Meet Shalina Lodhia: Intergenerational Trauma Counsellor empowering South Asian women

Shalina Lodhia Trauma Counsellor
Shalina Lodhia Trauma Counsellor

Domestic violence is a significant issue within South Asian communities, often exacerbated by cultural norms, patriarchal structures, and social stigma surrounding family matters. Despite growing awareness and advocacy efforts, underreporting remains common due to concerns about family honor, social stigma, and fear of reprisal. Unique challenges faced by South Asian immigrants and diaspora communities, including language barriers and dependence on abusive partners for immigration status or financial support, further complicate the issue. 

Statistics reveal the staggering prevalence of domestic abuse worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 1 in 3 women globally experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. Moreover, intimate partner violence is the most common form of violence against women, affecting approximately 30% of women worldwide.

Among women of South Asian descent, the statistics are equally concerning. Cultural and societal barriers often exacerbate the challenges they face in seeking help. Studies show that South Asian women are at a heightened risk of domestic violence, with research indicating that 1 in 4 South Asian women experience domestic abuse during their lifetime. A 2021 study of South Asians (n=468) across 50 U.S. states found that 48% of South Asians in the US experience physical violence. Beyond physical violence, domestic abuse takes various forms, including emotional, financial, and sexual abuse. According to a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, financial abuse is particularly prevalent, with perpetrators often using economic control as a means of exerting power and control over their partners.

Meet Shalina Lodhia, a seasoned trauma counselor based in Australia, who empowers the South Asian women and men with her extensive expertise in addressing profound issues such as domestic violence, intergenerational trauma, inner child wounds, and the impact of fatherlessness.

Shalina's personal narrative is one marked by adversity and resilience. From enduring the hardships of fatherlessness, grief, abandonment, to battling with bullying, racism, depression, and suicidal ideation, she understands intimately how trauma can shape and reshape one's life. "Trauma can make you or break you. It did both to me," she reflects, encapsulating the profound impact of her lived experiences on her journey to empowerment.

Motivated by her own struggles, Shalina has made it her mission to raise awareness and foster dialogue around critical issues such as domestic violence, mental health, sexual assault, and bullying. Drawing from her rich experiences, she seeks to educate individuals and communities, leveraging her platform to amplify voices that often go unheard.

Shalina's academic pursuits led her to delve deeper into the complexities of human behavior, particularly the intricacies of the criminal mind. Armed with a Bachelor's degree in Social Science, Criminology, and Criminal Justice, she embarked on a quest for understanding, realizing that the pursuit of answers is a lifelong journey.

Five years ago, Shalina redirected her focus towards counseling women of South Asian descent across Australia who were grappling with domestic violence. Her personal encounters with domestic violence, coupled with her cultural insights as an Australian-born South Asian, imbued her with a unique perspective and a deep-seated commitment to serving her community. Having born to a Gujarati mother and a Punjabi father also provides cross-cultural sensitivity to Shalina to consult South Asian women from different cultural backgrounds.

Through her work, Shalina has illuminated several critical insights:

- Intergenerational trauma and domestic violence are deeply intertwined within the South Asian community.

- Many victims of domestic violence are unaware of the myriad forms it can take.

- The cycle of abuse often persists as couples bring children into unhealthy marriages in hopes of reconciliation.

- Financial, legal, and immigration abuse are prevalent forms of domestic violence.

- Emotional and physical abuse are deeply entrenched in South Asian culture, perpetuating intergenerational cycles of trauma.

- Academic abuse, particularly prevalent in South Asian households, has far-reaching consequences on children's well-being.

Shalina's clientele encompasses individuals seeking to understand the impact of trauma on their lives, survivors of domestic violence, victims of academic abuse, and parents striving to break the cycle of intergenerational trauma. Through her counseling sessions, clients gain invaluable insights into trauma's generational legacy, recognize recurring behavioral patterns, and learn the art of emotional regulation.

As Shalina continues her journey of empowerment, she remains steadfast in her commitment to serving her community. Whether through one-on-one counseling sessions or through her online presence on social media platforms, she endeavors to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those she touches.

For those seeking guidance or support, Shalina can be reached through her social media channels:

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In Shalina Lodhia, we find not just a counselor, but a beacon of hope and empowerment, dedicated to illuminating the path from pain to power for the South Asian community worldwide.



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