CBC Toronto - Photo By Timothy Neesam

Moving beyond stereotypes of family violence
in South Asian communities in Canada

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CBC radio aired a special broadcast of our townhall across Ontario on Sunday, April 11. And listeners across the country tuned in during a rebroadcast on Monday, May 24.

You can listen to that broadcast here:Part I audio (runs 24:00) audio Part II audio (runs 27:30) audio

Thank you to everyone who attended and participated in our town hall at Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto on March 29, 2010.

Our townhall aimed to create mutual understanding and awareness of family violence issues in the G.T.A's South Asian communities and break down cultural stereotypes perpetuated by recent high-profile murders of South Asian women in our community.

The discussion focused on what needs to be done to move forward to address these issues, both within the South Asian communities and in the rest of the city.

Moderated by Metro Morning's Matt Galloway, our townhall discussion was recorded. Highlights are available on this Web site.

Tell us your story

CBC 99.1 FM would like to hear your experiences and questions you might have about these issues. Please use our comment form below to tell us your story.

Our Panelists

In addition to your stories, we heard from community members with experience in these issues.

Aruna Papp

Aruna Papp
Aruna Papp

Aruna Papp was born in India and emigrated to Canada in 1972 with a 3rd grade education, two little daughters and an abusive marriage.

She has earned two Masters Degrees, and founded 3 non-profit organizations to assist new immigrants and victims of violence: Toronto Asian Community Centre (North York), South Asian Family Support Services (Scarborough), Gordon Ridge Family Centre (Scarborough)

She lectures and offers training on matters of domestic violence for police, social work programs in universities, family court judges, school teachers and medical service providers. As a consultant, she facilitates a workshop on Cultural Conflict When Counselling Immigrant Women.

She's also written extensively about the plight of immigrant women living in abusive relationships and the barriers to services. Her book 'The Seven of Us Survived: Wife Abuse in the South Asian Community' was published in 1995.

Currently works as a Counsellor and Therapist with Family Services York Region. In addition, she runs a private practice, counselling men and their families who are dealing with stress, domestic violence and anger management issues.

Baldev Mutta

Baldev Mutta
Baldev Mutta

Baldev Mutta has over 30 years experience in the field of social work. He is the Founder and Executive Director of Punjabi Community Health Services (PCHS) in Peel.

His focus has been developing an integrated holistic model to address substance abuse, mental health and family violence in the South Asian community.

This integrated holistic model is based on three premises:

  • The client is in control of the treatment
  • The professional adjusts his/her clinical and community development approach to meet the client's needs
  • The illness and wellness is understood from client's cultural perspective

He has received many community awards for his work on equity, community development, diversity management, and organizational change. He also hosts his own television show, Community ConneXion, which airs every Saturday on Rogers Cable.

In March 2010, Punjabi Community Health Services in Peel released these reports on spousal tensions in the Sikh community.

Farrah Khan

Farrah Khan
Farrah Khan

Farrah Khan, a lover of mangoes and crafternoon chai gatherings, holds a Masters of Social Work from the University of Toronto. She has worked as a peer facilitator at Respect in Action, Youth Preventing Violence at the Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence against Women and Children (METRAC). Farrah was also the youth counsellor at Malvern Family Resource Centre, supporting youth and their families.

Farrah is an active member of numerous community groups including the South Asian Legal Clinic and the Urban Alliance on Race Relations. She is one of the founders of AQSAzine, a grassroots zine and arts collective for young Muslim women. In 2008, AQSAzine was awarded the 10 in 10 Urban Health Award by the Wellesley Institute. It is a Toronto-based non-profit and non-partisan research and policy institute developing research and community-based policy solutions to the problems of urban health and health disparities.

Farrah currently works as a Counsellor and Advocate at the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic providing support to women who have experienced violence. The non-profit organization is a counselling, legal, interpretation, and referral service for women who have experienced childhood sexual abuse, sexual assault, and partner abuse.