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Daughters of Durga Dowries, Gender Violence and Family in Australia

AUTHOR: Manjula Datta O'Connor

An incisive investigation of domestic violence in South Asian communities, and the resilience of women in the face of adversity

In the early 2010s a spate of domestic violence-related murders in the Victorian Indian community compelled psychiatrist Manjula Datta O'Connor to investigate the causes of patriarchal abuse in South Asian families. As a practitioner with many decades experience in the field, Datta O'Connor questioned whether a better understanding of history and culture could help these communities implement measures to prevent family violence.

But the most powerful lessons came from those she met through her practice - survivors of transnational abuse and of sexual and dowry exploitation. These women taught Datta O'Connor about human resilience and strength and the myriad ways women find the inner power to survive. These are the daughters of the goddess Durga, wielding the tools of history to produce meaningful change.

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