An ethnic women's shelter has found the number of Indian women being subject to dowry abuse has nearly doubled in the past year.Click through for the rest of the article, including quotes from three women who have suffered dowry abuse.
Shakti, which runs four refuges for Asian, African and Middle Eastern women, says an increasing number of callers to its crisis line are from women of Indian origin - and two of every three reports made by these women were linked to dowry abuse.
"There has been a huge increase," said Shakti spokeswoman Shila Nair. "Last year, the number would probably be just one out of every three."
"It is also worrying that the intensity of abuse is also getting worse."
Dowry abuse occurs when the husband or his family continues to press the wife's family - sometimes with threats of physical violence - for more money or other gains after the marriage.
Although dowry has been illegal in India since 1961, it was still widely practised by many ethnic Indians, Ms Nair said.
It was becoming a widespread problem for Indian women in New Zealand because it had no laws against forced marriages or dowry abuse here.
Shakti receives about 600 calls a month on its crisis line, and a "significant number" were woman of Indian descent.
Dowry abuse cases being referred to Shakti included women who were sexually violated, made to live in slave-like conditions and were threatened with prostitution by their Kiwi-Indian husbands if they could not get more dowry money from India.
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