Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Gender & Women's Studies

Reader 1

Erin Runions

Reader 2

Zayn Kassam

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Rights Information

© 2018 Sagarika Gami


This thesis looks at how the rule of law fails to achieve justice for Indian-American survivors of domestic violence in a multitude of ways, corresponding to class and religious positionality, as well as documentation status, and how the Indian community mobilizes in response to these failures by creating alternative modes of justice for survivors. Historically, these alternatives have taken form as direct service organizations, providing culturally and linguistically accessible services to survivors. I contend that these are helpful on an individual level, working to interrupt cycles of violence, but not at the collective level – stopping these cycles altogether. Given the systemic nature of sexual violence, working from transformative justice principles is an ideal modality of organizing, but not feasible given the structure of Indian-American communities today. In the interim between present post-violence work and future integration of transformative justice, I argue that pre-violence educational models are the most effective way to see tangible, generational, systemic change. Modes of resistance through educational initiatives aimed towards Indian youth ages ten to eighteen against rape culture will more effectively deter the cycles of intra-community violence from occurring, specifically when oriented from sites of religious worship and/or cultural centers – spaces that create a sense of Indian identity. These educational spaces currently do not exist as an intra-community effort, so I analyze various feminist pedagogies as well as an example of this work being done within other communities to extend these praxes back to the Indian community.