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New UK website for Asian divorcees

A website for the needs of Britain's Asian divorcees will be launched on Valentine's Day.

india Updated: Feb 13, 2006 15:33 IST

A new website catering to the needs of the increasing number of divorcees within Britain's Asian community is being launched on Valentine's Day Tuesday.

Exact divorce figures are not available for the community, but they are said to be "soaring". Official figures for the entire British population reveal that nearly 200,000 divorces take place every year.

The new website, called AsianDivorcee.com, is intended to overcome the stigma attached to divorce within the Asian community. Promoters of the website believe that divorces among Asians is as high as the mainstream community.

Birmingham-based Sam Samra, 34, a divorcee but now happily married to another divorcee, told IANS: "AsianDivorcee.com will provide a much needed service to Asian divorcees in the UK, who once they get divorced are largely stigmatised, ostracised and even totally invisible to their own community regardless of whether or not the marital breakdown was their fault or the length of the marriage."

Samra said: "We expect to have thousands of people to register to find their perfect re-match themselves and to take the opportunity to make the rest of their lives the best part of their lives."

The second and third generation of parents hailing from the Indian subcontinent have grown up in Britain, and do not share the same commitment towards marriages and family as their parents did.

Many divorces in the Asian community involve one of the partners who moved to Britain from the Indian subcontinent after marrying a Britain-born Asian. Cultural differences is said to be one of the main reasons for such marriages breaking down.

Samra said: "Finding an Asian divorcee in the UK is not difficult, there are thousands of them, not just in every city or town but every family.

"I accept that this site will cause some controversy or even face condemnation in some areas of the Asian community, but this is a real crisis and accepting it should be no big deal.

"Asian divorce is one of the most sacred taboos in the Asian community and as such invisible even to the extent that you have parents continually telling relatives that their son or daughter's spouse is on holiday or working abroad for months if not years after the divorced papers have been filed.

"It is a totally bizarre and sad phenomenon. I decided to call the site AsianDivorcee.com to try to kill this ridiculous stigma which literally blights the lives of their sons and daughters who have to break contact with their friends and family to keep up the lie and waste years of their life single or forced into arranged marriages with anyone who would accept with them their 'divorced' status."

Samra said times had changed and the British Asian community was changing its attitude slowly as a result of the divorcee crisis.

"Divorce is prevalent within its second and third generation community, who much like their mainstream counterparts are less likely to put up with an empty marriage or emotional or physical abuse in their marriages as their parents did," he remarked.