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'Once a girl is married, there is no going back'

It's a type of domestic violence you probably haven't heard of: dowry abuse. Some Indian-Australian men are using their desirable status as residents to extort thousands of dollars from the women they're marrying, with threats and violence if their escalating demands aren't metbride trapped in marriage.

By Ruby Jones

The trouble started when Kasish's new husband wanted her to take the blame for his driving offence, to save his demerit points. When she refused, he hit her for the first time.

"He hit me, he scold me, he pull my hair," she said.

"He said: 'Why are you not giving to me? I am your husband, you have to give to me. All [the] people are doing it'."

When the driving offence took place, Kasish wasn't even in Australia. She was a newlywed in India's capital, Delhi, planning to move to Melbourne to be with her husband.

They met on a matrimonial website, where potential husbands and wives can be searched for with filters including annual income, caste, and whether or not they have been married before. No-one wants a partner who is divorced, Kasish says.

"A divorce is not acceptable in India, not acceptable in my family. And I never [thought it would] happen to me in my life," she said.

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