in the course of a relationship before it turns as toxic as the radiation fallout from Chernobyl. So if you’re a girl and you experience one of these things, you might want to reconsider your love story;

Ladies, Mommies, Aunties…Can We Please Start Talking About Sex With Our Daughters?

With the common South Asian rhetoric used to educate about sex, your daughter is told that she doesn’t control her own body. If not her own body, what does she control?

Watch UN Women Pakistan’s Powerful New #BeatMe Campaign Video

U.N. Women Pakistan recently released a new video to fight against the domestic and sexual violence women face around the world and particularly, Pakistan. U.N.

The Damaging Narrative of ‘I Would’ve Told’

One of the biggest things survivors of child sexual abuse (CSA) struggle with is disclosure. We might blame ourselves for not asking for help when the abuse was happening, feel shame for living with the secret (or “letting it happen” to us), fear that we will be ostracized, unloved, unaccepted, and blamed if we disclose at all.

Struggles of a Bangladeshi-American Woman who Doesn’t Believe in Marriage but Hopes for Love

As a young girl, I swore I would never marry. Never was I one of those girls who envisioned and planned for a wedding of grandeur. I never dreamt of a faceless man who would one day sweep me off my feet. I never wished to share my deepest thoughts and darkest emotions with someone else. From the very beginning, I was against the entire institution. Marriage, I would say, was not in my future.

What Does a Sexual Assault Survivor Look Like to you?

“I am a survivor of child sexual abuse,” I say. Then, to ease the discomfort of sharing something so intimate, I quickly follow up with, “I’m healing from it: I am going to therapy, and I’ve done a lot of work on my own.”

An Unsuitable Boy: A Short Story About A Fiance’s Betrayal

Deepika had brought misery to her mother ever since she had been born 21 years ago. Her mother had wanted to get her eldest daughter off her hands from the age of 16.

Reclaim the Bindi: What it Means for Victims of Widow Abuse and Sexual Assault

The rise of the #reclaimthebindi movement has caused a lot of division in the South Asian American activist community. Some say that white girls wearing bindis to Coachella is oppressive to them. Others say it’s fine, desis always embraced cultural sharing, and ask why young desi activists are creating “bindi politics.”

One Brown Girl’s Fight to Help Countless South Asian-American Domestic Violence Victims a Year

As South Asian Americans, many of us think of domestic violence as an old world issue.

Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault in Communities of Color

Last week, I attended a training session on issues of domestic violence (DV) & sexual assault for a volunteer program at a city hospital. What struck me about this particular training session is that it encapsulated