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The more commonplace violence against women is, the more socially acceptable it is...

Asha is my grandfather's nurse. She left her husband who abused her because of her clubbed foot and never looked back. She supports herself and her family at times, and is always smiling.

Dear President Obama and Secretary Clinton,
All my life growing up in Bombay, we heard stories of poor women's husbands getting drunk and beating them up regularly. People actually counsel wives to think again when they want to walk out of abusive relationships because the societal stigma of being divorced is far worse than being an abused wife.

The majority of girls, including myself, have been molested one or more times growing up. I remember at least four occasions when men have kissed, or caressed me forcibly. And I am from a progressive upper middle class family. When I traveled by train across town to college, I would throw punches as I walked downstairs to the platform because that is how often I found my buttocks getting pinched or my breast felt. I resorted to using the most crass Hindi swear words so that the men around me would be sufficiently shocked into leaving me alone.

These stories are so commonplace that my girl friends all have their own versions of the same tales. I cringe when I think of the stories that go untold in rural areas where girls aren't empowered to speak for themselves. I urge you to do what you can to help innocent girls and women everywhere who are victimised by silent societies.

Sapna Shahani,
Goa, India.


Nusrat Ara's picture

We all are in it

We all are in it together.



jadefrank's picture

IVAWA update

Dear Sapna,

Thank you for participating in the IVAWA letter writing campaign and for sharing your voice and your personal testimony with President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and members of the US Senate on the urgency of ending violence against women.

We sent copies of your letter in packages, along with your fellow PulseWire members', to these key decision makers, and I am excited to announce that on December 15, the International Violence Against Women Act was approved by the Foreign Relations Committee! Our voices were effective in supporting this bill!

Next step for the bill: Get passed by the Senate and House by the end of the year. I will keep you updated!

In friendship and solidarity,
Jade Frank

Online Community Manager
World Pulse

sapnashahani's picture


It's great to hear that :)

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