Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Punjabi Language Domestic Violence DVDs

A new series of culture and language-specific DVDs aimed at helping new immigrant women, children and seniors understand and escape abuse in the home is set to be released across Metro Vancouver to prompt discussion on a topic many who work to prevent domestic violence feel has too long been overlooked.
"We want to trigger a conversation. It's like giving permission to the communities to talk about this," Assanand said. The DVDs will be available in three languages -- Punjabi, Mandarin and Spanish, each with English subtitles -- and will depict three culturally specific scenarios of child abuse, wife abuse and elder abuse. Punjabi speakers, for instance, will see a domestic abuse situation that features not just a husband and wife, but also an extended family, including a mother and father-in-law. "The male may do the final act of hitting, for instance, but the other members of the family can either prevent or aggravate the situation," Assanand said.
The scenarios were put together by an advisory committee, with strong input from members of each ethnic community, in order to deliver a message that really hits home, while remaining sensitive to community values. Common themes in each production include the stresses of resettlement in Canada, language barriers and culture shock. The three language groups were selected for the DVD project in order to maximize exposure to the largest number of people, and not because the groups are exposed to more abuse than others. The program was launched following a number of high-profile murders of women in B.C.'s South Asian community in recent years. [link]

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