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The intersectional oppressions of south asian immigrant women and vulnerability in relation to domestic violence: A case study

South Asians ― persons who can trace their origins to India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh ― are the largest racialized minority group in Canada. The National Household Survey (2011) revealed that 1,567,400 persons reported being of South Asian origin, making up 4% of the total Canadian population (Statistics Canada, 2013). The substantial presence and rapid growth of this minority group make it an important population to understand in terms of their settlement and integration-related experiences.
The authors of this paper bring together their unique disciplinary lenses- social work and law – to discuss various factors that contribute to the multiple oppressions experienced by South Asian immigrant women in Canada. The paper also focuses on the particular vulnerability newcomer immigrant women can face in situations of domestic violence.This paper is divided into four sections. The first section reviews the literature on the multiple oppressions experienced by newcomer South Asian women and their vulnerability in relation to domestic violence. In the second section the authors present the case of Tejinder, an immigrant woman whom the first author interviewed during data collection for her doctoral dissertation. In the third section the authors discuss how language, gender, race, class and immigration policy intersect to increase the vulnerability of Tejinder in relation to domestic violence. The paper concludes with recommendations for social work practice and for policy.