British Columbia radio host suspended for comments on woman’s suicide and domestic abuse

WARNING: This article contains details about suicide and abuse.

A South Asian radio host in Richmond, British Columbia, has been suspended after saying the husband of a woman who killed herself in New York, following what she described as years of domestic violence, should not automatically be blamed because he hasn’t been criminally charged in the tragedy.

Paul Brar, host of Sher E Punjab AM 600, spoke on air on Thursday about the death of Mandeep Kaur, who died by suicide last week after posting videos online accusing her husband of physically assaulting her for years and begged for help.

Other videos posted online appear to show Kaur, 30, being choked and choked by a man in a house, while the sound of children screaming can be heard.

Brar’s comments about the death have been condemned online and by advocates who support victims of domestic violence.

“We take this matter very seriously”

On Friday morning, the station announced that Brar had been suspended and an internal review had been launched into the matter, the results of which would be made public.

“The management and staff of Sher E Punjab do not condone or condone violence in any form and strongly oppose any form of bullying that targets women, the elderly, children and the most vulnerable of us,” the statement on the station’s website read.

“We apologize for any offenses committed and assure all of our listeners that we take this matter very seriously.”

A statement posted on the Sher E Punjab AM 600 website regarding the suspension of host Paul Brar on Friday. (Sher E Punjab)

Advocates for victims of domestic violence worry the station isn’t doing enough to respond to Brar’s comments and learn from them.

“What’s happening now, is he getting training, is all the staff getting training, is the organization sitting down and doing some soul-searching?” said Satwinder Bains, director of South Asian studies at the University of the Fraser Valley.

The station had no further comment on Saturday after being contacted by CBC News.

Nimi Chouhan, founder of the Sahara Services Society in Surrey, which supports South Asian women, children and families affected by domestic violence and abuse, said Brar’s comments make it more difficult for victims to recover. express, get help, or leave abusive marriages.

“These types of thoughts and behaviors continue in our community, but our radio hosts, our television, our dramas and our films continue to allow, perpetuate and build on all of this, which makes them victims and survivors. harder for them.”

Members of Surrey’s South Asian community plan to hold a vigil for Kaur on Sunday.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, VictimLinkBC is a free, confidential, multilingual service available in British Columbia and the Yukon 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and accessible by calling or texting 1-800-563-0808 or emailing [email protected].

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughtshere’s how to get help:

This guide to Center for Addiction and Mental Health explains how to talk about suicide with someone you’re worried about.

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