The suicide of Mandeep Kaur caught the attention of people around the world. Kaur, a woman of Sikh heritage from Uttar Pradesh and living in the US, posted a video on social media that later went viral, in which she claimed to have been abused by her husband for years (he denies the allegations).
However the outpouring of online sympathy for this woman belies how the issues of domestic violence and abuse and mental health are perceived in Sikh communities, notably in the diaspora. As our literature review in the UK has highlighted, there is a great deal of shame attached to women of Sikh heritage experiencing domestic abuse and subsequent mental health problems.
As a result, these issues are rarely properly acknowledged as even being a Sikh healthcare issue and the women affected very often don’t get the help they need. This was particularly the case during the pandemic. You can even see this is in the way such incidents of domestic abuse that do receive publicity are often categorised informally as relating to broader groups such as Punjabis or even South Asians in general rather than Sikhs specifically.