Sexual Assault Incidents in the Punjabi Community
Sexual assault in the Punjabi community is underreported. There is stigma around the fact that a act brings disgrace and embarrassment to the family and taints their honour. In 2005 Punjabi Community Health Center conducted a study in which they found most Punjabi sexually abused victims lacked awareness of where to receive help, what classified as sexual assault even in domestic relations. They found Sexual Assaulted individuals did not report incidents due to reliving the nightmare, felt the procedures were insensitive and the inability to communicate in English.
The Punjabi Community is a large minority in the Peel region yet there were not enough support mechanisms and programs in place to help such individuals. In recent years the Brampton and Mississauga Courts have had a higher number of cases dealing with sexual assault particularly relating to individuals from the Sikh Community. This necessarily does not mean that sexual assault cases are on the rise but more so that they are being reported more often. Such cases are being brought before the courts to determine is the incident is true in nature and if so a just sentence be provided to those involved.
The Punjabi community seems to be getting more educated on sexual assault/ There are more programs in place to help the South Asian community deal with such cases. The Punjabi community health center which has existed since 1995 offers Various programs for Punjabi Men and Woman to help combat various issues including sexual assault. They have programs for Punjabi men to battle excess alcohol use, anger management. AS well as programs for woman and children. The Punjabi community in Brampton and Mississauga as well as the rest of the country is moving toward the right direction of gaining knowledge of sexual assault and addressing such a issue.
Bhangal and Virk law office has dealt with many sexual assault cases involving members from the Punjabi Community and over the years has noticed the increase of reports. Avtar Bhangal and Sunvir Virk have a significant amount of experience to help clients resolve such cases.
Some information is to be referenced to a 2005 Study by Punjabi Community Health Center.