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Listen to us' plead young women

PUBLISHED: 16:26 01 April 2009 | UPDATED: 10:35 23 August 2010

MORE than 350 women and young girls from north Kent attended an event to raise awareness of domestic violence and forced marriages in the Asian community. Sadi Awaaz Suno, or Listen to our Voices, was held at the Woodville Halls, Woodville Place, Gravese

MORE than 350 women and young girls from north Kent attended an event to raise awareness of domestic violence and forced marriages in the Asian community.

Sadi Awaaz Suno, or Listen to our Voices, was held at the Woodville Halls, Woodville Place, Gravesend last Friday.

It was organised by Rethink Sahayak, based in High Street, Gravesend, a charity which works on mental health issues in the Asian community, and the North West Kent Racial Equality Council.

The event also provided information on the support available to women in Gravesham, and was an opportunity for women to socialise and watch dance performances.

Carol Gosal, area service manager for Kent and Sussex for Rethink Sahayak said: "Rethink is committed to making a positive difference to women who may need help and support with some of the issues which were discussed."

The main guest speaker was Jagdeesh Singh. He is the brother of Surjit Athwal, who was taken to the Punjab and murdered by her in laws in 1998. He revealed it had taken him eight years to get justice for his sister.

There were also presentations from Rethink Sahayak and their work locally around mental health issues in the local Asian Community. A representative from Kent Police discussed their work on forced marriages and domestic violence.

Gurvinder Sandher, the assistant director of North West Kent Racial Equality Council said: " The issues that were discussed were very hard hitting and it was very positive to see so many people in attendance. I was moved by the passionate presentation by Jagdeesh Singh and his struggle to get justice for his sister.

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