On a cold winter evening in Kensington, nine Bangladeshi women gathered in a cozy basement for their weekly English and Kantha embroidery classes. A kettle of warm chai, a plate of biscuits and a basket of colorful threads rested on the painted center table. The women sat shoulder to shoulder on wooden stools, leaning in to examine each other’s embroidery hoops and laughing as they talked about their day. In a small, adjacent room, a volunteer from their community took care of their young children.

“Did you spend a few minutes looking at yourself in the mirror, ladies?” asked Farida Roho, 52, their English instructor and a fellow member of the Bangladeshi Ladies Club, which hosts the gathering. “Did you take care of yourself? Not just your husbands and family?”

Some of the women looked at each other and gave a dry laugh, while others nodded back at their teacher, eager to show that they had paid attention in previous classes organized by the club, which was founded five years ago by a group of women in Kensington, Brooklyn’s “Little Bangladesh” community. The club provides weekly lessons on English and Kantha embroidery, a stitching method from Southeast Asia.

But Roho’s question belies a deeper issue her group and others face: how to convince Bangladeshi women to seek help if they’re suffering domestic abuse — a widespread problem in the growing community.

Though not officially a domestic violence support group, it is one of the few spaces where women work up the trust to discuss domestic violence. In a community where women tend to be isolated, speaking openly about abuse is taboo, Roho said.