On Friday, June 19, LAF client Bhavika Kalani courageously told her story to a crowded ballroom of more than 500 people at our Annual Luncheon. She overcame an arranged marriage to an abusive husband in India, who moved their family to the U.S. and kept her living in fear. With LAF’s help, she was able to break free from her husband, obtain sole custody of her children, and start a new life for her family in the United States, with the security and freedom this country promises for all. You can read more of her story in LAF’s 2014 Annual Report and in LAF’s July eNewsletter.
In her Luncheon speech, she explained the impact LAF has had on her family and their lives:
“My boys finally have a peaceful life here. We are finally in a good place. I am working and taking computer classes. Om is a well-rounded eleven-year-old boy. He gets all A’s and behaves very well at school. Shivam is an energetic five-year-old boy who has no memory of his father. I take both my boys to temple and Sunday classes and swimming classes at YMCA every week. In the conservative Indian culture that I was raised in, marriage was a forever deal. I had never seen anybody divorced. For years, I believed this was going to be my life without any escape from the mental and physical abuse by my husband and his family. LAF helped me realize that women have rights and can seek help. I will forever be grateful for the mental peace I have today. I would like to give back to society by becoming a productive member of this society. I want every opportunity for my children to excel and be happy.”
We are proud of Bhavika’s bravery and grateful for her willingness to share her story.