Prepare to Be a Resource: Research Qur’an, Sunnah and fiqh to better understand and respond to abuse from an Islamic perspective. Receive training from professionals in the fields of sexual and domestic violence.
Become a Safe Place: Make your mosque a safe place where victims of domestic violence can come for help. Display brochures and posters which include the telephone number of the domestic violence and sexual assault programs in your area. Publicize the National Domestic Violence Hotline number: 800.799.SAFE.
Educate Community Members: Provide ways for members of your mosque to learn as much as they can about domestic and sexual violence. Routinely include information in monthly newsletters, on bulletin boards, and in marriage preparation classes. Sponsor educational seminars on abuse in your mosque.
Lead By Example: Volunteer to serve on the board of directors at the local domestic violence/sexual assault program or attend a training to become a crisis volunteer.
Speak Out: Speak out about domestic violence and sexual assault in your khutbah’s. As an imam or community leader, you can have a powerful impact on people’s attitudes and beliefs.
Offer Space: Offer meeting space for educational seminars or weekly support groups, or serve as a supervised visitation site when parents need to safely visit their children.
Partner With Existing Resources: Include your local domestic violence or sexual assault program in donations and community service projects. Adopt a shelter for which your mosque provides material support, or provide similar support to families as they rebuild their lives following a shelter stay.
Use Zakat to Help: Earmark a percentage of zakat funds to specifically help victims of domestic violence.
Support Professional Training: Encourage and support training and education for imams and community leaders, hospital and university chaplains, and Islamic Studies students to increase awareness about sexual and domestic violence.
Address Internal Issues: Encourage continued efforts by mosques and Islamic centers to address allegations of abuse by Muslim leaders to insure that religious leaders remain a safe resource for victims and their children.
Intervene: If you suspect violence is occurring in a family, help the victim plan for safety and encourage accountability of the abuser. Let each know of the community resources available. Do not attempt couples counseling unless you have been trained in domestic violence, and only after the safety of the victim has been ensured.
Adapted with permission from the Nebraska Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalition and FaithTrust Institute