According to reports, Neha Rastogi was a former Apple and a former CISCO employee read her victim statement loud in the court last week. Neha was physically abused by her CEO husband for over 10 years. She described that her marriage to CEO Abhishek Gattani was a nightmare. “He hit me, multiple times during each incident on my face, arms, head, belly, pulled my hair and abused me and called me a bitch, whore, slut, bastard and much more in my language,” Huffpost quoted her from her statement. She accused Gattani of beating her while she was pregnant and forcing her to stand for long periods of time as a form of punishment.
According to reports from The Daily Beast, The CEO of Silicon Valley startup Cuberon was arrested once in 2013 and once in 2016 for assault and physical abuse is awaiting sentencing for the most recent incident. He pleaded no contest to offensive touching and felony accessory after the fact, and under a pending plea deal offered to him by prosecutors, he would only spend 30 days behind bars. A judge is expected to formally sentence him next month. However, he or any other domestic abusers are usually not taken seriously until the victim has life-threatening injuries.
Rastogi has pinpointed the frustrations so many domestic violence victims have with the system.“What’s the point of me speaking up now?” she said to the courtroom. “I get heard to be ignored? To be told that the system understands the abuse and the impact it has had on our child and me, but sorry ― it is what it is?”, she said in her four-page statement. She said she feels she’s been “effectively silenced” twice ― first by her husband and then again by the system meant to protect her.
As quited by Huffpost, Kim Gandy, CEO of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, said she hoped Rastogi’s statement would have the same impact. “She described a decade of physical, verbal, emotional, and financial abuse that would outrage the hardest heart, but would not surprise those of us working in the domestic violence field,” Gandy said. “The minuscule sentence, the judge and prosecutor’s preoccupation with the abuser’s work and status, and the disregard for the safety of this victim whose life has been clearly and repeatedly threatened to reflect a denial of reality and a deep disregard for women’s lives.”
Rastogi, for her part, characterized the abuse she suffered as “terrorism.” “That’s how I felt ― terrorized and controlled, held hostage by the fear of pain, humiliation, and assault on my being and my daughter’s,” she said in her statement last week.She said Gattani encouraged her to commit suicide and threatened to kill her. He blamed her for feeling scared and unsafe with him, she said, and called her mental state a “self-inflicted depression.” Experts call this type of abuse “gaslighting,” a psychological tactic that causes victims to doubt their feelings and question their own sanity.
Rastogi said she is speaking out because she believes her husband will abuse other people unless he receives appropriate punishment. Anger management classes can’t help a man “who doesn’t think he did anything wrong when he HIT and ABUSED others to control them, once someone escapes their guilt the only thing that stops them is serious consequences ― which is a rightful conviction,” she wrote. “I can almost confirm he will do the same again.”
Abhishek will be expected to be punished on May 18th, 2017.