Building family ties


Law lecturer Reeta Verma, who was recently featured in the critically acclaimed SBS radio documentary The Enemy Within, which offers a glimpse into the taboo subject of family violence in the Indian community, has worked with Indian-Australian families since her arrival in Australia in 1986. “She says there is still a strong stigma surrounding violence within families.
“There are barriers that those working within the community face in their struggle to raise awareness around family violence and violence against women,” she says.
For over 25 years, Reeta has been involved in changing community attitudes and culture around family violence by engaging with the Indian community.Reeta has worked on the Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre’s project ‘Healthy Relationship in New Culture’, which involves training ‘healthy relationship ambassadors’ who will talk to their community about family violence.
A grant from the Darebin City Council has also allowed Reeta to create an innovative new program, ‘Creating Happy and Healthy Families’ that brings together professionals from the field of counselling, family dispute resolution, police, medical profession, community welfare to help women who have experienced family violence.
In May this year, Reeta was given the John H Kerr Community Services Award by Rotary Club of Footscray for her “tireless efforts for the community in the West of Melbourne”.
Published in The Indian Sun / The Indian Sun person of the year nominee 2014

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