We face the grave reality that domestic violence and sexual violence against women is all too common in our community. 75% of the women Sakhi for South Asian Women serve are single mothers. Their relentless pursuit of security — in spite of the unknown — demonstrates the courage survivors show each day. This past Mother’s Day, we honored survivors, those who have taken the steps toward stability and safety. The road toward long-term independence is fraught with challenge.
For Farhana Aziz and her two children, the pathway to independence has been particularly laborious; they have endured physical violence, threats to set their house on fire, eviction, abandonment and identity theft. Although she is no longer with him, Mrs. Aziz still remains subject to the tactics of her husband Mohammed Aziz, who has been dragging their divorce case out for over ten years. Despite her limited financial means, Farhana Aziz is unable to seek full-time employment due to a constant stream of court dates. She has also been deemed ineligible for much needed pro bono community and programs as she is still legally married to Mr. Aziz, a wealthy real estate developer and former president and current advisor to the Bangladesh Society.
Mr. Aziz continues to use his wealth and clout in the community to his favor in their divorce case and continues to delay the proceedings. The Judge has, so far, not acknowledged Mr. Aziz’s delay tactics. The lack of a timely ruling in this divorce case exemplifies a disregard and devaluation of the history of domestic abuse and violent threats Mrs. Aziz has experienced. This trial continues the cycle of dehumanization and terror that she experienced in her marriage, and does not allow her nor her children to heal and rebuild their lives.
In order to recommit ourselves to our work in the movement for gender justice and collective liberation, we call upon you to support us in our advocacy and to uplift the voices of Farhana Aziz and her two children. We stand with them as we summon our collective strength to do whatever it takes to end violence against women, to foster our power together, and to engage in productive and courageous conversations within our own communities. We recommit today to recognizing that too often, the experiences that receive widespread attention do so as a result of privilege and visibility. We recognize that it takes working in solidarity to disrupt cycles of violence and work towards gender justice.
Show your solidarity and join Sakhi in standing with Farhana by signing our petition and investing in Sakhi for South Asian Women through a tax-deductible donation. Your gift will continue to fuel our vision toward ending gender-based violence in our community.
Sakhi for South Asian Women