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  Image Credit: Julian Kingma, The Weekend Australian

Now On Sale - Daughters of Durga

       Dowries, Gender Violence and Family in Australia


"A searing, often shocking study of family violence.” - Age

The Indian-born clinical psychiatrist, teacher and campaigner has become a one-woman army against the practice of dowry in Australia. The dowry system – in which the family of a girl or woman betrothed to be married will shower gifts upon the family of her intended husband – is illegal in India, but remains a widespread practice both there and in Australia. 

O’Connor argues dowry abuse is fundamentally tied to family violence taking place in Indian-Australian communities. Her relentless lobbying led to dowry abuse being added to the Victorian criminal code as a form of family abuse in 2018. 

Her new book, Daughters of Durga, draws on her research and clinical experience. It introduces readers to the complexities of family violence as experienced by South Asian migrant women in Australia, with a primary focus on Indian women.

“Inspiring and deeply humane, this book is a revelation about patriarchy, love, abuse and power, and into how an ancient culture has within it the key to its future. O’Connor is a thrilling thinker - I could not put this book down.”

- Jess Hill, Author of See What You Made Me Do


Professor Manjula Datta O’Connor is an Indian-born clinical psychiatrist, teacher and campaigner with special interest in migrant women’s mental health, complex trauma and family violence . She is Hon Clinical Associate Professor at the Department of Psychiatry University of Melbourne. She is an ambassador for Full Stop Australia and has been conferred Adjunct Professor University of New South Wales Department of Social Sciences in 2021. 

Dr. Manjula is an established thought leader and must-have spokesperson on eliminating domestic violence and gender inequalities. She is also quoted frequently on topics ranging from enhancing gender equality, gender based empowerment, building safer families and growing resilient communities.


Dr Manjula's Recent & UpcomingEngagements

Recent - 

  • Grand Round Presentation for Werribee Mercy Hospital workforce - 7 July, Melbourne 

  •  Brisbane Writers Festival. Invited speaker panel discussion. Thursday 11 , 5.30 –6:30pm May. Trauma, Domestic Violence and Meaningful Change. Panellists: Manjula Datta O’Connor,(Daughters of Durga), Nicole Madigan (Obsession: The Psychology of Stalking). Moderator: Mitra Khakbaz  

  • Brisbane Writers Festival. 2023. Refugee and Migrant Stories. 4–5pm, Friday 12 May, Rosemary Kariuki.Pirooz Jafari (Forty Nights), Rosemary Kariuki (A Joyful Life),Manjula Datta O’Connor (Daughters of Durga). Moderator:Mitra Khakbaz

  • Indian film festival 2023. Invited speaker panel discussion 13/8/23, 3 30 pm :  The Darlings Team, Alicia Vrajlal & Dr Manjula O'Connor on Family Violence, Patriarchy and Empowerment, (with screen writer Jasmeet Reen. Actor Vijay Varma )
  • 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence keynote speaker Indian Care and Wellsprings, Dandenong 

  • 2023 International Women's Day at University of Melbourne, MAEVE Research group.Intersection of Migration, Gender, Family and Suicide

Upcoming - 


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