We Mourn Stacy Singh: Statement and Call to Action
We are deeply saddened and troubled by the death of Stacy Singh, the twenty-six year old Indo-Caribbean woman brutally murdered by her abusive husband, Vishwanand Loknath, in New York City’s first homicide of 2018. On the morning of January 1, Stacy was stabbed repeatedly in her home in Richmond Hill, Queens, before her husband took his own life. Their two small children, ages 5 and 1, are left behind.
We are in shock and grief at this senseless murder of a young woman and mother. At Sakhi for South Asian Women, we work with the South Asian community to end violence against women and support immigrant survivors in their paths to healing and rebuilding after abuse. We work with other organizations across the U.S. advocating for South Asian survivors of sexual abuse, domestic violence, trafficking, and trauma.
What happened to Stacy Singh is horrific but we know that domestic violence and abuse against women is not uncommon in our community, or in the world today. At this time we recommit ourselves to our work in the movement for gender justice, collective liberation, and fostering communities where all people can live with opportunity and hope. We call upon you to support us in our advocacy, to educate yourselves and your communities, and to uplift the voices of marginalized groups. Together we fight back against violence and the patriarchal systems that hurt us all.
We stand in solidarity with Jahajee Sisters, a New York City movement-building organization of Indo-Caribbean women, who released a heartfelt and critically important open letter in the wake of Stacy Singh’s murder. In it, they invite us to stand with them as we summon our collective strength to do whatever it takes to stop the killing of women, to foster our power together, and to engage in productive and courageous conversations within our own families and communities. We stand with Jahajee Sisters and with the Indo-Caribbean community suffering the loss of yet another brilliant and beloved woman at the hands of an abuser.
We recommit today to amplifying the voices of all South Asians, and recognize that too often the experiences that receive widespread attention do so as a result of privilege and visibility. We recognize that it takes ALL of us, working in solidarity and in community, to end cycles of violence and work towards gender justice.
As organizations working with South Asian survivors, we know that the work of ending gender-based violence is multi-pronged, intergenerational, and complex. Our hearts are with the family of Stacy Singh, especially her two young children left orphaned, and all those who knew and loved her. We stand with her loved ones and with all those today who may be suffering abuse in silence, fighting to be heard and to live safely and healthily.
We must use our voices and state openly that we will no longer tolerate this violence. We must say that survivors’ experiences matter, their lives matter, that we will seek justice for and with them. We must channel our outrage and our pain into healing, support, and justice, and look ahead.
As Jahajee Sisters said in their open letter, “Let’s stop asking “Why would she stay?” and start asking “Why did he abuse?!” And let’s make clear that alcohol, infidelity, and other excuses are not the cause. If you are a man who wants to create change, please talk to other men. If you lead a place of worship, preach about gender justice. Send the message loudly and consistently that you will not stand for hatred, abuse, and oppression of women. Build a world where we all have power and control over our bodies and our lives. It starts with each of us.”
If you are not sure where to start and how to start these conversations, contact one of our organizations or a local domestic violence organization in your community.
Don’t let her death be in vain. If you are outraged and in pain to hear of Stacy Singh’s senseless murder, please take the time to educate yourself about domestic and gender-based violence. Call out sexist and enabling behavior when you see it, speak up about its impact, and support organizations like ours working tirelessly to advocate for survivors. If you are able, please join us at a vigil for Stacy Singh, organized by Jahajee Sisters, on Monday, January 15th at 3:00 p.m. at Bhuvaneshwar Mandir (86-06 101 Avenue, Ozone Park, Queens 11416).
If you know someone or are currently being abused, please know that there is help available and that you are not alone. Please call 1-888-799-SAFE to be connected with resources in your area, or contact one of the organizations listed below to receive help and information. The time is now.