Educate Yourself: Educate yourself about domestic violence.

 

Listen: This is one of the most important things you can do.  Remember, the person confiding in you has kept this problem a secret from others.  Find a quiet place where you can talk safely and without interruption.  Listening encourages victims to talk about the abuse.

 

Believe: Do not deny the abuse is happening.  Do not pass judgment.  Show your support no matter what decision is made about the abusive relationship.

 

Validate Feelings: Do not ignore the abuse as this will only serve to hide feelings and to worsen the problem, which is dangerous and destructive.

 

Show Respect: Show that you respect the person’s ability to handle the situation and to cope with it.  This will help with empowerment and developing confidence to deal with the abuse.

 

Do Not Give Advice: As difficult as it is, it is necessary to refrain from giving advice especially when your friend first confides in you.  Allow the person in the situation to make decisions about what to do, and when to do it.  Your role is to help identify options and consequences which might follow.  Example: you could mention that if the victim does not seek help, children could be exposed to abuse as well.  Empower the victim with information and the ability to make decisions by spelling out the options available.

 

Do Not Blame the Victim: This is important because blame is how the abuser often justifies the abuse.  Make it clear that no one has the right to abuse another.  Explain the dynamics of the cycle of violence.  Talk about how Allah does not allow a man to abuse his wife.  Similarly, Allah does not allow parents to abuse their children, or children to abuse their parents.

 

Encourage Seeking Help: Provide support in facing the problem and dealing with it for the sake of each member of the family.  Provide support and transportation to places like shelters, legal aid, etc.  If you have an Imam you can trust to deal with this situation appropriately, encourage seeking his help first.  It is possible that your friend will feel more comfortable with an Imam and an Islamic center than in mainstream social services.

 

Discuss Safety: Talk to your friend about shelters and other safe places, how to access services, and help create a safety plan.

 

Do Not Speak to the Abuser:  This can worsen the situation and create more danger.  If the abuser finds out you know about the situation, the problem could escalate.  The abuser may punish the victim for telling others about the problem.

 

Stay in Touch: One of the things abusers do is to isolate victims from family and friends.  Keep in touch with your friend as much as possible, by phone or email if not in person.  Make sure contact is made in a manner that does not attract the abuser’s attention.

 

Make Duaa’:  Duaa’ (prayer) connects you with the Most Powerful One, our Creator.  Pray for your friend.  Our Prophet (May Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said that your prayer for a person increases love between you and that person.  Encouraging your friend to make duaa’ will provide a source of strength and spiritual support.

 

  1. Local Organizations with DV Programs for Muslims

    MIDWESTERN STATES

    Arab American Family Services
    9044 S. Octavia
    Bridgeview IL., 60455
    708-599-2237
    708-599-8229 fax
    www.arabamericanfamilyservices.org
    Website: www.aafamilyservices.org

    Muslim Men Against Domestic Abuse
    1717 West Kirby Avenue, Suite 333
    Champaign, IL 61821
    Email: mmada22009@yahoo.com
    Website: www.mmada.org
    Blog: http://www.mmada.org/11501.html

     

    NORTH EASTERN STATES

    Baitul Hemayah
    20-24 Branford Place, Suite 702
    Newark, New Jersey 07102
    Phone: 973.242.1922
    Hotline: 866.HEM.AYAH
    Email: info@baitulhemayah.org
    Website: www.baitulhemayah.org

    Domestic Harmony Foundation
    P.O. Box 35
    Syosset, NY 11791
    Phone: 516.942.2081
    Email: info@dhfny.org
    Website: www.dhfny.org

    Healthy Families Initiative
    A program of Rhode Island Council for Muslim Advancement (RICMA)
    P.O. Box 40535
    Providence, RI 02940
    Email: rihealthyfamilies@ricma.org
    Website: www.ricma.org
    Blog: http://healthyfamiliesinitiative.blogspot.com

    Rahama
    Buffalo, NY
    Phone: 716.908.6505
    Email: rahama.dv@gmail.com

    Sista2Sista
    P.O. Box 42039
    Philadelphia, PA 19101
    Email: sistas@sista2sista.org
    Website: www.sista2sista.org

    Turning Point
    PO Box 670086
    Flushing, NY 11367
    Phone: 718.883.9400
    Fax: 718.883.9449
    Email: info@turningpoint-ny.org
    Website: www.turningpoint-ny.org

    WAFA House
    P.O. Box 2102
    Clifton, NJ 07015-2102
    Phone: 800.930.9232
    Email: info@wafahouse.org
    Website: www.wafahouse.org

     

    SOUTHERN STATES

    Baitul Salaam Network
    PO Box 11041
    Atlanta, GA 30310
    Phone: 800.285.9489 pin #00
    Email: haleem1@aol.com
    Website: www.baitulsalaam.net

    Central Texas Muslimaat
    3571 Far West Boulevard #109
    Austin, Texas 78731
    Phone: 512.577.SAFE
    Email: yturk@ctmuslimaat.org
    Website: www.ctmuslimaat.org

    Foundation for Appropriate and Immediate Temporary Help (FAITH)
    500 Grove Street
    Herndon, VA 20170
    Phone: 571.323.2198 and 571.323.2199
    Email: info@faithus.org
    Website: www.faithus.org

    Muslim Community Center for Human Services
    Al-Shifa Clinic
    7600 Glenview Drive
    Richland Hills, TX 76181
    Phone: 817.589.9165 (HelpLine)
    Email: info@mcc-hs.org
    Website: www.mcc-hs.org

    Muslim Men Against Domestic Violence
    (A project of FAITH)
    500 Grove Street
    Herndon, VA 20170
    Phone: 571.323.2198 and 571.323.2199
    Email: info@faithus.org
    Website: www.faithus.org

    Muslimat Al-Nisaa
    5115 Liberty Heights Avenue
    Baltimore, MD 21207
    Phone: 410.466.8686
    Email: info@mnisaa.org
    Website: www.mnisaa.org

    New Star Family Center
    Phone: 310.281.3368
    Email: info@starfamilycenter.org
    Website: www.starfamilycenter.org

    Texas Muslim Woman’s Foundation
    Executive Director: Hind Jarrah
    P.O. Box 863388
    Plano, TX 75086
    Phone: 469-467-6241
    Cell: 214-668-8350
    Email: execdir@tmwf.org
    Website: www.tmwf.org

     

    WESTERN STATES

    National Islamic Society of Women in America (NISWA)
    P.O. Box 1403
    Lomita, CA 90717
    Phone: 310.748.9087
    Website: www.niswa.org

    North American Islamic Shelter for the Abused (NISA)
    P.O.Box 50515
    Palo Alto, CA 94303
    Phone: 650.856.0440
    Toll-Free: 888.Ask.NISA
    Email: admin@ask-nisa.org
    Website: www.ask-nisa.org

    Rahima Foundation
    2302 Calle Del Mundo
    Santa Clara, CA 95054
    Phone: 408.845.0050
    Email: mail@rahima.org
    Website: www.rahima.org

    SEMAH
    39675 Cedar Boulevard, Suite 140
    Newark, CA 94560
    Phone: 510.659.8535
    Help Line: 866.99S.EMAH
    Email: info@semah.org
    Website: www.semah.org

    Stepping Together
    PO Box 2216
    Los Gatos, CA 95031
    Email: admin@amila.org
    Website: www.amila.org

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