Domestic violence can happen to anyone, important to remove stigma, says Indian-Australian entrepreneur Poornima Menon

"Domestic violence is a form of social disempowerment and people die every week at the hands of their family because of it."

‘The Saree Club’ in Sydney recently organised ‘Respect and Recover’, a forum to create awareness regarding domestic violence in the community.

Kittu Randhawa is the founder of the Indian (Sub-Continent) Crisis and Support Agency. ICSA is the first fully CALD organisation running professional support services for the target community with a dedicated focus on client-centric support services and advocacy. Speaking to The Australia Today she emphasised that safety of victims is paramount.

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Kittu Randhawa speaking with Pallavi Jain

L to R Sonali, Yojna Parekh, Nimish Matani, Kittu Randhawa, Lord Mayor of Parramatta Sameer Pandey, Mittu Gopalan and Poornima Mohandas

Kittu has been an advocate against dowry abuse since 2013. She is committed to seeking reform in legislation and systems to protect women who are victims of this form of abuse and was one of the panellist at the forum.

Other panellists included CA Nimish Matani, Lawyer Mittu Gopalan and Migration Consultant Yojna Parekh who discussed the financial, legal and immigration implications related to the issue of domestic violence.

Lord Mayor of Parramatta, Sameer Pandey, who was also on the panel spoke about the steps the Parramatta council has taken to prevent domestic and family violence and support victims of dowry abuse.

The community voice on the panel was rendered by Sonali and the interactive art session was conducted by Rupa Parathasarthy from Mindkshethra.

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The event was supported by Elizabeth Lovell CEO Lifeline ( Harbour to Hawkesbury) and Veronica McDonald CEO Lifeline ( Macarthur and Western Sydney region) and their respective teams.

Veronica told the The Australia Today that domestic violence is a form of social disempowerment and that people die every week at the hands of their family because of it.

Veronica McDonald speaking with Pallavi Jain

Poornima Menon is a successful entrepreneur and founder of ‘Five pleats by Poornima Menon’. She is also the founder of ‘The Saree Club’, a network of passionate women who share their love for sarees through stories, culture, traditions and memories. Along the way they empower and educate each other on social issues, fund raise for purposeful causes and provide a safe space for support. She told The Australia Today that domestic violence can happen to anyone and it is important to remove the stigma around it.

Poornima Menon speaks with Pallavi Jain

1800RESPECT is the national domestic, family and sexual violence counselling, information and support service. You can call 1800 737 732 or reach out via the online chat on their website.

Call 000 if you are in danger

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