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Domestic Abuse - for the Victim, Perpetrator & Witness

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PERPETRATOR: abuse is NOT okay - recognize it, seek forgiveness, and seek help before it is too late... (click to link HERE & HERE)

 

 

VICTIM: you CAN get out of abusive situations - you aren't alone, what is happening to you is not right, and here's what you can do.... 

(click to link HERE & HERE)

 

 

WITNESS: we SHOULD stop abuse - we have a duty to stop oppression where we can and here's what we can do... (click to link)

 

 

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Insha'Allah, in this thread we will collect resources relevant to the issue of domestic abuse. Our primary goal is to help link readers to both Islamic scholarship and local resources on the issue. 

 

While the important links are highlighted above for quick reference, the following table lists the main contents of the thread:

 

Post/description:

  1. Introduction & Table of Contents
  2. Definition of Domestic Abuse
  3. Causes of Domestic Abuse
  4. Cycle of Domestic Abuse
  5. Long-term Physical and Psychological Effects
  6. Male Victims of Domestic Abuse
  7. Reasons why Victims do not leave Abusive Marriages
  8. What does Islam say regarding Domestic Abuse
  9. Islamic Position and Advice on Verbal Abuse in Marriage
  10. The Islamic Solution
  11. Clear Instructions in the Qur'an in case of Conflict
  12. Scholars' Condemnation of Domestic Abuse
  13. Beneficial Advice from Scholars to Questions on Domestic Abuse
  14. VICTIMS - Where To Go For Help
  15. PERPETRATORS - Stop & Think!
  16. PERPETRATORS - What To Do To Change
  17. WITNESSES - How To Become A Means For Help
  18. Shariah Councils and Other Avenues of Help Available in Various Countries
  19. Towards Ending Violence in our Communities
  20. Resources
  21. Stories
  22. Story of Husband Abuse
  23. (and onward) Comments

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Defining Domestic Abuse

 

post-4260-0-35706600-1420193268_thumb.jpg

 

Sometimes also referred to as spousal abuse, domestic abuse refers to a pattern of abusive behaviour where a spouse (husband or wife) gains and/or maintains power and control over the other spouse either physically, verbally, emotionally, psychologically, financially or by a combination of any of these tactics.

 

Abusive behaviours include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • constant criticism;
  • humiliation;
  • undermining self-worth;
  • undermining self-esteem;
  • diminishing the spouse's abilities;
  • damaging the spouse's relationship with the children and others;
  • causing fear by intimidation;
  • manipulation;
  • isolating from family, friends, and others;
  • frightening;
  • terrorizing;
  • coercing and forcing;
  • destruction of property;
  • stealing;
  • threatening physical harm to self, the spouse, the children, or others;
  • blaming;
  • denying appropriate and adequate necessities (as finances allow);
  • denying access to medical care;
  • denying access to appropriate education; and
  • physically hurting by punching, kicking, hitting, pushing/shoving, slapping, pinching, pulling, biting, tearing, mutilating, maiming, etc.

 

While the definition of domestic abuse can be broadened to encompass much more, and there may be differences in the legal definition from one country to another (based on local laws and customs), for our purposes, and bearing our Islamic principles in mind, this definition should suffice. 

 

 

 

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Causes of Domestic Violence

 
 
There is no single cause of domestic violence. It comes from a combination of factors, including society’s attitudes, community responses, and the individual psychology experiences of the abuser and the abused. Source

 

 

Mental Health Problems:

One possible cause for domestic abuse is that the partner may be suffering from a mental health disorder rendering them less capable of controlling their behaviour.  

 

Need to Control & Dominate:

Another possible cause for domestic abuse is when a partner feels the need to control and dominate the other. In such cases, abusive partners may feel a need to control their partner because of:

*  low self-esteem;

*  extreme jealousy;

*  difficulties in regulating anger and other strong emotions; or

*  when they feel inferior to the other partner in educational, cultural and/or socioeconomic background. (Source)

 

Drugs & Alcohol:

Linked to the causes above, especially mental health disorders, the use of mind-altering substances such as alcohol and drugs may also contribute to abusive behaviour. In such cases, the partner who is drunk or high will be even less likely to be able to control their abusive behaviour.

 

Gambling & Addictions:

Also linked to the causes above, gambling and other addictions such as pornography, may also contribute to abusive behaviour. In such cases, the partner who has an addiction may be driven by their addiction to do things out of desperation, and be less mindful of the impact of their behaviour on others.

 

Culture:

One other possible cause for domestic abuse is culture. In such cases, abusive partners with traditional cultural beliefs may think it is their right and responsibility to control the other partner. In such cases, not only might abusive partners try to uphold their image in society but they may believe that the other partner is not able to do things on their own and are inferior to them in some way.

 

Lack of Proper Knowledge:

Yet another possible cause for domestic abuse (may also be linked to culture) is the lack of proper Islamic education or at the very least, lack of access to scholars educated in traditional Islamic sciences. In such cases, people may either be misinformed or have no knowledge about the teachings in the Qur'an and the valuable example of the family lives of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallem) and his sahaba (ra).

 

 

Learned:

Studies suggest that violent behavior often is caused by an interaction of situational and individual factors. That means that abusers learn violent behavior from their family, people in their community and other cultural influences as they grow up. They may have seen violence often or they may have been victims themselves. 

 

Children who witness or are the victims of violence may learn to believe that violence is a reasonable way to resolve conflict between people. Boys who learn that women are not to be valued or respected and who see violence directed against women are more likely to abuse women when they grow up. Girls who witness domestic violence in their families of origin are more likely to be victimized by their own husbands. (Source)

 

 

 

 

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Cycle of Domestic Abuse

 

 

cycle_of_abuse.jpg

 

In 1979, psychologist Lenore Walker found that many violent relationships follow a common pattern or cycle. The entire cycle may happen in one day or it may take weeks or months. It is different for every relationship and not all relationships follow the cycle—many report a constant stage of siege with little relief.

 

 

This cycle has three parts:

 

  1. Tension building phase—Tension builds over common domestic issues like money, children or jobs. Verbal abuse begins. The victim tries to control the situation by pleasing the abuser, giving in or avoiding the abuse. None of these will stop the violence. Eventually, the tension reaches a boiling point and physical abuse begins.
  2. Acute battering episode—When the tension peaks, the physical violence begins. It is usually triggered by the presence of an external event or by the abuser’s emotional state—but not by the victim’s behavior. This means the start of the battering episode is unpredictable and beyond the victim’s control. However, some experts believe that in some cases victims may unconsciously provoke the abuse so they can release the tension, and move on to the honeymoon phase.
  3. The honeymoon phase—First, the abuser is ashamed of his behavior. He expresses remorse, tries to minimize the abuse and might even blame it on the partner. He may then exhibit loving, kind behavior followed by apologies, generosity and helpfulness. He will genuinely attempt to convince the partner that the abuse will not happen again. This loving and contrite behavior strengthens the bond between the partners and will probably convince the victim, once again, that leaving the relationship is not necessary.

 

This cycle continues over and over, and may help explain why victims stay in abusive relationships. The abuse may be terrible, but the promises and generosity of the honeymoon phase give the victim the false belief that everything will be all right.

 

(source)

 

 

 

 

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Long Term Effects of Domestic Violence

 

abuse2.jpg

 

 

Domestic violence has wide ranging and sometimes long-term effects on victims. The effects can be both physical and psychological and can impact the direct victim as well as any children who witness parental violence.

 

Physical Effects

The physical health effects of domestic violence are varied, but victims are known to suffer physical and mental problems as a result of domestic violence. Battering is the single major cause of injury to women, more significant that auto accidents, rapes, or muggings. (O'Reilly, 1983).

Many of the physical injuries sustained by women seem to cause medical difficulties as women grow older. Arthritis, hypertension and heart disease have been identified by battered women as directly caused by aggravated by domestic violence early in their adult lives. Medical disorders such as diabetes or hypertension may be aggravated in victims of domestic violence because the abuser may not allow them access to medications or adequate medical care. (Perrone, 1992).

Victims may experience physical injury (lacerations, bruises, broken bones, head injuries, internal bleeding), chronic pelvic pain, abdominal and gastrointestinal complaints, frequent vaginal and urinary tract infections, sexually transmitted diseases, and HIV. (Jones & Horan, 1997 and Bohn & Holz, 1996).

Victims may also experience pregnancy-related problems. Women who are battered during pregnancy are at higher risk for poor weight gain, pre-term labor, miscarriage, low infant birth weight, and injury to or death of the fetus.

 

Psychological Effects

While the primary and immediate focus for many people is the physical injury suffered by victims, the emotional and psychological abuse inflicted by batterers likely has longer term impacts and may be more costly to treat in the short-run than physical injury. (Straus, 1986, 1988, 1990).

Depression remains the foremost response, with 60% of battered women reporting depression (Barnett, 2000).

In addition, battered women are at greater risk for suicide attempts, with 25% of suicide attempts by Caucasian women and 50% of suicide attempts by African American women preceded by abuse (Fischbach & Herbert, 1997).

Along with depression, domestic violence victims may also experience Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which is characterized by symptoms such as flashbacks, intrusive imagery, nightmares, anxiety, emotional numbing, insomnia, hyper-vigilance, and avoidance of traumatic triggers. Several empirical studies have explored the relationship between experiencing domestic violence and developing PTSD. Vitanza, Vogel, and Marshall (1995) interviewed 93 women reporting to be in long-term, stressful relationships. The researchers looked at the relationships among psychological abuse, severity of violence in the relationship, and PTSD. The results of the study showed a significant correlation between domestic violence and PTSD. In each group in the study (psychological abuse only, moderate violence, and severe violence), women scored in the significant range for PTSD. Overall, 55.9% of the sample met diagnostic criteria for PTSD. In further support of the strong relationship between domestic violence and PTSD, Mertin and Mohr (2000), interviewed 100 women in Australian shelters, each of whom had experienced domestic violence. They found that 45 of the 100 women met diagnostic criteria for PTSD.

 

Impacts on Children

One-third of the children who witness the battering of their mother demonstrate significant behavioral and/or emotional problems, including psychosomatic disorders, stuttering, anxiety and fears, sleep disruption, excessive crying and school problems. (Jaffe et al, 1990; Hilberman & Munson, 1977-78)

Those boys who witness abuse of their mother by their father are more likely to inflict severe violence as adults. Data suggest that girls who witness maternal abuse may tolerate abuse as adults more than girls who do not. (Hotaling & sugarman, 1986)

These negative effects may be diminished if the child benefits from intervention by the law and domestic violence programs. (Giles-Sims,1985)

 

Children may develop behavioral or emotional difficulties after experiencing physical abuse in the context of domestic violence or after witnessing parental abuse. Responses in children may vary from aggression to withdrawal to somatic complaints. In addition, children may develop symptoms of depression, anxiety, or PTSD (Harway & Hansen, 1994).

(Source)

 

 

 

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Male Victims of Domestic Abuse

 

Domestic abuse is generally seen as a female victim / male perpetrator problem however the evidence points to a different picture.

 

38% of domestic abuse victims are male. For every five victims, three will be female, two will be male.

February 2014 - Produced by the ManKind Initiative

 

 

Husband battering is no laughing matter

Cii News | 09 Safar 1436/02 December 2014

 

It may be difficult to believe but the flip side of domestic violence paints the picture of a man, battered and abused at the hands of an angry and unreasonable wife.

 

Incidents of abused men are no different to those told by women. Men abused by their wives are kicked, hit, stabbed and pushed down stairs and through plate glass doors. They are emotionally and verbally degraded, and like their female counterparts, men often cover up for their wives. The stigma of being a “weakling” or “not man enough” is attached to being an abused husband so men lie to their doctors and the authorities about the true cause of their injuries.

 

Men in these abusive relationships never fight back, not only because they were raised not to hit women, but also because automatically authorities consider the man the aggressor in cases of domestic abuse, even when the woman is at fault, and are thus arrested.

 

“Domestic violence is any incident of threatening behaviour. Violent or physical abuse on psychological, physical, emotional, sexual or financial levels between two adults regardless of gender and age and this violent behaviour reflects on the kids. Domestic violence can be seen as this pattern of abusive and controlling behaviour which the abuser seeks power over their victim and the behaviour gets worse over time,” explained life coach Nelene Flemming

 

Felmming says during her research as well as during the 16 days of Activism there are many complaints from women and children “but there is a voice unheard and that is the voice of men”.

 

“I don’t know whether it’s the perception of men being weaker and women just want more and more control but I think that the subject to study on its own.”

 

Abusive women, much like men have psychological problems that come from pre-conditioning or generational conditioning. The example of abusive parents growing might be the only way the abuser sees life and relationships.

 

Doctor Khalid Sohail, Pakistani author, humanist and psychotherapist has counselled many abused husbands who come out of the destructive relationship as damaged as abused women and only after many years. The cycle of abuse, irrespective of whether the abuser is the man or woman in the relationship follows the same pattern.

 

The abuser becomes aggressive, lashes out verbally and physically and then feeling shame or regret either apologises or “makes up” by buying gifts or behaving extra affectionately. The perpetual cycle makes it harder for the victim to leave, gives the abuser more power, often scarring children.

 

Claudia Dias who has counselled abusive men and women for over twenty years is critical of the different ways domestic violence against men and women is understood. In an article on battered.com she said, “When a man hits a woman, it’s abuse and felony. When she does it, it’s because she has a bad temper.” Claudia describes the cycles of domestic abuse as “a dance… it doesn’t matter which gender does which part.” The major difference, she says, is that men hit women to “make them shut up” whereas women hit men in order to “make them listen.””

 

Over the years authorities and mental health professionals are realising there are many abused husbands who are still leading a life of secrecy in our communities. Since men’s shelters are scarce to non-existent, it is difficult for these men to get professional help.

 

The distinguishing traits of an abuser, says Flemming, “The abuser has this goal to have all the power and control and their perceptions are that the victim has the same goal for power that they do. This makes them so much stronger. Then they are central and dominant. They believe they are entitled to be selfish. They are irresponsible and they blame others for their mistakes and they never accept the blame. The abuse escalates over time and the abuser is happy in every situation. They don’t see any reason to change.”

 

The victim thus takes the blame and shame for the abuser’s actions. Being the one in the relationship who recognises a problem, the victim wants things to work out and is hopeful it will. Victims become anxious and scared and might then abuse substances like alcohol and drugs.

 

Victims can notice tell tale signs of an abuser such as early expressions of love and pressure for commitment. A red flag is someone who grew up in an abusive family. “They are extremely jealous of your friends and in a way she possesses you. She hurts you when she doesn’t get her way, being abusive to family members and the most important is sarcasm. That’s talking you down, breaking you down.  She has unrealistic expectations for you to meet all her needs.”

 

The indirect abuse of children leads to a legacy of abusive relationships. Children who come from abusive families are changed by the cyclic battles they witness. They grow up believing that a normal family life is one defined by a wheel of fear, violence and tearful apologies. Their self-esteem is affected in a way that cannot easily be understood explain psychologists.

jamiat.org

 

 

And His Cries Went Unheard: Husband Abuse Unveiled

 

By Umm Zakiyyah | Saudi Life

 

“I DON’T care who’s listening,” the sister spoke angrily into her friend’s phone, prompting the other sisters in the room to look in her direction, concerned expressions on their faces as they halted their own chatter amongst themselves.

 

“I have somewhere to go, Abdullah. I’m tired of this—“

 

There was the muffled sound of a man’s voice coming through the receiver.

 

“No, no, I’m not going to be patient. You are so irresponsible. I can’t depend on you for anything. I swear!”

 

More muffled sounds.

 

“You are such a stup—“

 

The sister stopped mid-syllable as the phone line went dead. Her eyes grew wide in shock as she heard the clanking of the base of the phone as it fell off the table and onto the floor. She turned to find the hostess of the gathering standing feet from her, meeting her gaze unblinking.

 

“I’m sorry,” the hostess said, shaking her head in disapproval. The phone wire that she had pulled out the wall was still in her hand. “I can’t sit here and let you talk to your husband like that.”

 

“If he even thinks about taking another wife, I’ll kill him.”

 

I laughed at the ridiculousness of the statement, although my laughter was more of discomfort than amusement. “Yeah right. You wouldn’t do anything like that,” I told the woman. “You’d just get a divorce.”

 

The sister’s cold eyes rested on me, and I shuddered. There was not a hint of humor in her expression. “Why would I need a divorce if he’s dead?”

 

I started to respond but could find no words, my heart racing in the realization that she was not joking, at all.

 

Finally, I found my voice though I detected a slight quiver in my speech. “And you’re willing to spend the rest of your life in prison?”

 

One side of her upper lip lifted in a snare. “I wouldn’t be that stupid,” she said, a wicked smile forming on her face, making me weak as I listened. “I’ll just do sihr. And nobody would ever know.”

 

“I’m calling the Embassy,” the woman said angrily.

“For what?” her friend asked, her forehead creasing.

“I’m reporting him as an abuser and a terrorist.”

Her friend’s mouth fell open. “You can’t do that.”

The woman laughed. “Oh yes I can.”

“But that’s lying, ukhtee.”

 

“So what if it is?” She shrugged. “I’m taking the kids and leaving this country, and he’ll never see us again.”

 

“But what about your soul? And the kids? And even your husband.” her friend pleaded, frantic. “He doesn’t deserve that. Think about Allah.”

 

Her eyes became glassy, and rage was apparent there. “That’s what he should be thinking about.”

 

“Disgusting. Disgusting, he is.”

 

I flinched at the words, and instinctively, my eyes widened at the woman who had spoken. But the woman was contorting her face and looking toward the other sisters present in the woman’s prayer area.

 

My friend, who sat across from me on the other side of the woman, looked at me, a look of alarm in her eyes, as if begging me to stop this conversation. We had gathered for the night’s lecture, not for backbiting.

 

I didn’t know what to say. The woman went on mercilessly tearing into the flesh of a man who sat clueless in the men’s prayer area opposite the dividing curtain, likely smiling and laughing amongst friends as he waited for the speaker to begin…

 

I cringed.

All I could think was, How could she disrespect her husband so shamelessly, and in the musallaa?

My heart drummed nervously as I realized that this was one of the worst forms of flesh-eating that I had ever heard in my life—in or outside a masjid.

 

I decided to speak up…

 

I opened my e-mail and was about to click delete when I read the online newspaper’s headline that decried the “shameless lack of support” for a domestic abuse awareness weekend seminar held by a charitable Muslim organization…

 

The contributors to the article were appalled that no one showed up for the well-advertised program that was intended as a fundraiser for a local Muslim women’s shelter…

 

And the seminar was being hosted in a city that was home to one of the largest Muslim communities in America.

 

What’s really sad, one organizer said, is that when women seek help from imams and other Muslims, they’re often asked, “But what did you do?”

 

What broke my heart while reading this article was that among all the social workers, PhD-holders, and experienced domestic abuse counselors, not one entertained the possibility that the fault lay not in the Muslims who did not show up…

 

But in the organizers who did…

 

And proof for that could be found in the quote criticizing those who asked women, “But what did you do?”…

 

“He hit me,” she whimpered, tears filling her eyes as her shoulders shook from where she sat on the couch in her friend’s home, having arrived minutes before, not knowing where else to turn. Bruises were visible on her arms as the sleeves of her abaya gathered at her elbows as she lifted her hands to cover her face.

 

Next to her, Hakimah rubbed the woman’s back and spoke soft, reassuring words to soothe her best friend, Hakimah’s heart aching in utter helplessness.

 

Hakimah was at a loss for what to do. She’d known that her friend had had a tumultuous marriage, but Hakimah never imagined that the apparently calm, good-natured man who was friends with her own husband was capable of abuse, especially now. He and Hakimah had been divorced for nearly a month.

 

How could he do something like this—and to a woman who wasn’t even his wife anymore?

 

What should Hakimah do?

 

Her first thought was to call the American Embassy. Both Hakimah and her friend were thousands of miles from home, in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. They’d left America more than ten years ago to settle in the Kingdom and had since then called it home.

 

With her free hand, Hakimah fumbled for her purse, determined to get her friend to safety. This abuse had to stop. She found her mobile phone in a side pocket, withdrew it, and quickly scanned her contacts for the embassy’s number.

 

“As-salaamu’alaikum!” a cheerful voice called from the front room at the sound of a heavy door opening and closing.

It was Adil, Hakimah’s husband, arriving home from work.

 

Immediately, Hakimah slid her phone back into her purse and went to greet her husband. Noticing her distressed expression,

Adil asked what was wrong.

 

She told him.

 

An hour later, upon Adil’s insistence, the woman’s ex-husband arrived at the front door. The first things Adil noticed when he opened the door were the brother’s black eye and long blood-stained scratches on his cheeks and neck.

 

Minutes later, Adil learned that this had occurred at the hands of the “abused” woman, who had, earlier that day, arrived at her ex-husband’s front door where he now lived with his new wife. The woman had been infuriated that he had married someone else and she came in punching, flailing, and screaming.

 

Her own bruises?

 

Well…the brother had been trying to restrain her from harming him—and his new wife.

 

Those familiar with the marital turmoil in so many homes today know that the fictionalized story of Hakimah’s friend is not a rare account. It’s quite common—in fact, arguably more common than incidents of real abuse.

The details differ, yes, but essentially the stories are all similar…

 

She claims “abuse” and cries her eyes out on the phone, on the couch, in the masjid, at the istiraaha….wherever—evoking sympathy from every well-meaning, good-hearted Muslim who hears her heartbreaking tale…

Days, weeks, or months later we learn that, no she wasn’t lying—he did hit her, he did yell at her, he did call her those horrible names…

But she had merely omitted some “minor” details in her version of events…

 

She’d thrown a frying pan at him.

She cursed him for the umpteenth time.

She yelled at him until the neighbors got concerned.

She called him horrible names—in front of others.

She hit him—as she did almost every day…

 

Allah says,

“And cover not truth with falsehood nor conceal the truth when you know what it is”

(Al-Baqarah, 2:42).

 

…For people who believe in Allah and the Last Day, going before Allah with such an enormity as slander or tainting the honor of an innocent Muslim is simply not a risk they’re willing to take…

 

Even for an apparently abused woman claiming something as egregious as suffering abuse from her husband…

For they have no idea if she is even speaking the truth…

 

…Yes, they could simply investigate the matter…

 

But…

 

Since Women’s Rights groups and “Abuse Awareness” seminars teach that it is a crime to even ask “the victim” what happened, most people opt to be safe and stay out of it…

 

At least as far as their own souls are concerned.

 

Yet, according to today’s experts on domestic violence, this is where the problem lies…

 

If everyone is going to “stay out of it” and worry about only their own lives, then where does an abused woman turn for help?

Maybe the husband isn’t innocent. Maybe he really is abusive…

 

Then again, maybe he’s not…

Therein lies the dilemma…

 

Allah says,

“O you who have believed, if there comes to you a faasiq* with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance, and become, over what you have done, regretful”

(Al-Hujuraat, 49:6).

 

Also, in the chapter of the Qu’ran entitled Saad, Allah relates to us the story of two men who come to the Prophet Dawud (David) seeking his judgment. One of the men claims that he was wronged by the other. He says that his brother, who has ninety-nine ewes while he has only one, is demanding that he hand over this one to him.

 

Prophet Dawud, upon hearing this great injustice, immediately says, “He has certainly wronged you in demanding your ewe [in addition] to his ewes. And indeed, many associates oppress one another, except for those who believe and do righteous deeds—and they are few.”

 

Shortly thereafter, the Prophet realizes his mistake: He did not listen to the other man’s version of events. He also realizes that this was a trial from Allah—and that he did not pass.

 

Allah says,

“And David became certain that We had tried him, and he asked forgiveness of his Lord and fell down bowing [in prostration] and turned in repentance [to Allah]”

(38:24).

 

…In some ways, many of the well-meaning, anti-domestic violence Muslims of the world are like Prophet Dawud, peace be upon him, when he was judging between the two men: They hear an enormity such as a man mercilessly abusing his wife, and it’s difficult to stay silent. So without hesitation or forethought, they say to the woman who comes to them crying and claiming abuse, “He has certainly wronged you in what he’s done! So many men oppress women, except those good men who really believe in Islam. And how few they are nowadays!”

 

Except, they are not like Prophet Dawud because…

They don’t realize their mistake.

They don’t even imagine they should hear the other side.

And it doesn’t even occur to them that they should ask Allah’s forgiveness…

Because they don’t think they’ve done anything wrong in the first place…

 

Let’s face it.

We live in a world that isn’t quite just or balanced—even when championing “women’s rights.”

The lens of those of the “modern world” define abuse as….

A parent raising their voice at a child (“verbal abuse”)…

A caretaker criticizing a sensitive teen (“psychological abuse”)…

A husband refusing to speak to his wife when he’s angry (“emotional abuse”)…

Anyone at all—a parent, caretaker, or husband—as much as laying a finger on a child, teen, or wife (“physical abuse”)…

 

Yet…

The modern world also says…

If that child yells at the parent, “Oh, she’s just acting out…”

If that teen criticizes the actions of the caretaker, “Oh, he just needs someone to talk to…”

If that wife refuses to speak to her husband (or even refuses intimacy with him), “Oh, she’s going through a lot right now…”

If that child, teen, or wife hits, punches, smacks, or throws something at their parent, caretaker, or husband, “Oh, be patient, they’re just really stressed…”

 

Those who grew up in the West know all too well the pillar of “proper” male conduct in dealing with women, which is also a product of “championing women’s rights”…

 

A woman can scream at, curse, hit, punch, smack, or even kick a man where it really hurts (or anything else she so chooses)… and he must do absolutely nothing, say absolutely nothing, be absolutely nothing, and just “take it like a man”…

 

Or else…

 

The stories I shared at the beginning of this blog are just a few of thousands that illustrate that the image of domestic violence, especially in the Westernized modern world, isn’t as “experts” and “domestic awareness seminars” would have us believe…

 

Yet, if there is going to be any real uprooting of domestic abuse, certain realities have to be openly discussed, and investigated—especially for those truly concerned for women’s and men’s well-being…

 

And for the safety of their own souls on the Day of Judgment.

 

Amongst these basic realities are…

The fundamental principle of justice, which includes hearing all sides of a story…

The fact that people can and will exaggerate, especially when they are emotionally hurt and seeking sympathy…

Or revenge.

 

And…

People suffer from selective memory.

Sometimes they outright lie.

And this is true for both men and women.

 

And…

Many husbands suffer abuse from their wives.

Yes… husband abuse does exist.

And, no, it is not rare.

In fact, it’s become quite “in style” for today’s women…

 

There are even books touting titles like How to Train Your Husband—with a cover depicting the image of a man on all fours wearing a dog collar as his wife stands towering over him tugging on a leash.

 

Needless to say, if such a cover depicted the man and woman with the roles (and book title) reversed—especially if printed in an Islamic country—there’d be an outcry…worldwide.

 

But these “chic,” modern women do exist…

And they find it quite humorous and perfectly acceptable to…

Scream at their husbands…

 

…Or

Hit, slap, or kick them…

 

Or…

In snide remarks and jokes amongst friends—on the phone or at favored (husband-funded) dinner parties as she lounges on the couch…

 

She may say, between snickers and sips of tea, amidst giggling friends and guests, “Oh how stupid he is… like all men…”

…Ha, ha, ha…

 

But…

If she discovers that he’s called her stupid…in front friends and guests, no doubt…the drums of Women’s rights in Islam! Fight oppression! and cries of abuse can be heard reverberating through phones halfway across the world…

 

Or…

 

What’s more—and those Western expats living abroad know this is true…

 

She’ll simply contact her embassy with claims against him that take advantage of the Islamophobia afflicting the world today…

Thousands of websites and organizations worldwide rally in efforts to assist female victims of domestic abuse, an effort that is absolutely necessary and even commendable—socially and Islamically.

 

…Especially given the fact that women who suffer from actual abuse often suffer in silence.

 

Thus, something must be done.

 

Yet, these well-meaning sites and groups are often confounded by what seems like an “utter lack of support” during fundraisers and events aimed at raising awareness, and by their constant fruitless efforts in getting people even talking about rooting out this horrible vice.

 

But, quite likely, the answer to this dilemma lies not in the droves of apparently silent witnesses to abuse who seem to sit idly by and allow it to happen…

 

But in the organizations and “awareness events” themselves—which, more often than not, focus solely on women’s suffering…

Most people with even a shred of conscience, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, feel uncomfortable supporting events and organizations that turn a blind eye to the fact that spousal abuse is not a “women’s issue”—

 

It is a humanity issue.

 

Yet, even if one believes that women are the primary sufferers of domestic violence and thus deserve the most support and attention, it is still necessary to openly acknowledge the existence of husband abusers and “fake victims”…

Because their existence likely presents the greatest obstacle to abusive men being justly admonished and punished.

As well-meaning people are simply paralyzed into inaction by the knowledge of this phenomenon alone…

Yes, due to men being the “stronger sex,” it is likely that women suffer most from physical abuse…

But it is debatable whether or not they suffer most from abuse itself…

Nearly all modern “experts” include in their definitions of abuse the subcategories of psychological and emotional abuse…

What’s more is that they also contend that the latter two categories are far more damaging long-term than physical abuse…

And, certainly, men are not necessarily the “stronger sex” psychologically and emotionally…

Abused men are utterly confounded because they often have absolutely no where to turn…

Especially if they live in the West…

Or as Western expats abroad…

 

…And his cries went unheard…

 

Certainly, it’s not the most socially acceptable thing for a man to come crying on his friend’s couch to say that his wife abuses him, while murmuring, “Can you help me, akhee?”

 

And, chances are, that “philanthropic” organization that champions rooting out abuse in the community isn’t planning a husband-abuse awareness seminar…

 

Or opening a men’s shelter…

 

In fact, it’s quite likely that, for them, “spousal abuse” doesn’t even include the possibility of a man suffering at all.

But what’s the solution? many may ask.

 

Well, that’s something we all have to put our heads together to figure out. I certainly don’t have the answer. But, as with all dilemmas, the first step is acknowledging the problem.

 

But I do have one suggestion:

Next time a charitable organization hosts a “spousal abuse” or “domestic violence” seminar in your area, make sure they have workshops and classes aimed at rooting out all abuse—regardless of the gender of the victim.

 

Because we simply cannot continue to wear our hearts on our sleeves, act on impulse and emotion, abandon all justice and good sense—and even the Qur’an and the Sunnah…

 

While asking the accuser no questions…

And assume…

Guilty as accused.

 

…Lest you harm a people out of ignorance, and become, over what you have done, regretful…

And no, this isn’t “blaming the victim”…

 

…Because the victim just may not be a she at all.

 

 

 

~~~

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Reasons why Victims do not leave Abusive Marriages

 

Of the many reasons given regarding why victims remain in abusive marriages, for female victims,  the main ones seem to be "for the children's sake" and  "financial support".

 

For the Children's Sake

At times women drag along their relationship just so that their children don't have to grow up in broken homes. They believe a family with a mother and father is better than one with a single parent.

 

Financial Support

Many women endure domestic violence because they do not have the financial means to support themselves or their children. In most cases, husbands are the sole breadwinner and the wife becomes highly dependent on him for financial support. She would rather take the abuse than try to become financially independent.

muslimmatters.org

 

 

Other reasons discussed by Sister Saba Syed:

 

Hope

Like most people, victims of domestic violence are invested in their intimate relationships and frequently strive to make them healthy and loving. Some victims hope the violence will end if they become the person their partner wants them to be. Others believe and have faith in their partner's promises to change. Perpetrators are not "all bad" and have positive, as well as, negative qualities. The abuser's "good side" can give victims reason to think their partner is capable of being nurturing, kind, and nonviolent.

 

Fear

Perpetrators commonly make threats to find victims, inflict harm, or kill them if they end the relationship. This fear becomes a reality for many victims who are stalked by their partner after leaving. It also is common for abusers to seek or threaten to seek sole custody, make child abuse allegations, or kidnap the children.

 

Guilt and shame

Many victims believe the abuse is their fault. The perpetrator, family, friends, and society sometimes deepen this belief by accusing the victim of provoking the violence and casting blame for not preventing it.

 

Emotional and physical impairment

Abusers often use a series of psychological strategies to break down the victim's self-esteem and emotional strength. In order to survive, some victims begin to perceive reality through the abuser's paradigm, become emotionally dependent, and believe they are unable to function without their partner. The psychological and physical effects of domestic violence also can affect a victim's daily functioning and mental stability. This can make the process of leaving and planning for safety challenging for victims who may be depressed, physically injured, or suicidal.

 

Individual belief system

The personal, familial, religious, and cultural values of victims of domestic violence are frequently interwoven in their decisions to leave or remain in abusive relationships. For example, victims who hold strong convictions regarding the sanctity of marriage may not view divorce or separation as an option. Their religious beliefs may tell them divorce is "wrong." Some victims of domestic violence believe that their children still need to be with the offender and that divorce will be emotionally damaging to them.

(Above from childwelfare.gov) 

 

Loyalty

“My partner is sick; if they had a broken leg or cancer, I would stay with them. This is no different.” A long history with a person can create incredibly strong bonds, good and bad. Not wanting to break promises.

 

Pity

Partner is worse off than she is; she feels sorry for her partner. Pity can often be brought on by the “Mr. Nice Guy” image that is popular among batterers. A batterer’s apologies, promises and tears can keep a woman in a relationship for a long time.

 

 

As for male victims, there is an added reason

 

The stigma of being a “weakling” or “not man enough” is attached to being an abused husband so men lie to their doctors and the authorities about the true cause of their injuries.

 

 

 

 

~~~

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What does Islam say regarding Domestic Abuse?
Does it Propagate Mutual Love and Kindness in a Marriage or Violence?
 
 

According to Qur'an, the relationship between the husband and wife should be based on mutual love and kindness. Allah says:

 

"And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect." (Quran: Ar-Rum 21)


 

 

The Holy Quran urges husbands to treat their wives with kindness. (In the event of a family dispute, the Qur'an exhorts the husband to treat his wife kindly and not to overlook her positive aspects). Allah Almighty says:

 

"And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them - perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good"

(Quran: An-Nisaa 19)

 

 

Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’an Kareem

“And provide them shelter where you stay and do not harm to frustrate them”. (Qur'an 65:6)

 

 

هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ لَّكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لِبَاسٌ لَّهُنَّ

 

Hunna libaasun lakum wa antum libaasun lahun.

They are a garment for you and you are a garment for them. (Surat al-Baqara, 2:187)

 

 

On the occasion of Hajjatul-Wida (The Farewell Hajj) The Prophet saw.gif

among other advices said with regard to women;

"0 People! fear Allah with regard to your wives. You have taken them into your possession with the permission of Allah."

 

"A believer must not hate a believing woman (i.e., his wife);

if he dislikes one of her traits he will be pleased with another." (Muslim)

 

 

 

NO to Domestic Violence in Islam | Mufti Hussain Kamani |

 

The Prophet saw.gif said: "Among the Muslims the most perfect, as regards his faith, is the one whose character is excellent, and the best among you are those who treat their wives well." - Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 628 | Narrated by Abu Hurayrah ra.gif


 

Sadly, the curse of domestic violence plagues Muslim and Non-Muslim communities all over the globe. In this segment, Mufti Hussain Kamani reminds the listener as to why any form of domestic violence (Physical, emotional or Mental abuse) is forbidden in prohibited in Islam. Thousands of women are killed each year all over the world including the US and sadly for far too long this issue has been pushed under the rugs. This practice goes against the Sunnah of Prophet saw.gif as he never abused his wives and instructed his companions to be among those who stand up against injustice and oppression. It is high time that we as take the lead in insuring that Domestic violence is not just reduced but completed eradicated from our communities.

 

 

Source

 

 

~~~

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Islamic Position and Advice on Verbal Abuse in Marriage

 

Sticks and Stones May Break my Bones but Words will never Hurt Me….

 

“My husband thinks I am stupid. He thinks I can never learn Arabic because I don’t have the brains to.” A sister said while she was seeking advice about her marital discords. She has been married for more than 10 years and has been verbally abused throughout her marital life. When I first met her, she appeared very unconfident and insecure. I was not sure if she had always been like that or if the marital verbal abuse had turned her into a self-doubting, vulnerable person.

 

According to her, her husband puts her down and calls her all sorts of names even in front of the children. He constantly undermines her abilities and compares her with other “accomplished” women. He is very judgmental and I realized that she has no more self-esteem left in her.

 

She described her husband as someone who loves to criticize her, calls her all kinds of degrading names, even in the presence of their children. He undermines her abilities and compares her with other“accomplished” women. It seems like that he had been very judgmental throughout their marital life and perhaps that is the reason why she has no more self-esteem left in her.

 

Unfortunately, this is not the case with just one family, rather verbal abuse in marital relationships has been a major problem in the Muslim communities.

 

Perhaps it is phrases like, ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me,’ that is not only inherently wrong but has encouraged verbal abuse and underestimated its evil affects on the abused. The truth of the matter is that verbal abuse hurt as badly if not more than the physical abuse.

 

Confusion about Verbal Abuse vs. Physical Abuse:

Those men and women who have not been physically abused by their wives and husbands but are verbally abused on a daily basis remain confused whether or not they are in a damaging relationship.

 

Unlike physical abuse, verbal abuse is difficult to identify. Once a person has been hit, it is a physical abuse. There is no need to be confused because the bruises are visible. On the other hand, verbal abuse is more dangerous because there is no “apparent” damage. Yet, it causes internal destruction, leaves invisible scars, wounded spirit and low self-esteem.

 

Verbal abuse can be done by either spouse. In some cases, the perpetrator is the wife who not only verbally abuses her husband but drags his whole family along the way.

 

Islam recognizes the evil of verbal abuse and perhaps that’s why there is so much emphasis on guarding one’s tongue and keeping others secured from its invisible harm.

 

The Messenger of Allāh, ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said,

“A true believer is not involved in taunting, or frequently cursing (others) or in indecency or abusing.”’ (al-Tirmidhi)

 

If this is the right of a regular Muslim, then how much more so a wife or husband is entitled to be safe from verbal abuse and taunting.

 

In another narration, the Prophet of Allāh said:

“…Cursing a believer is like murdering him. (Al-Bukhāri and Muslim)

 

SubḥānAllāh, how true are the words of the Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam who thoroughly acknowledge that, in fact, harsh tongue and cursing is as painful and harmful as murdering someone.

 

Hence, those husbands who are duped into thinking that they are free from being abusive because they have never raised their hands on their wives, yet, frequently curse or use abusive/foul language should take heed in the words of the Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam. And so should the wives who have been using harsh tongue against their husbands.

 

Break the Cycle:

If you are in a verbally abusive relationship, then change your situation. Remember YOU have to break the pattern. The first step is to acknowledge your spouse’s verbal abuse.

 

Ask yourself the following questions:

●Do you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around your partner?

●Do you feel threatened, humiliated, helpless or depressed?

●Do you feel as though you cannot do anything right?

●Does your spouse belittle you?

●Does your partner have complete control over your bank accounts?

●Does your spouse ignore or disregard your achievements?

●Does your partner blame you for all of your marriage problems?

 

Oppression must not be encouraged whether physical or verbal. Find the courage to change your situation.

●Communicate with your spouse. You should not be intimidated to talk to your spouse.

●Set Limits: be specific what you can tolerate and what you cannot.

●Seek help: your spouse must not have any problem should you get a third party involved to seek help

●See a therapist: be careful who you chose for therapy

●See a Religious Counselor:

 

If you  speak with a shaykh, make sure he has enough time to listen to your problem thoroughly.
Do not catch the shaykh during the prayer breaks for 10-15 minutes.
Make an appointment.

Make sure the shaykh spends enough time to listen to your complain and your spouse’s and give step by
step advice to both of you. Make a follow up appointment to ensure the benefits of his advice.

 

A “Henpecked” Husband

In some cultures, eastern and western, a kind and affectionate husband is considered “henpecked” by family and friends. Consequently, to prove otherwise husbands may resort to verbal harshness in public or even in private. Let them be reminded, that in the eyes of Allāh ‘azzawajal, the Ultimate Judge, their strength as husbands is not shown in how much verbally they can abuse their wives, rather:

 

The strong man is not one who wrestles well but the strong man is one who controls himself when he is in a fit of rage.”

 

And the excellence of a man has been described in his good manners and in his control over his tongue. And the excellence of a man has been described in his good manners and in his control over his tongue. Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari (ra) reported: I asked the Messenger of Allāh, ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam:

 

“Who is the most excellent among the Muslims?” He said, “One from whose tongue and hands the other Muslims are secure.”

(Al-Bukhāri and Muslim)

 

This right is exceedingly due upon the wives. If a wife is not secured form her husband’s tongue then it merely shows the weakness, cowardliness and lowliness of a man’s character not his strength

 

Woman’s Harsh Tongue:

Sisters remember the story of the two women, one prayed and fasted and performed extra acts of worship yet she was known to be very harsh with her tongue towards others. The other women performed her obligatory acts of worship but she was very polite to towards others and didn’t hurt anyone with her tongue. The first one was from the women of hellfire and the second was from the people of Jannah.

 

If this is the case in dealing with others, just imagine what will happen if a wife, consistently, uses harsh tongue towards her husband, who has most rights over her politeness, respect and kind treatment.

 

وقولوا قولاً سديداً

 

Allāh ‘azzawajal says (which means):

O you who have believed, fear Allāh and speak words of appropriate justice قولا سديدا
. He will [then] amend for you your deeds and forgive you your sins… (Sūrat’l-Aḥzāb:71)

 

In this verse

قولا سديدا has a very profound meaning. It doesn’t merely mean just speech rather these are the words through which a person connects with the world around him/her. A spouse is the one a person most frequently interacts with hence the one most entitled to قولا سديدا .

 

It doesn’t merely mean just speech rather these are the words through which a person connects with the world around him/her. A spouse is the one a person most frequently interacts with hence the one most entitled to قولا سديدا. These words (everyday speech) are from the characteristics that separate a person from the other creatures and these words are the means by which a person makes himself/herself either from the people of Hell or people of Jannah.[ii]

 

Lastly, those brothers and sisters who are in emotionally abusive relationship must realize that verbal abuse is often worse than physical abuse.

 

Words hurt and can be more harmful than physical pain. Also, patience through verbal abuse (though will be rewarded by Allāh’azzawajal inshā’Allāh) can and will have damaging effects on the children. Not only at the time when they are growing up but on how it shapes their personality and what type of spouses would they turn out to be in future. Mostly, sons will follow their father’s footsteps and daughters will follow their mother’s. Hence, be cautious of what you are putting your children through and take a stand for yourself and for your children.

 

The Jamiat

 

 

 

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The Islamic Solution

 

Kind treatment towards others is a sign of piety

 

While domestic violence exists in both Muslim and non-Muslim societies, the position of Islam on the kind treatment of women is very clear as mentioned in the Noble Qur’an and exemplified through the life and character of Nabi Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

 

Allah says in the Noble Qur’an:

إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ

 

The nobler among you in the sight of Allah is the more righteous among you.” (49:13)

 

Abu Hurayrah (radhiyallahu anhu) stated: Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, “The most perfect of believers in belief is the best of them in character. The best of you are those who are the best to their women.” (Tirmidhi)

 

In can be understood from these narrations that a husband’s treatment of his wife reflects a Muslim’s good character, which in turn is a reflection of his faith. The character of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) exemplified how one should be good to his wife. He should smile at her, not hurt her emotionally or physically, remove anything that will harm her, treat her gently and be patient with her. He should communicate effectively with her, involve her in decision making and support her in times of difficultly.

 

Allah instructs men to be kind to their wives and to treat them well to the best of their ability. A devout Muslim should always remember that bring joy to one’s spouse is part of faith and earns the pleasure of Allah, whilst dealing with her unjustly will earn the anger of Allah.

 

Allah says in the Noble Qur’an:

 

وَ عَاشِرُوهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ فَإِن كَرِهْتُمُوهُنَّ فَعَسَى أَن تَكْرَهُواْ شَيْئًا وَ يَجْعَلَ اللّهُ فِيهِ خَيْرًا كَثِيرًا

 

Live with them in kindness; even if you dislike them, perhaps you dislike something in which Allah has placed much good.” (4:19)

 

Abu Hurayrah (radhiyallahu anhu) reported that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said,

 

“A believing man should not hate a believing woman. If he dislikes something in her character, he should be pleased with some other or another trait of hers.” (Muslim)

 

For any relationship to prosper, each party should focus on the positive character traits of the other. Being over-concerned with negative character traits and weakness engenders hatred, discord and even violence at times. A positive attitude is essential. For example, a husband may appreciate the way his wife arranges his clean laundry, but the underlying character trait may be that she is thoughtful.

 

Following this advice should help the husband focus and be more aware of his wife’s good attributes rather than the negatives. A companion once asked Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), “What is the right of a wife over her husband?” He said, “That you feed her when you eat and clothe her when you clothe yourself and do not strike her face. Do not malign her and do not keep apart from her, except in the house.” (Abu Dawood)

 

Conflict in marriage is unavoidable at times and, unless one is conscious of the Allah, it can lead to a lot of anger. Although anger is one of the most difficult emotions to manage, the first step towards controlling it can be learning how to forgive those who hurt us. Under no circumstance, even when he is angry or somehow feels justified, is a husband allowed to humiliate her by using hurtful words or cause her any injury.

 

Children are the weak and vulnerable segment of society. They are in need of not only physical nurturing, but emotional as well as spiritual nourishment. The advice of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is clear in providing guidelines regarding to the kindness and affection they deserve to be shown.

 

Hereunder are a few examples:

 

* Abu Shurayh Khuwaylid ibn ‘Amr al-Khuza‘i (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, “Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, “O Allah! I consider it a wrong action that the rights of two weak ones be violated: orphans and women.” (Nasa‘i)

 

* The grandfather of ‘Amr ibn Shu‘ayb (radhiyallahu anhu) said: Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, “'Anyone who does not show mercy to our young people nor honour our old people is not one of us.” (Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi)

 

* Abu Hurayrah (radhiyallahu anhu) said, “Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) kissed al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali (radhiyallahu anhu). Al-Aqra’ ibn Habis (radhiyallahu anhu) said, “I have ten children and I have not kissed any of them.” Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, “Someone who does not show mercy will not be shown mercy.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

 

* Abu Hurayrah (radhiyallahu anhu) relates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, “He who works hard (to fulfil the needs) of widows and the indigent is like a warrior in the Path of Allah.” The narrator thought that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) also said, “and he is like the person who stands in prayer without tiring, and like one fasts and does not break his fast.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

 

* Anas (radhiyallahu anhu) relates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, “One who brings two girls from their childhood until their maturity will appear on the Day of Resurrection in close proximity to me like the two fingers of a hand,” and Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) joined his two fingers.” (Muslim)

 

* Abu Darda (radhiyallahu anhu) relates that he heard Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) saying, “Look for my pleasure among the weak ones, for you are assisted (against your enemies) and provided for with sustenance on account of the weak ones among you.” (Abu Dawud)

 

 

How do I stop violence against women and children?

 

1.   Decide today NOT to look away, NOT to be a bystander and NOT to be silent.

 

2.   If you are emotionally, physically, or sexually abusive to your partner and/or to your children, seek urgent help.

 

3.   Provide support to women and children who you suspect are being abused.

 

4.   If you witness violence and abuse, report it to the nearest police station as soon as possible.

 

5.   Try to understand how your own attitudes and actions might perpetuate abuse against women or children.

 

6.   Learn about the services in your community that provide assistance to women and children who experience violence and abuse.

 

7.   If a relative, neighbour, friend or colleague is abusive to his wife and children, try to talk to him about it and urge him to seek help.

 

8.   If a woman has been raped, help her to access health services quickly and to test for HIV.

 

 

Conclusion

 

The statistics on domestic violence are alarming. The problem exists in both Muslim and non-Muslim societies. The worship of Allah, which Muslims believe is the sole reason for their existence, is an all-encompassing concept that applies equally to one’s relationship with Allah as well as with His creation.

 

It really begs a question of the humanity and consciousness for a person to stoop so low to make the target of abuse the young and sometimes weak – those who are the flowers of our society, the joy of the heart and embodiment of affection.

 

In Islam, a person cannot perfect his/her relationship with Allah, unless they perfect their relationship with others. The kind treatment of others, including one’s spouse, can therefore not be ignored as an obligatory act of worship and a sign of piety. Islam teaches the individual to constantly consider which deeds and behaviours will be pleasing to Allah and to interact with others in way that will be pleasing to Him.

 

It is through attaining a higher level of Allah-consciousness that Islamic principles can contribute to the elevation of society. As a believer sincerely contemplates on how his deeds will be viewed by Allah, he learns to improve his conduct with others, including his spouse.

 

Prepared by: Jamiatul Ulama South Africa 

 

(Source)

 

 

 

 

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Clear Instructions in the Qur'an in case of Conflict

 

Contrary to the misconception that the Qur'an encourages "wife beating", clear instructions have been mentioned in verse 34 of Suratun Nisaa on the steps to be taken by the husband in a conflict where the the wife is rebellious and at fault.

 
 
After mentioning the qualities of a good wife, the verse thereafter turns to women who are either straight disobedient to their husbands or fail to co-operate with them in running family affairs in the recognised manner. The Holy Quran gives men three methods of correcting their behaviour. These are to be followed in the order they have been mentioned.
 
Talk it over with them nicely and softly. Still, if they remain adamant and do not change their attitude by conciliatory council alone, the next step is not to share the same bed with them, so that they may realize the displeasure of the husband as expressed through this sybolic separation, and may feel sorry for their conduct. The Holy Quran uses the words, في المضاجع, at this point, meaning ‘in beds’. It is from here that Muslim jurists have deduced that this staying apart should be limited to ‘beds’ and not to the ‘house’ itself. In other words, the woman should not be left alone in the house, something which is bound to hurt her feeling much more and which makes the possibility of further straining of relations far stronger.
 
If this gentle admonition fails to produce any effect, some corrective form of a little ‘beating’ has been allowed as a last resort, of course, in a manner that does not affect the body nor goes to the undesirable limits of hurt or injury to the skin or bones. As for slapping or hitting the face it is absolutely forbidden.
Mufti Shafiq Jakhura  Source

 

 

Bismihi Ta'ala

 

The verse of Surah Nisa, gives a step by step manner of dealing with the wives nushooz (ill behaviour). Only when these fail, the last resort is of 'darb'.

 

Darb, beating is of two types darb shadeed and darb khafeef. Darb shadeed is which leaves marks and injury, whereas darb khafeef is without causing severe pain.

 

Further explanation of the verse has been given by Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) in the Hadith of Bukhari; "None of you should flog his wife as he flogs a slave and then have sexual intercourse with her in the last part of the day". This indicates too that the word darb does not mean sever beating battering or flogging.

 

The purpose for this form of darb is not for the husband to show his aggression or anger but for the wife to understand that her ill behaviour has caused her husband to resort to such. Once the purpose has been achieved there is no allowance for beating the wife at all or for continuous beating.

 

In domestic violence the husband beats his wife to take out his anger or show his superiority which are not the reason why the Qur'an has permitted it.

 

In the case of domestic violence the wife has rights to take up the matter with the Qadhi (Shariah council in our country) who on the request of the wife can nullify the marriage. The wife does not need to put up with domestic violence.

 

And Allah Knows Best

 

Mufti Zubair Dudha

Darul Ifta

Islamic tarbiyah Academy

 

 

As for the "beating",

 

The hadith states that when the wife disobeys her husband then he can beat her by making a knot on the edge of his shawl and then tapping her lightly with this part of the shawl. But violent or severe beating is haraam and not allowed. AskMufti

 

Hitting is subject to the condition that it should not be harsh or cause injury. Al-Hasan al-Basri said: this means that it should not cause pain. 

 

‘Ata’ said: I said to Ibn ‘Abbaas, what is the kind of hitting that is not harsh? He said, Hitting with a siwaak and the like. [A siwaak is a small stick or twig used for cleaning the teeth - Translator] 

 

The purpose behind this is not to hurt or humiliate the woman, rather it is intended to make her realize that she has transgressed against her husband’s rights, and that her husband has the right to set her straight and discipline her

Shaykh al-Munajjid

 

 

 

 

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Scholars' Condemnation of Domestic Abuse
 

Question

I start beating my second wife after getting a phone call from my first wife. She is pregnant and starts crying, after sometime I get cool down. Is it due to black magic of first wife or Jin at home

Hanafi Fiqh > Askimam.org
 
Answer

It is a shame upon you that;

 

1. As a man, you hit a woman;

2. and that she is your wife;

3. and that she is pregnant.

 

You are to be blamed for all that, not black magic, or your first wife or a Jinn. You should endervour to reform yourself and until then behave. Offer your wife sincere apology and make up for the wrong you have done. You should also make istighfaar your entire life and regret the incident. Beg Allah not to hold to and hold you back in His court on the day of judgment for abusing your wife.

 

Men who abuse their wives should never be unmindful of Allah's wrath and punishment. Allah is All-Seeing and

All-Hearing. Fear Allah.

 

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

Source

 

 

Question

Does Islam give permission to a husband to beat his wife?

 

Answer

The hadith states that when the wife disobeys her husband then he can beat her by making a knot on the edge of his shawl and then tapping her lightly with this part of the shawl. But violent or severe beating is haraam and not allowed.

Source

 

 

Brother, you mention that your mother is concerned about your sister’s safety. Do not hesitate to call on the police and other related agencies in order to protect her. Any threat against her life or safety is illegal and should be dealt with to the full extent of the law. If Muslim men are not prepared to obey and abide by Allah Ta’ala’s laws, then they should face the wrath of the law of the land.

Source

 

 

"If they obey you then look for no excuse (to persecute them)." This verse advises those people who unnecessarily taunt and abuse their wives, finding the smallest excuses to punish them. Those who oppress the weak ones should bear in mind that soon they will have to present themselves before Allah, and "Verily Allah is Most High, The Greatest" Allah exercises greater power over a person than any man can ever hope to exercise over his subordinates.
Mufti Muhammad Aashiq Elahi (Raheemahullah) on verse 4.34 
Illuminating Discourses on the Nobe Qur'an

 

 

 

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Beneficial Advice from Scholars to Questions on Domestic Abuse

 

FOR THE VICTIM: Some Important Points to Consider for a Possible Solution

 

Question

My husband slaps me so hard that he bruises me if he perceives my tone of voice as rude or sarcastic or if I make a small mistake. He also keeps threatening me and telling me that he will divorce me and turn me out of the house every time he gets angry. (Although I don?t think that I am sarcastic or rude , I think he perceives it that way to justify his bad behavior). Also he uses a harsh tone of voice to talk to me and he is ill mannered and unkind to me on a daily basis. He also says things like you are of bad character and that you have a boyfriend and tries to apply “bhautan” on me and uses abusive words like “haramzadi.”. I pray and I am a woman of good character, I clean, cook and do all the housework. He Is a hypocrite and he appears to be very religious in front of others and tries to quote hadiths to appear very knowledgeable and gets respect from people outside this way .He is very kind and good to other people out side the house but he is cruel and abusive towards me. What Does the Quran and Sunnah say about such behaviors. I want to know if I am justified in thinking that I should leave a man like this and take Khula? .

 
Answer

It most certainly hurts seeing another sister going through the pain of physical and verbal abuse and unhappiness. You sound as if your confidence and self-esteem is broken. From what you say is inflicted on you, is most certainly unacceptable in Islaam. In fact when Zulm (oppression) is inflicted on a person, your duas reach Allah Ta?ala above the heavens and your duas are surely answered even if not immediately.

 

However from the ayaats recited in the Nikah khutba (from the Quraan), strong warning is given to the believers to fear Allah and not to do things that would displease Him. Furthermore one of the ayaats instructs men “to treat the women with kindness” (exemplary character/good conduct).

 

However despite the instructions and warnings in the Quraan and Hadith, it is sad that man persists in disobedience to his Creator and harms the creation. May Allah forgive him and guide him.

 

Nevertheless, there are possible solutions.

Firstly assess your situation. Have you thought of possible options to stop the abuse? Say no? Protect your self? All with the intention of firmly stopping? not fighting back neither submitting and allowing out of fear? Try but ensure that you are near on exit to allow easy escape and inform some reliable neighbour, friend or family. Alternately seek intervention of a sound balanced just family member from your side to speak to someone on his side to jointly put a stop to the abuse and to build love, care and family bonding between you both. Seek intervention of a caring, rightly guided Aalim.

 

At the same time build your confidence by pondering on your beauty and positive qualities Allah Ta'ala has bestowed you with. Beautify yourself, indulge and spoil yourself to uplift your moods e.g. Be it a new look (within something that you wanted pleasing to you etc.).

 

Become strong and believe you are good, smart and beautiful. Insha-Allah your husband would take interest in this new positive attitude and outlook.

 

Should all attempts fail perhaps seek temporary separation – not divorce with the intention of some elderly family member or Aalim. Try resolving and discussing with your husband possible options and solutions during this separation, to resolving your disputes with commitment.

 

However if you still consider divorce, look at long-term outcomes and feasibility. Would you manage? What is the need to separate? Would you manage financially? How would you manage? What about effects of divorce on the children? Was there ever a time that your husband was good to you and never beat you up? Is there then a possibility that he could change? Is he having an affair? Does he suffer from an inferiority complex? Or has he had a disturbing past or unfortunate experience? Was he beaten up as a child or learnt this habit from his father or other family members? Is there a financial problem?

 

After assessing all this perhaps with more information, further guidelines can be given.

And Allah knows best.

 

May Allah Ta'ala resolve your difficulties, grant you the great reward of Sabr that you have made and are making and grant you lifelong happiness in this world and the next.

 

You most certainly may contact us again. Jazakallah for your confidence in us.

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

2SOCIAL DEPT.

CHECKED AND APPROVED: Mufti Ebrahim Desai

Source

 

 

 

 

How Does a Child Deal With Parents Who Fight Each Other?

 

Answered by Ustadh Abdullah Anik Misra

 

Question: My question relates to a common practice in my country.  If your parents are fighting amongst each other, and your father is hitting your mother and in response your mother is hitting your father, and both abusing each other and not stopping, and the child can’t just stand there and watch them continue fighting as it is completely morally wrong…

What is the stance that their child (20 yrs old) witnessing all this is suppose to take ?

 

Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate,

As salamu alaikum, my dear brother in Islam,

 

Thank you for reaching out to us.  May Allah the Most Loving make this easy for you and create love in your family.

The upshot is that you should call the police when your parents hit each other.  If that is not possible, you should call some trusted figure to intervene.  Confide in an upright person on each side of your family to mediate.  Emphasize to them how this hurts you, and that it must stop or threaten to take this to an authority.

 

Domestic Violence is Sinful and Unlawful

Domestic violence is wrong and unlawful in Islam, no matter how common it is in your culture.  It can never be an acceptable mode of disagreement between spouses.   Resolve that you will never allow this to occur in your future marriage, inshaAllah.  It is reported that, “The Messenger of Allah [Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him] never hit a servant or woman [ie. in his life].” [Abu Dawud]

 

It Is An Obligation to Stop Abuse in All its Forms

Your culture may demand secrecy about these things, but silence is no longer an option.  There is no shame in seeking help, rather it is obligatory to do so here.  It is your choice if you want to firmly restrain the parent who is initiating the aggression until they calm down, or then shield the parent who is taking the abuse, to show them both that this is not tolerable.  Never raise your own hand against either side, as you mentioned you considered doing.  It never solves anything, and you will sin as well.

 

If the violence escalates, do not hesitate to call any third party, even a neighbor.  Stay respectful through it all, do not join in the yelling, and speak with reason to each of them.  Use love to reach their hearts.  If things don’t change, encourage them to part ways in divorce, for their own sake, if they cannot stop and obey the limits that Allah Most High has set.

 

Turn to Allah

Realize that Allah the Merciful is sending you through this so you flee to Him in neediness and love.  Turn to Him with patience and prayer, and ask Him to solve this problem.  Your parents still individually love you, but always remember that Allah loves you most of all, and He will never wrong you.

 

Wassalam,

Abdullah Anik Misra

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

 

 
 
 
 

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VICTIMS
 
You are not alone!
You do not have to suffer in silence! Help is available!
 

 

If you or someone you know is a VICTIM of abuse know:

 

  1. You are NOT ALONE
  2. There are avenues for HELP
  3. Ensure the SAFETY of you and your children
  4. You are a VALUABLE person who is worthy of love
  5. It is NEVER ACCEPTABLE to be physically, verbally or emotionally abused
 
Haleh Banani, MA Clinical Psychology
 

 

Go to a safe place and get your father, brother, or some other trusted male member of the community to talk to your husband about how wrong his behavior is. And please arrange for you and your husband to see a marriage counselor. A Muslim marriage counselor would be ideal, but at this point, your husband needs help, so a non-Muslim counselor is definitely an option if you cannot find a Muslim.

Ustadha Zaynab Ansari, SunniPath Academy Teacher: Source

 

 

Oppression must not be encouraged whether physical or verbal. Find the courage to change your situation.

 

●Communicate with your spouse. You should not be intimidated to talk to your spouse.

●Set Limits: be specific what you can tolerate and what you cannot.

●Seek help: your spouse must not have any problem should you get a third party involved to seek help

●See a therapist: be careful who you chose for therapy

●See a Religious Counselor:

The Jamiat.

 

 

 

REFER TO BENEFICIAL ADVICE IN THIS POST

 

 

 

 

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PERPETRATORS - Stop & Think!
 

'Sometimes when we argue I shout at her. She is scared of me'

'I slapped her once and I promised myself it would never happen - but it did...'

'I get angry with her and I totally lose it...'

 

Do you recognise yourself in any of this?

Do you ever wonder at the aftermath of your actions?

 

 

She lays on the ground, bleeding, broken. The shadow of her attacker recedes in the darkness, followed by the tattered remnants of her security and honor. Blood has replaced her tears, and harsh pain has choked the cries from her throat. Bruises cover her body, but none scar her so deep as the one on her heart. There she lays, your wife. She is alone, and when the strength to rise returns to her she will pull herself up, alone. She will wash and bandage her wounds.....

 

 

Are you concerned that your behaviour towards your partner is costing you your relationship?

Are you worried your children are witnessing too many arguments and what effects your behaviour will have on them?

 

 

Waiting for Father to die...

For 25 years now, I have waited for the day that I would be told that my father was dead. That day came this month. I feel no remorse for my father. He is just a man, who a small little girl knew and who forever changed her way of seeing the world.

Source

 

 

Dear Daddy...

Dear Daddy,

 

I have been searching for you my whole life.

You were never lost, never were, and you never will be.

But still I long for the imaginary man that should’ve been, could’ve been, but wasn’t.

Nearly thirty years later I find myself wandering; wondering.

 

..what it would have felt like to run into your arms and have you wipe away my tears when I fell down.

.. how life would have been if I could have laid all my burdens on your shoulders and have you make them all disappear.

..whether you would have saved me from the man who was my father. Could you have taught him to love me?

 

I wonder.

..what it feels like to be safe and protected by you.

..how different I would have been had I had you to tuck me in at night and tell me that you loved me.

 

I wonder what it would have been like to worry about life without you; to dread the day you would leave the earth.

 

There is a void, a dead space where nothing can grow. Barren and vast, it is where my daddy should have planted fields of flowers for me to lay in and be enveloped in their soft fragrance. 

 

I cannot miss that which I never had. But the glimpses of this love through stories, through songs, and so much more, they are blindingly bright; burning the images of what could have been deep into my heart. 

 

I imagine I would end this letter with "I love you.”

 

-Your daughter.

Authors Blog: Shrouded Memories

 

 

Reflect on the following...

 

Narrated Abu Ma'bad, that the Prophet said,

“… and be afraid of the supplication of an oppressed person because there is no screen between his invocation and Allah.”

Sahih Bukhari: Volume 2, Book 24, Number 573.

 

 

Abu Dharr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, said, 

“O my servants, I have forbidden oppression for myself and I have made it forbidden among you, so do not oppress one another.....(part of Hadith Qudsi)

 

 

Jabir Ibn `Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him, quoted the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, as saying:

“Be on your guard against committing oppression, for oppression is a darkness on the Day of Resurrection...”

( Reported by Muslim)

 

 

In a Hadith Qudsi, Allah Almighty says:

“I shall take revenge on the oppressor in this life and the next. I shall take revenge on someone who saw a person being oppressed and was able to help him but did not help him.”

(Reported by Tabarani)

 

 

The Prophet of Allaah icon--1.gif said: "There are three persons whose supplications are never rejected: The just leader, the fasting person when he breaks his fast, and the oppressed when he supplicates and whose supplication is raised above the clouds and the gates of heaven are opened for it, and (to whom) Allaah will say: 'By My Glory! I shall assist you, even if it is after a while.'" [At-Tirmithi]

 

 

Abu Hurayrah icon--3.gif reported: “The Messenger of Allaah icon--1.gif said: "Do you know who is the bankrupt one?'' The people said: 'The bankrupt among us is the one who has neither money nor property.' He icon--1.gif said: “The real bankrupt one of my nation would be he who would come on the Day of Resurrection having (performed) prayers, (observed) fasting and (spent in) charity, (but he will find himself bankrupt on that Day due to depleting these good deeds) because he despised others, uttered slanderous terms against others, unlawfully devoured the wealth of others, shed the blood of others, and beat others. Therefore his good deeds would be credited to the account of those (who suffered at his hand). If his good deeds are exhausted, their sins (i.e., those he oppressed) will be entered in his account and he will be thrown into the (Hell) Fire.” [Muslim]

 

 

Say: O My slaves who have been prodigal to their own hurt! Despair not of the mercy of Allah,

Who forgiveth all sins. Lo! He is the Forgiving, the Merciful. [Qur'an39:53]

 

 

O ye who believe! Turn unto Allah in sincere repentance! It may be that your Lord will remit from you your evil deeds and bring you into Gardens underneath which rivers flow, on the day when Allah will not abase the Prophet and those who believe with him. Their light will run before them and on their right hands; they will say:

Our Lord! Perfect our light for us, and forgive us! Lo! Thou art Able to do all things. [Qur'an 66:8]

 

 

 

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PERPETRATORS - What To Do To Change
 

It is important to face up to how your behaviour affects your partner and your children. The more you can understand what your behaviour is like for your partner, the harder it will be to behave badly towards your partner in future.

 

Can an abuser change?

The first step required for an abuser to change is for them to recognise and accept that they have a problem, and then adopt the willingness and determination to change their behaviour. With long-term and immediate intervention not only can the abuser change, but also, if given the forgiveness and the chance, they will be a better person once he or she knows that there are positive and non detrimental ways of fulfilling a need.

Nour Domestic Violence Booklet

 

 

If you or someone you know is the ABUSER:

  1. Seek professional help to MANAGE YOUR ANGER
  2. It is not too late to CHANGE YOURSELF and CHANGE YOUR LIFE
  3. Find an OUTLET (sport or other activity) to release stress and frustration
  4. Seek the SUPPORT of family and friends
  5. REAL MEN DON'T ABUSE

Haleh Banani, MA Clinical Psychology

 

 
 
Help IS available....

It takes strength to admit that you are abusing your partner. But if you really want to change, you can.   Violence is learned behaviour.  You can unlearn it – but you will only be successful if you can:
  • Accept responsibility for the abuse. You cannot blame your actions on your partner, or on drink, drugs, stress or work
  • Accept that the abuse comes from your desire to control your partner. Understand the ways you control her and why you behave like this
  • Realise that you have a choice. You choose to be violent or abusive, and you can choose not to be
  • Accept that your partner has a right to live her own life without being dominated and controlled
  • Stop using anger to control your partner
  • Seek help from professionals. Start by talking to your GP who can refer you for counselling, or contact a local men’s group

 

Can anyone help me change?

Perpetrator programmes exist to help men change their behaviour and increase the safety of women and children. Programmes normally consist of small groups of men from a range of backgrounds.

 

Group sessions look at the causes of violence and abuse, helping men understand why they are violent. Men are asked to take full responsibility for the abuse and recognise the impact of their violence on their partner and children.

 

Participants also learn different, non-abusive ways of behaving within a relationship.

Most programmes are in contact with the woman a perpetrator abused in order to ensure the ongoing safety of her and her children.

 

Who should I contact?

Respect – the national association for domestic violence perpetrator programmes and associated support services – can help you find a programme.

www.respect.uk.net

 

Source

 

 

Regular counselling with a trained counsellor can help men who use violence towards family members to understand and change their behaviour. Counselling and behaviour-change programs focus on examining and addressing the man’s deeply held beliefs about violence, masculinity, control of others, the impact of their use of violence towards others, self-control and responsibility for one’s actions.

The man is encouraged to examine his motivations for the violence and is taught practical strategies, including:

 

  • Learning that violence and abuse is not caused by anger, but the desire to hurt or dominate others
  • Learning how violent behaviour damages his relationship with his partner and children, and how he can behave in more respectful ways
  • Self-talk and time out – the man is taught how to recognise individual signs of anger, and how to use strategies like self-talk and time out. A man can use self-talk messages, such as ‘Anger will not solve this problem’, to remind himself to remain calm. A trained counsellor can help a man find his own effective self-talk messages. Time out means walking away from the situation until the man feels calmer. Time out must be discussed with the man’s partner so that both parties understand how and why to use it. However, time out is not an avoidance technique and the man must try and work out the problem at a later opportunity.

Source

 

It can be tough facing up to difficult problems, but you CAN get help...Contact Respect

 

Self Help Strategies

How can I stop being violent and abusive?

Find out HERE

 

A good starting point  to change your behaviour is to have a confidential and anonymous discussion with a professional.

 

Support services for perpetrators

Freephone Helpline or Internet Assistance

 

 

 

 

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WITNESSES
Ponder on the Following Hadith
 
Anas icon--3.gif reported “The Messenger of Allaah icon--1.gif said:
'Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or is oppressed.' A man asked: 'O Messenger of Allaah! I (know how to) help him when he is oppressed, but how can I help him when he is an oppressor?' He icon--1.gif said: 'You can restrain him from committing oppression. That will be your help to him.'”
[Al-Bukhaari & Muslim]
 

 

In a Hadith Qudsi, Allah Almighty says:

“I shall take revenge on the oppressor in this life and the next. I shall take revenge on someone who saw a person being oppressed and was able to help him but did not help him.”

(Reported by Tabarani)

 

 

How To Become A Means of Help

 

To help the victim, we must help the abuser

There are a myriad of services and programs for the victim of domestic violence. And rightly so. They are the recipients of abuse, domination, and manipulation. But all the services in the world are useless to a battered woman who decides to stay with her abusive husband if he doesn't receive attention and intervention as well.

 

Sometimes, to help the victim, we must help the abuser, because domestic violence is a deadly dance that can't be stopped unless both partners are willing to seek and accept help. Alone, a restraining order and incarceration does little to help the victim. Those are only temporary solutions to a problem that requires so much more.

 

Source

 

 

What to Say to a Friend Who is Abusive

Maybe the abuser is your friend, a family member, co-worker or gym partner.  You’ve noticed that the abuser interrupts, criticizes, cheats, yells or scares the victim.  You hope that when they’re alone, it isn’t worse. The way the abuser treats the victim makes you uncomfortable, but you do not know what to say or do not want to make it worse.

 

What can you do?  Say something.  If you stay silent, your silence is the same as saying abuse is okay.  Because you care, you need to do something… before it is too late.

 

What Can You Say or Do? Draw attention to it.

“Do you see the effect your bad words have?”

“Did you mean to be so rough? That’s not cool.”

 

Tell him what you think.

“I’m really worried about your partner’s safety.”
 

“I’m surprised to see you act that way.  You’re better than that.”
 

“I care about you, but I won’t tolerate it if you abuse your partner.”
 

“This makes me really uncomfortable.  It’s not right.”

 

Express ideas about loving behavior.

“Loving someone doesn’t mean abusing them.”
 

“Love is not abuse.”

 

Offer suggestions or solutions.

“People should never hit or threaten the people they love.”
 

“Kids learn from their parents.  Is this how you want your kids to treat others?”
 

“How would you feel if your child chose someone who acted like this?”
 

“Call me if you feel like you’re losing control.”
 

“Maybe you should try counseling by yourself to figure out what’s behind your controlling behavior.”

 

If the abuser’s  behavior is criminal, mention it.

“Domestic violence is a crime.  You could be arrested for this.”
 

“You could end up in jail if you don’t find a way to deal with your desire to gain and maintain control.  Then what would happen to you and your family?”

 

Important Conversations

The abuser may not listen and may feel angry, deny the abuse, ignore you or make excuses.  A common response is to blame the victim, but there is no excuse for abuse.  Even if the conversation is uncomfortable, it is important to communicate that abuse is never okay.  Since abusing a partner is a choice, abusers can learn how to make the choice not to abuse again.  There is professional help that gives abusers an opportunity to learn about why they use power and control to abuse their partner and learn new behaviors.

Source

 

 

Responding to an Abuser

While reaching out to a suspected survivor of domestic violence may be difficult, reaching out to a person suspected of being abusive may be even harder. Calling someone on his or her abusive behaviors may be the hardest thing you ever have to do. It could also be the most compassionate. By speaking to a friend, family member, or co-worker about abusive behaviors, you could save someone's life. While survivors sometimes use force in self-defense, these suggestions are meant to address people who engage in recurring patterns of coercive and/or violent behavior with the goal of controlling their partners.

 

When you speak to an abuser:

  • Be aware of the ability some batterers have to charm and manipulate.
  • Don't be judgmental of the person, just their behavior. If you know what happened and you express anger or personal condemnation, he is likely to retaliate against the person he has victimized.
  • Don't make excuses for the behavior or reinforce it in any way.
  • Maintain that there is no excuse for violence. "When you hurt somebody, you cross the line."
  • Advise stopping the abuse (just as you would advise someone not to drive drunk).
  • Suggest other ways of handling conflict and possible resources in the area.
  • Do not blame the survivor.
  • Do not ask how the survivor provoked the batterer.
  • Do not encourage the person to find an attorney that will "fight this all the way."
  • Speak to the survivor's reality as you know it, especially the extent of the survivor's physical or emotional injuries.
  • If there are children, help the abuser think about the impact the situation is having on them.
  • Acknowledge the many ways that children can witness the violence: seeing it, hearing it, seeing injuries, seeing their parents’ sadness afterwards
  • Remind the person that only he/she controls his/her behavior. No one can make him/her be abusive or lose control. "No matter what you feel, you are responsible for what you do."
  • Do not assume that the person understands the meaning of protective orders, no contact orders, restraining orders, child support orders, or other court orders.
  • If the court has ruled on parenting privileges, remind the person that the purpose of parenting time is to maintain contact with the children, not the former partner.
  • Do not assume the victim is safe if he/she says it won't happen again, even if the person who has been abusive is remorseful.
  • Do not try to physically intervene. Rather, call law enforcement.
  • If an abuser says or does something that indicates that the person he has victimized is going to be in imminent danger of assault, please call the authorities and let them know (after he has left). Do not feel guilty about calling law enforcement. You might be saving someone's life.

 

If a colleague, friend or relative tells you that he/she has been violent at home, the following comments are helpful responses.

 

  • "I know you believe she/he started it, but you chose to respond the way you did. No one can make you be violent or abusive."
  • "It doesn't have to be this way. You can get help. You can learn to control the way you react. There are other people who have been where you are and can help."

Source

 

 

How do I stop violence against women and children?

Decide today NOT to look away, NOT to be a bystander and NOT to be silent.

If you witness violence and abuse, report it to the nearest police station as soon as possible.

Provide Support to women and children who you suspect are being abused.

Try to understand how your own attitudes and actions might perpetuate abuse against women or children.

Learn about the services in your community that provide assistance to women and children who experience violence and abuse.

If a relative, neighbour, friend or colleague is abusive to his wife and children, try to talk to him about it and urge him to seek help.

Jamiatul Ulama South Africa

 

 

How can I help a Victim?

The best way to help a victim is by providing hope and courage through being a supportive presence in their lives. It is important not to put pressure on them to leave the abuser as this may stop them seeking you out. Victims tend to lose confidence and have low self esteem. They need to be assured that they have people who are more than willing to help them by accompanying them to seek professional help like counselling services; by helping arrange emergency shelter and helping them overcome their problems through emotional support. It is crucial not be judgemental towards the choices they make but to facilitate their decision making. In addition, it is a necessity to help the victims build up their self believe; and be prepared to fight a battle, in order for them to get back on track and move on in their lives.  
(Nour - Domestic Violence Booklet)

 
 

 

 

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Shariah Councils

& Other Avenues of Help Available in Various Countries

 

 

A Shari'ah Council is a committee of a few religious people that consists of at least one scholar of Islamic law in the absence of an Islamic Court (as in western countries).

 

It provides legal rulings and advice to Muslims in accordance with Islamic Shari'ah based on the four Sunni schools of thought. Matters referred to the Council are deliberated by the members who thereafter deliver their verdict. A variety of disputes as well as family, marriage and divorce issues faced by the Muslim community are resolved. Shari'ah councils are not allowed to interfere in child access matters.

 

In the case of divorce, where possible, councils mediate and try to save marriages.

 

In Islam, divorce is considered to be the worst of the lawful things. The Messenger of Allah, (Allah bless him & give him peace) said:

“Divorce is the most hated of all lawful (halal) things in the sight of Allah.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, no. 2178)

 

Although Islam emphasises the importance of marriage, it is a humane and practical religion which recognises the fact that there may be situations in which dissolving the marriage bond may be in the better interests of the individuals concerned and of society at large.

 

Divorce is allowed as a last resort, rather as amputation or major surgery may be the unpleasant but a necessary step needed to save a person’s life. If divorce was forbidden, then animosity and adultery may become rampant. To save individuals and society from the greater evils, divorce has been permitted. However, it is not a step to be taken lightly or hastily. Sincere attempts at reconciliation are to be made first and – as in the case of marriage – the rights and welfare of women are to be upheld.

 

Imam Abu Hamid al Ghazali (Allah have mercy on him) states:

“The greatest care should be taken to avoid divorce, for, though divorce is permitted, yet Allah disapproves of it. If divorce becomes essential then the woman should be divorced kindly, not through anger or contempt, and not without a valid reason. After divorce, a man should give his former wife a present and not announce to others any of her shortcomings.”

 

Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam

 

 

 

A Woman can seek a Dissolution of Marriage for a Valid Reason through a Shari'ah Council:

 
Lady Issuing Divorce
Mufti Siraj Desai
 

Question: Can a woman issue a divorce? What am I entitled to as a wife?

Answer: A woman cannot issue a divorce. Issuing a divorce is the prerogative of the husband. If the wife has valid grounds, she can ask the husband to divorce her. Valid grounds for a divorce or annulment are physical and mental abuse, withholding of expenses, deserting the marital home, refusing to fulfil the wife’s conjugal rights. If any of these reasons are found and the husband still refuses to issue divorce, the wife may apply to the local Ulama body for a Faskh or annulment. The Ulama or Learned People will follow a strict procedure and after having ascertained that there are indeed Islamic grounds for annulment, they would proceed to annul the marriage by issuing a decree of Faskh.

 

In principle, if a wife does not want to continue her marriage due to a valid reason in Shari’ah, and her husband refuses to issue her a divorce, then she may present her matter to the local Ulama body and request for annulment of her marriage. If the Ulama follow and apply the procedures of annulment correctly, then their decree of annulment will be valid.

Source

 

Abuse in Marriage and Divorce

Mufti Siraj Desai
 
Question: If the wife wants to leave husband due to his mental and physical torture, what is the procedure? For Khula does she need to get signnature from her husband and, if yes, what should she do if he refuses to sign?
 
Answer: In the case of continuous physical abuse or unbearable mental and verbal abuse by the husband, the wife should seek assistance from Ulema and senior people in the community, preferably family members, who must speak to the husband and instruct him to stop such abuse. The couple should be given counselling by Ulema and spiritual leaders. The husband should be forced to live in harmony and kindness with his wife, in keeping with the Commandments of Allah Ta'ala in the Holy Quran.
 
However, if this does not work and the husband refuses to co-operate with Ulema and counsellors, then the wife should ask the husband to release her from the nikah by issuing one baa-in talaaq.
 
If he refuses to do even this, then the next best option is khula'. Khula' means the offering of money by the wife to the husband in exchange for a divorce. The acceptance of the husband is a condition for the validity of khula'. So he must agree in order for the khula' to be valid and binding. Once he accepts and agrees to a khula' then automatically one baa-in talaaq will fall and the sum of money agreed upon will become binding upon the wife.
 
If the husband refuses even the khula' offer, then the last resort for the wife is to apply to a local Ulema council for a faskh i.e. annulment of the nikah. They will explain her how the faskh works.
 
Feel free to contact us again for more information in this regard
 
I pray that Allah The Almighty grant both spouses the ability to live with harmony and love, and safeguard the wife from harm and pain, aameen

 

 

General Procedure

1. When a woman approaches a Sharia council to obtain a divorce she is asked to complete an application form, provide an acceptable form of ID, together with a copy of her nikah contract. A fee is usually charged.

2. Meeting/Discussion on marriage breakdown

3. The Sharia council will send the husband up to three letters, requesting an immediate response. If the husband replies to the Sharia council's letter, a joint reconciliation meeting between the parties will be arranged, providing both parties agree. In the event that the respondent does not reply to any of the Sharia council's letters or the joint reconciliation meeting is unsuccessful, the next stage involves the parties presenting their case before the panel of arbitrators.

4. On the basis of the case presented to them, the arbitrators will decide whether the petitioner should be granted a Sharia divorce.

 

Once the divorce is finalised the petitioner and respondent are issued with an Islamic divorce certificate.

 

 


Shari'ah Councils: UK

Dewsbury

Darul Uloom London     

Fiqh Council Birmingham

 

 

Marriage Counseling

Rahmat-e-Alam Foundation

7045 N. Western Avenue, Chicago, IL 60645
Telephone: (773)764-8274
Fax: (773)764-8497.

 

 

Help & Advice  with Islamic ethos

Nour

Peaceful Families

MentalHealth4Muslim - Mental Health Directory

 

 

 

 

~~~

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Towards Ending Violence in our Communities

 

Towards Ending Violence in our Communities

 

  • Be aware of the teachings of the Qur'an and Sunnah regarding any form of family abuse
  • Let there be zero tolerance for abuse which means SPEAK OUT when witnessed!
  • Education/training regarding domestic violence - at the level of both the individuals of the communities and the Imams/leaders of the community
  • Financial support for Muslim shelters for women
  • Families not turning a blind eye - lines of communication open and providing help and support for both the victim and the perpetrator 
  • Extended families to stop covering up abuse, violence, and incest in the name of "preserving the family honor."
  • Avoid falling for the usual myths surrounding domestic violence - blaming victims etc.

 

 

What Muslim families and communities should do to prevent violence:

• Educate their community members from both religious and psychological perspectives on the importance and benefits of safe homes

• Stop justifying violence which is injustice (zulm) as acceptable Islamically

• Educate and train spouses to have proper communication skills and attitudes to deal with domestic disagreements and problems

• Provide tactful and confidential counseling services to Muslims who are violent, as well as to victims of violence, as permitted within the law

• Dedicate resources to establish alternative homes for the victims of domestic violence instead of letting them go on the street or to non-Muslim agencies and homes

Source

 

 

At least twice a year, each mosque or community center should present an Abuse and Domestic Violence Awareness Program for Muslim Families that will teach risk identification, abuse and violence identification, safety planning for possible situations, safety planning for unsupervised visits by a batterer, problem solving techniques, and information on counseling available for battered women and their families. Muslim community activists, lawyers, and counselors should meet in each city to develop protocols addressed to their specific community which will allow for early identification of abuse and a willingness to deal with the situation in order to protect the victims from further abuse or victim blaming. Wherever possible, shelters and Muslim family service agencies should be put into place.

Sharifa Alkhateeb

 

 

 

 

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Resources

 

Nour - Domestic Violence - Booklet.pdf

 

Contents:

What is domestic abuse?

Statistics

What are the warning signs of domestic abuse?

Causes and detrimental affects of domestic abuse?

Can an abuser change?

Is domestic violence exclusive to women only?

Why is the focus mainly on women?

Do Muslim women have the right to ask for a divorce?

 

 

 

 

Mufti Hussain Kamani on Anger

 

first episode

(uploaded December 29, 2014)

 

More episodes HERE

 

 

 

Islamic Solution for Domestic Violence

Newcastle Central Mosque

 

 

 

 

 

Domestic Violence an Islamic View | Q&A with Shaykh Suliman Ghani

 

 

 

 

 

Take Responsibility

By Hadhrat Moulana Abdul Hamid Is`haq Saheb (Daamat Barakaatuhum)

Once a person acknowledges there is a problem, then that is half the battle won and half way to solving the problem......

 
 
 
 

~~~

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Stories

 

Domestic Violence does exist in the Muslim Community

Umm Junaid’s Story

In the name of Allah ~ A Muslim Woman's Story about Domestic Violence

by: Umm Junaid Nur Moebius
October 7, 2014

 

In 2008, I, Umm Junaid, also known as Nur, married a man I had known for a little over four years. I had inquired about him and was told that he was a decent person. I had a wali. Together, we had many talks and I had questioned Mr. Deliz extensively. I had asked him how he copes with anger, what he does for fun, for social time. I asked him about his health and his family, etc. It was about a three page questionnaire.

 

Soon after Mr. Deliz and I married, I became pregnant with Maryam. Alhumdoolillah, the first year of our marriage was okay and Maryam was born healthy. She became the center of our world. We lived in Waterbury at that time to be close to his job and so that my son Na’im could attend Al Yaqeen Academy. A few months after Maryam was born, Mr.Deliz’s behavior began to change, he seemed to be aggravated and frustrated. So as a concerned believer, wife, and friend, I suggested we move to Windsor, CT so that he could be closer to his mother, some of the Muslims he knew, and be closer to a more populated Masjid.

 

My intentions were to please Allah, to hold onto the Rope of Allah and to make going to the masjid easier for my husband. I also wanted to put my son in another Islamic School. I wanted to make connections with other muslimahs and their children for Maryam to play with. I had also wanted to be closer to some muslimahs I had met before who lived in Windsor. Shortly after we moved, I found out that I was pregnant with our second child Junaid. That’s when things began to get worse.

 

SubhanAllah I remember being sad because I didn’t want to bring another child into the world with what was going on; however, I love babies, I love big families and I don’t believe in abortions. I put my trust in Allah, made du’a constantly and focused on the blessings. I went to the Imam one day and told him of the changes I began to notice in my then husband. We prayed for him, I tried to get him more involved in the community, I reached out to other brothers asking them to reach out to him. I prayed day and night asking Allah to help my husband and to protect him from the evils of this world and the evils from within himself. I went to numerous meetings with the Imam and other brothers from the community as witnesses.

 

After a few months, Mr. Deliz began to verbally attack me. He began to use vulgar language and he would not come home for two or three days at a time. The fits of anger and rage that spewed from Mr. Deliz was horrifying and toxic to my well being. My husband had turned into an oppressor and was causing terror in our home. It wasn’t long before I found out that Mr. Deliz was spending time with family members whom all drink alcohol and smoke. He started coming home smelling like alcohol and when I asked him what the smell was he told me it was Red Bull.

 

Now, I know you must be thinking I must be stupid, right? I know because I feel stupid. (This is public knowledge, there are pictures posted on Facebook of him holding a beer bottle in one hand and a cigarette in the other hand with his arm around another woman while married to me.) Ya Allah forgive our sins, ameen.

 

I hadn’t been around people who smoke, drink, or do drugs for a long time because in Islam it is forbidden and I had decided to leave the dunya where it belongs, in my past. My relationship with my stepfather had come to a screeching halt because he refused to stop drinking after several requests. It hurt me to have to tell my kids they couldn’t see their grandpa or that we could not visit him because he would not stop drinking. I did teach them about the evils of Qamar.

 

My ex-husband abused me and our children for almost two years, including a child that was not his and was a product of a previous marriage. It started off being just verbal but sometimes verbal abuse is worse than physical abuse. Mr. Deliz became very violent and angry all the time, every day. He would punch things, throw things, yell at me, and curse at me in front of my children. I asked him a few times to leave the house and I was told I was wrong for doing that. He would accuse me of the most heinous things and all I could do was cry. I was so afraid of him, but when I tried to leave he would cry, he would beg, and when I went to the Imam, I was told to be patient. I was told to keep praying, I was told to endure. ( We know how this goes, we have heard many stories on Americans Most Wanted.)

 

To the outside, our jail was lovely. It was a beautiful three bedroom, 1-1/2 bath home with a finished basement, two car garage, and a huge backyard and flower garden. A wonderful safe place for my kids to play. But we were all prisoners of Mr. Deliz’s rage. One of the worst days was when I was 8 months pregnant and my ex husband put his hands around my throat. I remember looking down at my belly, putting my hand on it and then looking my ex husband in the eyes. I remember feeling like we were going to die as I gasped to catch my breath. I don’t know what came over him but he let go and ran out of the house as I fell to the floor. I didn’t see him again for almost a week. I was pregnant, alone, scared, suffering and trying to take care of me and my children with no family, no job and no self esteem. Mr. Deliz had beat me down to the point where I almost wished I was dead. ( Suicide is forbidden in Islam and I would never attempt it but sometimes the pain gets great, may Allah forgive me.) I had to let go and I tried to for so long, I sought counseling, advice, shura and as a last resort a Khula (divorce) from the Imam over and over, for almost over a year but he kept denying me. It got to the point that I said to the Imam “When will you do something when I am dead?”

 

I remember when Junaid was three days old and we just learned that he had internal bleeding. I came home that day so sad and got into bed. Me and my children were sitting on the bed that evening, Junaid in my arms, Maryam at my side, and Na’im’s head on my lap. Mr. Deliz came home, walked into the room screaming and yelling at Na’im telling him to get out and to go to his room as I kept quiet almost numb. They just wanted to sit with their mother and new baby brother. He began to yell even more and Na’im started to cry. I rubbed his head and whispered, “Don’t worry Na’im this will be over soon, I promise you. ”

 

My son, Junaid, was diagnosed with Cancer nine months later which stemmed from the exact same gland the internal bleed came from. My little love bug Ju was born ill at the hands of his own father.

 

So this month, during the month of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I beg you to learn the signs, learn how deadly domestic violence is. If you feel your friend or loved one is being abused no matter how hard it may be for you to approach them, PLEASE say something. It could be a matter of life and in Junaid’s case death. The abuse had continued after he was born, my health had deteriorated, my other son was late to school often. I started to withdraw from spending time with sisters. My days became dark 24/7. It wasn’t until I spoke to the Imam and told him of Junaid’s condition that I was awarded a Khula on Feb 4th, 2011.

 

On Feb. 18th, 2011, my son Junaid, was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma Cancer when he was only 9 months old. On July 11th, 2012, Junaid died in my arms at the age of two.

 

How much pain should a Muslim woman endure? How much pain should a Muslim child endure? When will the help of Allah come? Verily the help of Allah is near.

 

I am sharing this story with you now, because I did not share this story with the proper authorities when it happened. I did not call the police when my ex-husband put his hands around my neck and terrorized me and my children. I am sharing this story because some of the Muslims in the Muslim community turned their backs on me when DCF got involved and falsely accused me of medically neglecting my son. I am sharing this story with you because I was accused of having a mental illness which by the way, I DO NOT, and was cleared by the Community Health Center here in Middletown in 2011. I did not reveal these things to DCF when they were called because I was told by the Imam not to and it cost me time with my children. I was treated like a criminal and I want you to learn from my mistakes. When a man abuses you, I don’t care what the Imam says ~ call the POLICE, call 911 don’t hesitate. Also when the shoe is on the other foot, HE WILL NOT HESITATE as I have seen from my ex-husband’s actions recently with his current wife. This is public knowledge and it needs to be heard. Muslims need to stand up against Domestic Violence and REPORT it. Should anyone wish to research or inquire about anything I have said here. I would happily sign a release of information so that you can investigate for yourself. I will not stop until JUSTICE is served in the Muslim Community.

 

If anything I have said in this article is incorrect, that is from me and I seek Allah’s forgiveness. If anything I have said in this article is good and correct, it is from Allah. We praise Him and we seek forgiveness, ameen.

- R-L Junaid and Umm Junaid

 

 

 

Factual Stories

darulihsan

Names have been changed but the case study is factual.

 

Case Studies 1
Rabia was forced to marry at the age of 19, whilst studying her first year of medicine.  Her husband (a doctor himself) promised that he would allow her to complete her studies.  All went well until one night about 6 months into the marriage, Rabia felt uneasy about a SMS that her husband had received, so she questioned him about it.  Rabia was beaten, kicked and punched so brutally that her mother could not recognize her.  She was hospitalized for 2 weeks.  Rabia returned home with a broken nose and fractured ribs and was promised by her husband that it would never happen again.  The cycle of abuse continued for many months later.  Today Rabia (23) moves around in a wheelchair, due to the constant blows to her head, she sustained injuries to her brain and spine.  Rabia lives with her parents.  She has been robbed of her life, her education and her dignity.

 

Case Studies 2
My name is Fathima and I have 4 children.  My husband who is a policeman has been abusing me for 12 years.  Now he sits at the iftaar table with a gun and if we make any noise he points the gun at us.  One day he will kill us and he means it.  I have nowhere to go he talks bad about me to all the families.  He is very charming, everyone believes him.

 

Case Studies 3
I am twelve years old and I only want to die.  I tried to kill myself twice but it did not work.  I cannot stand the way my father hits my mother over and over again.  She is weak and refuses to leave the house saying she loves my father.  He gives us no money for food or clothing.  From the age of 9 years my father and cousin have sexually abused me.  Both of them take drugs.  No one knows.  They will hurt my mother if I tell.  Recently my father raped me.  I am now 12 years old.  Could I be pregnant?  How do I get out of this situation, I can’t leave my mother and 6 year old sister.

Case Studies 4

I am a professional person.  My husband asked me to leave my job.  After my husband beats me up he apologizes and cries but two days after that he starts again.  Recently he beats the children with a belt and he says if I leave I will not get a penny.  I don’t want to leave; I want him to stop abusing me.  The last beating he broke my nose and refused to take me to the doctor.  Now he locks the door of the flat when he goes out.  Twice he did not return for 2 days and we were locked in the flat with little or no food.

 

 

Karen & Bruce McAndless-Davis tell their story in their own words

 

 

KAREN:

BRUCE:

We sat in the Emergency waiting room. I sat gingerly on the edge of my seat, nervous and in more pain than I had ever experienced before. Bruce sat fidgeting with his hands. As we waited for a doctor to ex-amine me, the reality of my situation began to sink in.

 

I was about to lie to a doctor. I am an honest person, but here I was about to tell a doctor that I had bro-ken my rib while skiing. That was not the truth. Bruce had broken my rib in a hateful fit of rage. I was seeking medical attention for injuries that my husband had inflicted on me.

How could this have happened? How could a husband who I thought of as loving and kind do such a hurtful thing to me? What was going on?

 

The shocking realisation that Bruce was abusive took as long as it did because of our assumptions about abusive men and abused women. We break all the stereotypes: we are middle-class, highly educated pro-fessionals, and we come from good homes.

 

I didn’t see myself as an abused woman. The only images I had came from television. I thought of abused women as weak and uneducated. And Bruce certainly did not fit my image of an abusive husband. I thought they were wild and out of control – men who drank too much and were nasty and hateful. Bruce’s behaviour was confusing. I saw him being kind and pleasant to our friends and family. He was often lov-ing to me, and I loved him. But he got angry so easily; and, when he was angry, he was hurtful. Since his hurtful behaviour was always directed at me, it made me believe I was the cause of the abuse.

 

Bruce’s unpredictable behaviour made me feel like I was crazy. In subtle ways he tried to control my ac-tions and my thoughts. He always had to prove that he was right and that I was wrong; we couldn’t sim-ply disagree. His rage would silence me. I constantly had to decide whether an issue or concern was worth raising with him – if it was safe to bring it up. When Bruce did any housework, he became angry and resentful. He was always picking fights and it was hard to avoid explosive situations. I was exhausted living with him.

 

I knew there was something wrong but I didn’t know what and I didn’t know where to turn for help. As time went on, Bruce seemed to be angry more and more. Finally, when Bruce broke my rib I began to see the seriousness of our situation. I wondered if this was abuse.

KAREN:

The idea that I was one of those men who beat their wives was unthinkable. I believed in equality and respect, not domination and violence. But, clearly, my behaviour betrayed my beliefs. My actions were intended to control Karen and I did this any way I could. Putting her down, embarrassing her in front of others and arguing relentlessly were ways I made Karen feel inferior. When I couldn’t con-trol her with my tongue, I would do so with a threatening gesture, by driving recklessly to scare her, or by blocking her exit from the room. As is typical with abusive men, my behaviour escalated to pushing, slapping and, finally, punching. At the time I didn’t see what I was doing as abusive; I just thought I had a problem with my temper. I didn’t think about how it was affecting Karen. I didn’t think about anybody but myself.

 

It scared me when I realised that I had actually broken Karen’s rib. My so-called temper was getting out of hand. I was ashamed at what I had done, but more because it went against what I believed about my-self rather than because of its effect on Karen. I was still concerned only about myself. I desperately wanted to keep my behaviour a secret, now more than ever.

 

Karen was living on pain killers and I had moved into a different bedroom. Neither of us were talking about it. It seemed our marriage was over.

BRUCE:

Keeping my pain a secret to protect Bruce became suffocating. I needed to tell someone. We decided to tell two of our closest friends, one of whom was a counsellor. At last, we had broken the silence. Bruce needed to be held accountable for his behaviour and I needed support from people who would be concerned for my safety and well being. Our friend referred us to a counselling agency where Bruce entered a group for abusive men and I entered a support group for women.

 

The first few weeks of group counselling were wonderful for me. I began to understand that virtually all Bruce’s behaviour towards me was abusive. I discovered that I did not deserve the treatment I received. I discovered that Bruce was in the wrong – not me. I discovered I was not crazy. And I discovered I was not alone. The six other women in my group had experiences incredibly similar to mine. The way Bruce treated me was not simply the way Bruce treated me, it was the way abusive men treat women.

 

While this was all good news, I had a sad realisation. As I began to see the pervasiveness of Bruce’s abuse, I felt the need to leave the marriage. It wasn’t enough for him to simply stop the physical violence, he needed to stop all the verbal and emotional abuse, too. This abuse seemed to be so much a part of who he was that I couldn’t imagine him without it. I didn’t believe it was possible for a person to change that much.

 

I thought a lot about leaving but was torn. I still loved Bruce but his treatment of me was intolerable. I also felt I couldn’t deal with the terrible embarrassment of a separation. Perhaps even more important, I was afraid to be alone. One of the impacts of Bruce’s abuse was that I thought poorly of myself. I thought that no other man would want to be with me. Bruce was my only chance for marriage and family.

 

While I wrestled with whether or not to leave, Bruce began to change. The physical abuse stopped imme-diately and the threats of violence stopped shortly after. Verbal attacks became less common as he strug-gled with ending the mental and emotional abuse. I could tell that he was motivated to change. Participating in his group was important to him. I decided to stick it out for a while and see just how far he would go.

KAREN:

In group counselling, I discovered all the ways I had abused Karen. In the past, I hadn’t seen any pattern of abusive behaviour, simply a few instances of what I called “losing my temper.” As far as I was concerned, we only had “arguments” or “fights.” I was amazed to discover a gradually escalating pattern of emotional and physical abuse since the early years of our relationship.

 

To change, I first had to admit the full dimensions of my abuse and to see the horrible impact it had on Karen. My behaviour had made her feel worthless. I was so good at turning things around that I made her feel she was crazy when she was upset by my abuse. I had convinced her of a great, horrible lie: the abuse would stop if only she were somehow better. The truth was, nothing she did or didn’t do could stop the abuse; only I could. My abusive behaviour wasn’t simply something that happened when I “lost it,” it was a choice I made every day in order to control her and keep me and my needs at the centre of our rela-tionship.

 

Admitting my abusiveness – was very difficult. I had to acknowledge the horror of what I had done to Karen. When I finally admitted to my monstrous behaviour, I felt very alone. Terrified of being judged, I chose to talk to no one. Having to reject who I was and how I behaved, I didn’t know how to behave or who to be. I was an abusive man. I hurt my wife emotionally, physically and spiritually. How could I ever make things right?

 

I still had so much to learn. We received counselling for another year as I continued to work on living in a respectful and mutual relationship. While I gave up pieces of abusiveness, it was a long time before I took complete responsibility for my behaviour. I had to learn how to put Karen’s needs and the needs of our relationship before my own. This was harder than I could ever have imagined. It took months of ex-hausting work (for Karen, our counsellors, and me) before I came to realise how utterly self-centred I was.

 

I had grown up believing that every relationship is based on power. Unable to envision a relationship in which I saw Karen as truly equal, I had asserted my superiority over Karen by belittling and controlling her. Through counselling, I was invited to see relationships in a radically new way. It took me a long time to let go of my power, but I have finally learned think in terms of “us” instead of “me.”

BRUCE:

Bruce worked as hard in our second year of counselling as he did in the first. He realised that he had broken the vows he had made at our wedding. He took responsibility, stopped the abuse, and learned how to be respectful.

The change in Bruce is incredible. He is a completely different person now. It is wonderful to live in a home where I am supported, encouraged and cared for. I feel myself flourishing in my work – all the en-ergy that I needed to survive in my relationship is free to be used in positive ways in the world. Today, 14 years since we first sought counselling, Bruce and I have a marriage that is characterised by mutuality, respect and care. We are deeply thankful for this new life.

 

We have shared our story in the hope of breaking down stereotypes that keep abused women in isolation. We hope our story will encourage women who have experienced abuse to seek the support and safety they deserve.

Source

Although our story of abuse is all too common, the transformation in our marriage is not. Change is possible but only when abusers are willing to take complete responsibility for their behaviour. Real change does not happen unless abusive men are willing to learn a whole new way of living in rela-tionship. Sadly, most abusers simply do not care enough to do the hard work and to give up their power. Whatever the abuser’s choice, women can choose to be emotionally and physically safe.

 

 

One Man’s Story of Being an Abuser

This is a really good look at abuse from a perpetrator’s perspective. It is a true story.

 

~~~

 

By Viegas

You do not need to bleed to be humiliated and abused.

 

Experts define family violence as, “forcing someone to do something that they don’t want to do, be that by physical violence and threats of violence or by psychological, mental, sexual and economic abuse.”

 

I am a violent person.

 

Like many abusers, I never hurt anyone physically and therefore the very idea that I was an abuser seemed ridiculous, but it’s true. I caused great psychological harm to my former family. I didn’t need to swing a fist to hurt people. Angry rages, finger pointing and cursing were my tactics of choice.

 

Most abusers have a hard time looking in the mirror. People refer to violence as a physical act. When we think of domestic and family abuse we picture swollen arms and bruised faces, but we give a pass to angry rages, fits of screaming and passive aggression.

Abusers start their justifications with, “I never hurt anyone physically, and that means everything else is just fine.” I know because I did exactly that…

 

I was angry and frustrated. I felt powerless and wanted to gain control of my life, of my deteriorating family. So what did I do? I started abusing the people I loved most. It was a slippery slope. The arguing, the finger pointing, the screaming, the angry silences-they became more frequent and more thunderous.

 

The irony of it—I really didn’t think it was my fault. I blamed my wife. I blamed her bad behavior, her lack of respect, her ability to push my buttons with just a look or turn-of-phrase. She wasn’t saying what I needed to hear. She wasn’t acting the way I needed her to act. She didn’t love me the way I needed to be loved. She didn’t trust or respect me, and the fact that I’d go into a rage, that I’d scream and curse, well, she deserved it. She provoked me. The more I hated myself, the more I believed it was her fault. My twisted mind easily passed-the-buck and I told myself, “The bitch is responsible.”

 

She came home from work one day and explained that she wanted me to investigate an organization called Men Stopping Violence (MSV). I was humiliated. Me? Violent? I only shout, call you names, I’ve never hit you.

 

It was only a few days later when I woke up and finally couldn’t face myself anymore. I hated the person I’d become. I no longer trusted or respected myself, how in the world could I expect anyone else to trust, respect or love me? She was right. I needed help. I decided to call MSV.

 

MSV was in fact created by people like me to curb violence against women.

 

 

Remember, she may say and do things that upset and challenge you, but she can’t make you attack her. The only person who can make you do that is you. The only person who can stop you is you.”- Men Stopping Violence

 

Our support group had people from all walks of life: blue collar, corporate executives, fire fighters and people assigned by the courts. At first I felt out of place, like an interloper. There were men, the ones that immediately jump to your mind’s eye when we talk about domestic violence-the ones who punched their wives, kept their partners hostage by not allowing them to leave their homes, isolated them from friends and family and who withheld money. There were also men like me; men who beat their wives with words.

 

I didn’t understand violence. I couldn’t have defined it until I joined MSV. With their help and support I finally began to understand what I had become, and I discovered there was a road back to self respect, if I was willing to walk it.

 

 

 

 

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Story of Husband Abuse

 

"I grew up in a home where verbal and physical abuse were present almost daily. I can remember seeing my mom being beaten in front of me. For many years I was helpless to respond to her pleas for help.

I began forming a wall, knowing that I would not let this happen to me. Instead of setting healthy boundaries to protect myself, I began to take on personality traits of the aggressor. Being the victim only meant pain and heartache in my mind.

When I was younger, this behavior was tolerated and not seen as a problem. As an adult, I started to see the damage my behavior was causing me and others around me. I was verbally and physically abusive to those I loved whenever I felt threatened. Instead of removing the abuse I did not want in my life, I was unknowingly bringing it back into my life by being abusive.

My boyfriend, Nick, began to fear my behavior. My abusive behavior continued to escalate in intensity and happen more frequently. One night Nick called the police.. My actions had hit an all-time high. I was  uncooperative with the police. I didn’t see that I had a problem and ended up in jail for a night.

It was at that time I realized I didn’t want to keep pushing people away and taking my life down such a negative path. I really thought my abusive patterns were impossible to break. I thought ‘this is just how I am’ and I hated that. I hated myself.

I was thankful when the county gave me information on services to help me deal with my issues of anger and abuse. When I heard of Virtue, that it was faith-based, I knew it was the one for me. I had always wanted a closer relationship with God.

Virtue taught me about God’s unconditional love for me. I learned that I have  value and that no one can ever take from me. If no one can take away the love and value that God has given me, then I don’t need to protect myself by being abusive to others.

Virtue has given me the tools to respond instead of react. I faced the fact that the world is filled with mean-hearted people. It is so empowering to know that I don’t have to let their actions control my life. I am learning the tools to deal with these everyday life struggles with grace and patience. I feel I have not only created a new relationship with God but with those around me. For the first time I can actually say I like myself and the way I treat others.

I also learned how to create healthy boundaries and that I deserve to be treated with love and respect. The Virtue program has given me a second chance at happiness and fulfillment in my life. A heart that was filled with fear, hatred and insecurity is now being filled with Gods love and the truth. I am changing my life through the help of Christ ."  JG

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:assalam:

 

:alhamd:  after a lot of research we have compiled as much information as we could on domestic abuse.

 

We would appreciate feedback and /or advise / information we may have overlooked.  We request readers to make du'a for acceptance of this effort and that it becomes a means of help for both, the victims and the perpetrators and where violence and fear are removed, replaced by love and peace.

 

:jazak:

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Abuse in Marriage
 
Q. Many men abuse their wives sometimes physically and sometimes emotionally. What is the status of physical and emotional abuse within marriages in Islam?
 
A. It is important to note that marriage is a relationship that is based on mutual love and respect. A couple should honour and respect the rights of each other and should never abuse each other physically or emotionally. In doing so, the marriage will become unstable and would be devoid of blessings.
 
In Islam, physical and emotional abuse is totally condemned.
 
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam said, A Muslim is he, who others are saved from the abuse of his tongue (emotional) and hand (physical).” (Musnad Ahmad)
 
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam also said, “A person whose neighbour is not safe from his evil, will never enter Jannah.” (Musnad Ahmad)
 
May Allah protect our brothers and sisters from domestic abuse and may He instil love and respect in our marriages. Ameen.
 
And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa
Confirmation:
Mufti Ebrahim Desai

Fatwa Department

Jamiatul Ulama (KZN)

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