Men using their Australian citizenship to extort funds from Indian brides

Men using their Australian citizenship to extort funds from Indian brides, by Ruby Jones.

When she got married, Kasish’s family paid her new husband and his family a $50,000 dowry, in cash, jewellery, gold and white goods — including a washing machine, TV and air conditioner — for her new in-laws.

That’s a standard dowry commanded by Australian-Indian men, according to a domestic violence caseworker who says she has seen hundreds of cases of dowry-related abuse in South Australia. …

Indian men with Australian citizenship command higher dowries, because of the promise of a new life in a wealthy country. Some are taking advantage of that.

Men who have arrived as international students years ago may see marriage as a way to pay off their student debts and loans, according to psychiatrist and campaigner Dr Manjula O’Connor.

“Many have girlfriends but they go back [to India] for an arranged marriage,” she said.

“Partly because their parents insist they continue their culture by getting married to someone from their culture, but partly also with the idea that this will remove their debts.” …

Typically, a woman’s family pays between $25,000 and $50,000, including bearing the cost of a lavish ceremony, she says.

But demands often keep coming after the wedding, and if the bride’s family refuses them, the husband might use physical violence to extort more money, or exact revenge.

“More than half of [my] clients have this problem. Most of the time… the husband keeps asking for dowry, and it finally ends up in physical violence,” Avni said. …

The potential for abuse and exploitation led to dowries being outlawed in India in 1961, but legislation has done little to stop the practice.

Another example of the kind of immigration that doesn’t “fit in” with Australian culture.

hat-tip Joanne