‘Saahas for Cause’ Organizes Seminar to Help Victims of Domestic Violence in Wake of Rising Cases During COVID-19 Pandemic
Pallavi Dhawan, Indian American director of domestic violence policy at the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office, was the speaker at a virtual seminar on domestic violence organized Feb. 25 by ‘Saahas for Cause’. The organization noted that since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a steep spike in calls to domestic violence hotlines. (photo provided)
India-West Staff Reporter
Organizations helping victims of domestic violence have been facing many challenges to support their clients since the past year. The courts have also had to modify their working pattern and have passed new laws and COVID-19 emergency orders. Survivors have limited information and awareness about available services and have limited access to support services. In an attempt to bridge this gap, Saahas for Cause conducted a seminar Feb. 25, which aimed to educate Indian American and South Asian American attendees on case prosecutions for domestic violence, new laws, and most importantly, COVID-19 emergency orders that can be of help to survivors of domestic violence.
Saahas for Cause is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that serves the South Asian community living in Los Angeles County and Orange County by educating, empowering and enabling the immigrant community to improve their quality of life through its four chapters.
The speaker for the event was Pallavi Dhawan, Indian American director of domestic violence policy at the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office. The online event was attended by more than 40 people hailing from the African American, Asian, Caucasian and LatinX communities. The event included people from varied professions, including legal, mental health, non-profits as well as survivors of domestic abuse.
Domestic violence has been dubbed as a shadow pandemic, owing to the unprecedented increase in violence against women since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, said the organization.
“To give one a perspective, even before the pandemic began, 1 in 4 women were facing intimate partner violence in the United States. This has only increased, as demonstrated by emerging data that shows a steep spike in calls to domestic violence hotlines, since the onset of the pandemic,” Saahas for Cause revealed in a press release. “The measures recommended to flatten the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the stay-at-home order, social isolation and travel restrictions, have further increased the risk for victims of intimate partner violence. Other conditions associated with quarantine, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, only worsen their living conditions.”
Saahas is also actively engaged in various community health and outreach events. One such project is working with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to serve the Indian American and larger South Asian community impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic through resources and prevention.
For more information, visit www.saahasforcause.org, or contact them at 562-526-2508.