Justice for Neha Rastogi

content warning: domestic violence

Photo illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast, edited by NAPAWF

Photo illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast, edited by NAPAWF

For more than a decade, Neha Rastogi suffered regular violence at the hands of her abusive husband, Abhishek Gattani. In her words, “I felt terrorized and controlled; held hostage by the fear of pain, humiliation, and assault on my being and my daughter’s.” (Read Rastogi’s full victim-impact statement.)

Despite seeing a 5-minute recording of that abuse, the Santa Clara District Attorney’s office agreed to a deal that reduced the top charge against Abhishek from felony assault to felony accessory (a “non-violent” crime), with an accompanying misdemeanor of “offensive touching.” Under this plea agreement, Abhishek could serve less than two full weeks in jail. Neha asked the court to change the terms of the prosecutor’s deal – a deal she never agreed to. 

The next hearing will be Thursday, June 15th at 1:30PM PST in Palo Alto, California. We urge you to be in solidarity with Rastogi to find justice for her and her family. Let us send a strong message to the court that domestic violence is a violent crime.

Why does Neha’s case matter now more than ever?

Neha’s case impacts the AAPI community as a whole, where sexual and reproductive health, mental health, and relationship safety are intertwined.

In her powerful victim-impact statement, which she was only allowed to deliver after the plea deal was made, Neha talked about the awful impact of ten years of abuse. She said Gattani had started to threaten to kill her when she expressed fear or feeling unsafe, calling it her “self inflicted depression.”

The intersections are significant for our communities in which AAPI women, trans, and gender non-conforming people report disproportionately high rates of depression and suicidal thoughts and are less likely to seek professional mental health services and report experiences of violence.

How can we take action in support of Neha?

We are here in full support for all of those who face external stigma and internalized shame, especially in the AAPI community, and will not be still until justice is served.

  • Take IMMEDIATE action and tell Judge Danner that you stand with Neha and all survivors of gender-based violence. We’ll show you how!
  • Sign and share this petition to urging the Santa Clara Superior Court to provide justice for Neha Rastogi.
  • Share her story far and wide. Use #JusticeforNehaRastogi on Thursday, 6/15 and beyond. Share with 5 friends the following link to take action: http://bit.ly/NehaAction
  • Take time to learn more about domestic violence, to speak up about its impact, and to advocate for more effective services, laws, resources, and protections that center survivors. Don’t allow victim blaming in your social circles, media, or social media, and be sure to respect Ms. Rastogi’s right to privacy and autonomy to make decisions and choices that are best for her.

Justice for Neha Rastogi in your city

On June 15th, the day of the hearing, we’re creating extra pressure on the California courts by getting attention across the country showing support of Neha Rastogi and all survivors of gender-based violence. We are working toward breaking the silence and stigma around the issue of domestic and sexual violence.

Taking lead from the South Asian domestic violence agencies, local Bay Area leadership, and our Philadelphia chapter, NAPAWF is organizing a set of small rallies of 15+ people with coordinating messaging.

Don’t see your city and want to organize a Justice for Neha Rastogi rally?

Contact NAPAWF at info@napawf.org with your name, affiliated group, city and we will follow up with you as soon as possible.