Yesterday, during a TEAM Aid coordinator training session that lasted two and a half hours, Mr. Sajan Kurian, our national coordinator, received a distress call from a family, referred by the Indian embassy in Atlanta regarding a domestic violence incident. The family in question had only been in the USA for six months and was unfamiliar with the laws of the land. They had become embroiled in a dispute due to their child being bullied at school, resulting in the mother becoming loud and aggressive towards the school principal and teachers. Despite her husband’s attempts to calm her down, she slapped him in front of everyone. The school resource officer called for backup and the mother was arrested for restoring order and ensuring the safety of everyone present.
Mr. Kurian attempted to help the family by contacting several attorneys for legal advice. Still, the cost of representation was prohibitively high, with a minimum fee of $15,000 just to appear in court, let alone cover any other expenses. With limited resources at his( the family’s) disposal, Mr. Kurian stayed up all night providing emotional support and guidance to the family, helping the husband to check jail records for his wife’s court date, and ensuring that he was able to appear in court as required. Fortunately, the judge acquitted the mother, and the family was able to avoid potential financial ruin, deportation, and other consequences related to state child services.
This story serves as a stark reminder that nobody is exempt from the law, and even seemingly minor incidents can have significant consequences. It is crucial that we all take responsibility for our actions, respect others, and remain aware of our surroundings, particularly within the school system, given the prevalence of violent incidents across the country. Mr. Kurian and TEAM Aid are relieved that the family is now safe and reunited. The family, TEAM Aid, and the embassy are grateful for Mr. Kurian’s invaluable assistance, which he provided despite a very exhausting and sleepless night.