Leaving How I Set Myself Free from an Abusive Marriage Kanchan Bhaskar

Leaving How I set Myself Free From an Abusive Marriage

Kanchan Bhaskar

Publisher ‏ : ‎ She Writes Press (April 11, 2023)

Language ‏ : ‎ English

Paperback ‏ : ‎ 272 pages

ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1647424755

ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1647424756

Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.11 pounds


Raised by two loving parents in New Delhi, India, Kanchan Bhaskar has always been taught that marriage means companionship, tenderness, and mutual respect—so when she enters into an arranged marriage, this is the kind of partnership she anticipates with her new, seemingly wonderful, husband. But after they marry, she quickly discovers that his warmth is deceptive—that the man beneath the bright, charming fa├žade is actually a narcissistic, alcoholic, and violent man.

Trapped in a nightmare, Kanchan pleads with her husband to seek help for his issues, but he refuses. Meanwhile, Indian law is not on her side, and as the years pass, she finds herself with three children to protect—three children she fears she will lose custody of if she leaves. Almost overnight, she finds herself transformed into a tigress who will do whatever it takes to protect her cubs, and she becomes determined to free them from their toxic father. But it’s not until many years later, when the family of five moves from India to the United States, that Kanchan is presented with a real opportunity to leave him—and she takes it.

Chronicling Kanchan’s gradual climb out of the abyss, little by little, day by day, Leaving is the empowering story of how—buoyed by her deep faith in a higher power and single-minded in her determination to protect her children best—she fought relentlessly to build a ramp toward freedom from her abuser. In this memoir, Kanchan clearly lays out the tools and methods she utilized in her pursuit of liberation—and reveals how belief in self and belief in the Universe can not only be weapons of escape but also beautiful foundations for a triumphant, purpose-driven life.

I received an Advanced Reader's Edition from Fauzia Burke with FSB Associates

Review:  Leaving How I Set Myself Free from an Abusive Marriage by Kanchan Bhaskar

Intimate partner violence falls into categories of physical violence, sexual violence, stalking, and psychological aggression and is the subject matter for the memoir I'm reading now which is titled Leaving,  How I Set Myself Free from an Abusive Marriage.

The book opens with a flashback to the time when Kanchan was a young bride. To give you a little pre-nuptial insight, her marriage was arranged and she had only met her husband, Vijay, twice before they wed.  

What I like about the read, is that Kanchan has a  genuine way of looking at her world which is influenced highly by her culture. She soon recognizes she'd married into a family that was conservative and shared very little with one another. 

When the abuse first started, Kanchan was very young and she thought women were to make adjustments and questioned how many adjustments and for how long. She made a silent prayer to a higher power for harmony. 

In all honesty, I wish Kanchan would have bolted the first time Vijay slapped her. But Kanchan stayed and had three children with him. Of course, there were times when she returned home to her parents, but then she would go back when Vijay assured her he had changed. And when she went to look into getting assistance, she was informed that during divorce proceedings, the courts decide on the custody of the children.

Kanchan did receive a good pep talk from someone who may have been aware of the three r's - recognize, respond, and refer. Their advice to Kanchan was to stop making excuses and become financially independent and with the education, she'd already obtained (master's degree in social work from Dehli University), Kanchan was able to take on a substitute teaching job. 

She didn't stay at the job long as a chance meeting parlayed into her resume being passed to an employer who recognized her qualities and hired her for a Fortune 500 company. And as luck would have it, the company's headquarters were in the United States. 

Focusing on a solution, Kanchan knew that freedom for her and her children meant leaving.

In closing, this book clearly had an effect on me. In all honesty, I read this memoir in segments, putting it down when I felt I needed a break from reading about the unpredictable abusive behavior. 

I was pleased to learn that Kanchan is now a certified advocate for domestic violence victims in the state of Illinois and is a volunteer speaker, mentor, and coach for victims and survivors.

About the Author

Kanchan Bhaskar was born and brought up in New Delhi, India. She holds a master’s degree in social work from Delhi University and a postgraduate certificate in personnel management and industrial relations. She moved to the US in 2000; after divorcing her husband in 2003, she lived in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Southern California before moving to Chicago, Illinois. She works in the corporate world, mentoring, counseling, and coaching employees at all levels in the industry. She is also now a certified advocate for domestic violence victims in the state of Illinois and is a volunteer speaker, mentor, and coach for victims and survivors. Kanchan is blessed with three loving children, a daughter, and twin boys, who are well-settled in their lives. Her Maltipoo, Fifi, is her companion and the love of her life. She currently resides in Chicago.