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Abstract

South Asians are one of the fastest growing immigrant communities in North America. Domestic violence (DV) in the South Asian community is at least as prevalent as it is in the general population, yet is massively underreported. Several reasons have been cited for the silence of South Asian immigrant women about DV. While some of these are financial, social and structural, there are others that arise from discourses specific to South Asian communities. The aim of this study was to examine the origins of these discourses using the framework of historical critical discourse analysis. This paper presents the results of this analysis and provides evidence that challenges the dominant discourses and beliefs that are commonly used by South Asian immigrant families to silence women. The findings have implications for health and well-being of South Asian women experiencing abuse and violence.

Note on the Author

Janki Shankar, Ph.D., RSW, University of Calgary Faculty of Social Work Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Gita Das, Ph.D., Indo Canadian Women’s Association, Edmonton, Alberta. Canada

Sabrina Atwal, BA, Indo Canadian Women’s Association, Edmonton, Alberta. Canada

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