A Bangladeshi lady dwelling in Winnipeg says she felt disgrace looking for assist to get out of an abusive marriage and hopes that sharing her story will assist different newcomer ladies.
Durdana Islam was married in 2002 to a person she solely met a few instances earlier than.
“I used to be actually marrying a stranger. His background and every part look[ed] very nice, and he is a gentleman. All people preferred him. So it is that is the way it began,” she mentioned in an interview on CBC Manitoba’s Info Radio on Wednesday.
Per week after their wedding ceremony, Islam observed her new husband was controlling, did not admire her opinions and at all times wanted the higher hand. Shortly after, he began hurting her — ultimately practically day-after-day of the week.
Violence in opposition to ladies occurs in each group, however ladies from newcomer communities face particular boundaries to getting assist and discovering security, advocates say.
Islam mentioned she felt she needed to disguise her abuse from folks in her group, or danger shaming her household again in Bangladesh.
“To the surface world, I am a really glad, bubbly and a robust one that could be very formidable, however it was an enormous disgrace that I used to be carrying with myself, and there was no manner I might convey disgrace to my household — my household of origin.”
“What I used to be feeling inside, I by no means felt protected to specific it exterior.”
Islam stayed together with her husband for 10 years, and up till that time, her youngsters had been by no means abused.
That’s till the top of their marriage.
That evening in 2012, her husband grew to become annoyed with their toddler son and put him in a recycling bin, closing the door on him, she mentioned.
Islam’s daughter got here working to get her and she or he was in a position to pull her son out and calm him down. The following day the three of them left and went to a shelter.
“At the moment, no one in Winnipeg from my group knew that I used to be in an abusive relationship as a result of each time I might fake to be a really submissive spouse and since I might do additional to fake that I am glad,” Islam mentioned.
She is now a famend scholar and teacher within the division of geography on the College of Winnipeg. Her ex-husband left Canada years in the past and moved again to Bangladesh.
You aren’t alone
Extra newcomer ladies are utilizing shelters to flee abusive relationships, however social and cultural taboos nonetheless stop many from reaching out for assist, the Manitoba Affiliation of Ladies’s Shelters says.
The group launched a multilingual consciousness marketing campaign on Tuesday focused at ladies like Islam.
The You Are Not Alone program goals to achieve ladies experiencing home violence in quite a few newcomer communities.
LISTEN | Group goals to achieve ladies in abusive relationships impacted by cultural taboos:
Info Radio – MB8:34November is home violence consciousness month…and Info Radio we’ll hear how ladies from newcomer communities face boundaries to getting assist – and discovering security. Till now.
The group is concentrating on these communities due to their distinctive wants, mentioned Amrita Chavan, the communications specialist for MAWS in an Info Radio interview on Monday.
Sponsored refugees and new immigrants typically have one associate’s title on all documentation, and that may pose issues, she mentioned.
“That may typically put one associate or one member of the family able of energy and management, so newcomer ladies and newcomer households typically expertise a better sense of isolation,” Chavan mentioned.
Coupled with language and cultural boundaries, that may “create an ideal storm of abuse, energy and management,” she mentioned.
The group created plenty of movies in 5 languages — Arabic, Persian, Punjabi, Mandarin and English — to hopefully assist folks experiencing home abuse entry the assistance they want.
Chavan hopes to have the ability to make much more movies in additional languages, and that every one the organizations that associate with MAWS will share the movies broadly.
“We’ll attempt to get these movies on the market as a lot as doable, and make this message of you aren’t alone, that assist is accessible, and you’ve got the correct to be protected as accessible as doable.”
Help is accessible for anybody who’s being abused. You may entry a confidential disaster and help Line by calling 1-877-977-0007, or via this Government of Canada website. You’ll find out extra about shelters via the Manitoba Association of Women’s Shelters website. In case your state of affairs is pressing, please contact emergency companies in your space.