Sheetal had the misfortune to meet her husband online while he visited India last year.  They soon married, and he began controlling her.  He insisted that her parents bring the jewelry (gold) given to her as wedding gifts to be stored in his parents’ locker.

When Sheetal came to America, her husband continued to control her.  He would not give her keys to their apartment. He would not take her out, but insisted that she cook meals for him. Although he works at Oracle, he refused to buy her a $40 blender, saying it cost too much.  He refused to let her turn on the heat. He bought minimal furniture and only had one dish.  He, of course, ate first from it before she was allowed to do so. He would refuse to let her visit other friends.

One night during an argument, she grabbed his hand accidentally scratching him. He called 911 claiming that she had punched him, bitten him and scratched him intentionally.  The police in our post-OJ world arrested her as soon as they learned that she scratched him.

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The District Attorney charged Sheetal for domestic battery.  She needed an attorney and chose me. When I heard her story, I knew intuitively that she was holding back.  Men who control women like her husband do more than just insist on having meals cooked for them. When asked, Sheetal revealed that her husband would get physical with her, twisting her arm. He would expect that she would be home naked when he returned so he could satisfy himself. He would continued to have intercourse with her until he was finished even though it would hurt her and had asked him to stop. He kept messaging her that he would forcibly have anal sex with her  because she was his property.  I urged Sheetal to make a police report and to start a new life. I provided a copy of her declaration requesting a restraining order to the District Attorney to show that she was the actual victim here.

After advocating on her behalf, the District Attorney capitulated and dismissed the case on the eve of trial. Sheetal was grateful for my honesty, advocacy, and for my ability to navigate her through this process.  Congratulations Sheetal! Tomorrow is a new beginning to your life!