Bhavika had a happy life in India before she entered into an arranged marriage and then was brought to the United States by her husband on his work visa. She lived with her husband and his parents, who all abused and terrorized her emotionally. They removed her bedroom door so she couldn’t have any privacy, they threatened to take her children away so she would never see them again, and Bhavika’s husband even threatened to take her back to India and have her committed to an institution. She was afraid and believed he would act on the threats, so she called the police. It took three more phone calls to the police for them to take action and escort Bhavika and her children away from their abuser. They still wouldn’t arrest the husband because he had not physically injured Bhavika, and they classified the incidents as a “domestic dispute.” Bhavika and her children ended up in a shelter for immigrant women, where she was referred to LAF.
Immigration Staff Attorney Nubia Willman took Bhavika’s case. She contacted the police department to educate them on the very real dangers Bhavika and her children would face if they were forced to return to India, how her husband’s control of this decision was harmful to Bhavika, and how her only recourse for protection was the police. Nubia convinced the police to reclassify Bhavika as a victim of domestic violence, which also made her eligible for her own visa to stay in the country and work, and secured visas for her sons. Because of LAF’s advocacy, Bhavika and her children are able to start a new life in the United States, safe from abuse.
We are so happy that our staff was able to help Bhavika and her family and we look forward to hearing her speak at this year’s Annual Luncheon on Friday, June 19th, at the Palmer House Hilton. Tickets cost $150 each, and a table for ten costs $3,000. Other sponsorships are also available, and all can be purchased online here. You can also secure your seat by mailing a check to: LAF, Attn: External Relations Department, 120 S. LaSalle St. Ste. 900, Chicago, IL 60603 or by calling 312-347-8370.