One in four women will experience domestic violence

One in four women will experience domestic violence

Muslim communities are not Immune to this disease

"I recommend that you treat women with goodness. The best of you are those who treat their wives the best."
— Prophet Muhammad

It is often assumed that domestic violence is permissible in Islam. While it may be a problem in the Muslim community as much as it is in other faiths, it is by no means allowed in Islam. In fact, the Prophet Muhammad said, “Do not beat the female servants of Allah.” This includes not just wives, but all women—daughters, sisters, etc.

The Prophet also said, when asked about the obligations of a husband toward his wife: “Feed her when you eat, and provide her clothing when you provide yourself. Neither hit her on the face nor use impolite language when addressing her.”

In citing these examples, we do not forget that domestic violence can happen to men as well as women.

And although Islam does not condone abuse, particularly between a husband and wife, it does not erase the fact that it can exist in our communities, hidden behind closed doors.

The Causes of Domestic Violence in Our Communities

The horrors of domestic violence occur in the Muslim community due to the same reasons they occur anywhere:

  • socio-economic factors
  • jealousy and unstable rage
  • a cycle of abuse in the family
  • mental illness (studies revealed a high rate of psychopathy among abusers)
  • social learning

The State of Domestic Violence in Our Communities

According to a Feb. 2009 survey conducted by Sound Vision, surveying more than 200 individuals across North America, about 7 in 10 people know someone who has experienced some degree of domestic violence.

Other important statistics include:

  • 41 percent of almost 200 Muslims experienced domestic violence (either verbal, emotional, physical and sexual abuse), according to a Peaceful Families Project 207 survey.
  • One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
  • 85 percent of domestic violence victims are women. Women between 20-24 years old are at the greatest risk of nonfatal domestic abuse. (NCADV)
  • Domestic violence is one of the most underreported crimes; only one-quarter of all physical assaults, one-fifth of all rapes, and one-half of all stalkings perpetuated against females by intimate partners are reported to the police.
  • According to the Sound Vision survey, 90 percent of men said they were never afraid of their spouse; only 50 percent of women indicated the same.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control, domestic violence is a public health problem that affects more than 32 million Americans.

Domestic violence—whether it’s verbal, physical, emotional, economic, or intimidation—cannot be condoned or accepted in our neighborhoods. It’s up to family and friends to help those in abusive relationships to get out safely, and it’s up to the victim to stop the cycle.

Muslims cannot turn a blind eye to domestic violence in our communities. Islam does not condone it, and neither should we.

Where to turn:
The National Domestic Violence Hotline – 1.800.799.7233

Comments

I mean, this is supposed to be the religion of peace. If your partner does not respect you then you should talk about it openly and if you can't solve it, just separate!
Life is difficult at times when there are children involved and in times of need... :(

We all need to be strong but NEVER ABUSE THE OTHER , if you can commit to share your life with a person you should really share your thoughts with them, if a woman or man tries to manipulate the relationship just to get whatever they want -be it words or offenses- and you are unable to solve the problem and talk... why did you marry in the first place if you can't even communicate?
Life is complicated but at times it comes to the basics.

And one fact men don't really seem to realize is that women are not weak. Look at your mother, you surely wouldn't be able to carry a baby for 9 months inside while you feel sick all the time. And be patient, and teach them, and work inside and outside, and pretend you are OK so your kids don't just worry...
I have seen mothers working 19 hours a day and being abused outside and hit inside and smile to their children and sing to them... does this seem weak to you? Don't you even respect your own mother? Come on.
As women we face many struggles and worries and suffering that we do not always disclose. Please if you have a woman in your house, or if you meet one, respect them and be kind to them. They are not "easy to influence". They are not "silly or inferior". They are human beings that we have the luck to share this world with.

And women, your man will be strong sometimes and weak sometimes, and that is manly and human and acceptable, but he will not be always as you want or give you everything you want perfectly, but as long as he makes the effort to and makes you happy in many ways, don't abuse your men or say mean things just because you are selfish or bored. Don't shout or insult, please... it's so not worth it.
If this is not the case... adults do not change as often as we would like them to. Talk with your partner openly and stop being ashamed about your worries, people. Having a partner is sharing your life, this including your thoughts and desires and worries, etc.

Men, understand that if a woman complains is because she has a need that is unfulfilled, and she expects you to help with that. She counts on you and she knows that you can do it, otherwise she wouldn't ask or complain. Please listen to what she says.
If you hurt and disappoint your wife once she will always remember... don't and if she loves you she will admire you and love you more... and what's better than that.

This is what human relationships are for, to help each other! We have to be thankful to have each other and not be alone. Please read the Quran and please be peaceful.

Try to be open to them and find the good inside them instead of anything else, if you both have a good spirit even with arguments it will be easier that you care for each other and try to help each other.

Your partner should help you in life, not despise you!!! If you find this attitude in a woman or man just do NOT marry that person!!! But think, and don't do the same thing to others. Period.

But back to the topic... hitting somebody that did not hit you...? Really?
That is so unfair... do you even have a heart? Your heart knows what is right. Violence isn't.

If God (swt) forbids us to do injustice even in war to the enemy that did no harm to us, what about our own homes and beloved ones.

It is not about being a man or woman, it is about being a Muslim!!!

Discuss things openly and normally and learn how to give and accept constructive criticism, for the sake of sanity! So many marriages and families out there that don't talk or listen to each other and they don't really know each other, which is truly sad... :(

No excuse can make up for hitting somebody unjustly.

Peace and blessings

Location

Massachussets

Assalamu alaikum Brother,
I agree that its not right for a wife to do the above actions you mentioned. However, Islam teaches a man the ways to deal with it. The chastisement verse mentions the method of dealing with nushuz (rebellion/disobedience) on a woman's part...stop talking to her, separate your bed, and hitting (which is explained by scholars as only a slight tap with a miswak twig, which would be a psychological chastisement, more than physical). Also, if these means fail, and the woman does not change her ways, the man is free to divorce her (after warning her that he means to divorce her if things dont change).
The article addresses the issue of women being abused because woman are oppressed more in this regard, and they dont have the means to chastise the abuser , being dependent on him in more ways than one, and then also because society often takes DV on women lightly and often forces her to stay in the marriage and abusive environment and keep tolerating. The only option she really has to take a khula through court, and then also divorced women face greater taboos and societal pressures than a divorced man, not to mention the fear of losing her kids. There is a need to support the female victims more and also to try to bring about a change in the mindset of abusers who claim to abuse because Islam tells them to, or allows them to. In this way, if an abuser corrects himself, the marriage may be saved and the kids may have a better home environment to grow up in.

Location

Pakistan

The modern times have given rise to new kind of domestic violence. That violence is when wives are the ones initiating, and constantly carrying out the violence. That violence is in form of:
1. wife hitting husband on things that she could not tolerate of husband.
2. Cursing, and doing verbal abuse of such intense levels that a normal human being's heart would tremble.
3. Instigating violence by saying hateful words to husband's parents and family on minor household issues.

This is the new wave of violence that you didn't mention in your article. The reason husband stays quite and tolerates such behavior is because, he knows that if he retaliates wife will be harmed and she can get help from police and get him jailed.

The women of today are no nuns anymore. They are materialistic and hateful towards their husbands and kids. They create problem on minor issues.

You should be ashamed of yourself ignoring the other side of domestic violence, and making this article sound like it is always husband who is to blame.

People like you should stop writing articles like these. I was very disappointed to read one sided point of view of this article.

Location

Richmond, VA

Salaam Alaykum Brother,
We are taught that actions are judged by intentions. We cannot Box women as we cannot Box men. In Australia in Qld alone there are 67 refuges for women and 2 for men.
Your language in your statements is very much putting down women in general. The original article deals with statistics not opinion.
Salaam Alaykum

I agree the modern times have changed. The women (even in Islam) have started using domestic violence to trap men, strangle them and use it as leverage to settle financial matters. This is happening in the USA too not just any other country. The sequence starts when things are not working out for any family is to file a fake DV case, try to get the man arrested and then follow it up w/a divorce case. The DV case is used as leverage to ask for more in the final settlement. I am not saying all of these DV cases are fake; There are also some who file to use as leverage in other settlements. I thought only non-Muslims use this or rather misuse it :-); it's rather unfortunate that Muslims have started using it; even the ones who are religious in the USA are using it (misusing it). Appreciate this topic covers or at least mention the another side of this "evil" too which is tearing lots of families (even the kids). Also, appreciate the writer sheds light on the role of an adjacent family, an associated community should be defined. They cannot be outcasted to deal w/this "evil" all by themselves.

Location

Boston

Add new comment

(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.