Domestic Violence Counseling Department
'A'ishah said: "The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) never hit a servant, never raised his hand on a woman, never used his hand to kill a person outside the battlefield, never avenged himself on anyone for an injury caused unless someone violated a sanctity enjoined by Allah and he avenged it for the sake of Allah. His practice was that whenever he had to choose between two things, he would choose the easier one unless it was a sin; and if it was a sin he would keep away from it most of all" (Musnad Ahmad). Anas said: "I served the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) for ten years. He never did so much as express even a slight disgust over what I did or said: he never asked why I had done what I had done, and never inquired why I had not done what I had not done." (Bukhari, Muslim).
These sayings of the wife and Companions of the Prophet` (SAW) clearly expressed how he treated those near and dear to him (SAW). Sometimes people find themselves in an abusive relationship and they do not know what to do or how to stop the abuse from occurring.
Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in a marriage that is used by one’s spouse to gain or maintain power and control over them. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.
Physical Abuse: Hitting, slapping, shoving, grabbing, pinching, biting, hair pulling, etc. are types of physical abuse. This type of abuse also includes denying a partner medical care or forcing alcohol and/or drug use upon him or her.
Sexual Abuse: Coercing or attempting to coerce any sexual contact or behavior without consent. Sexual abuse includes, but is certainly not limited to, marital rape, attacks on sexual parts of the body, forcing sex after physical violence has occurred, or treating one in a sexually demeaning manner.
Emotional Abuse: Undermining an individual's sense of self-worth and/or self-esteem is abusive. This may include, but is not limited to constant criticism, diminishing one's abilities, name-calling, or damaging one's relationship with his or her children.
Economic Abuse: Is defined as making or attempting to make an individual financially dependent by maintaining total control over financial resources, withholding one's access to money, or forbidding one's attendance at school or employment.
Psychological Abuse: Elements of psychological abuse include - but are not limited to - causing fear by intimidation; threatening physical harm to self, spouse, children, or spouse's family or friends; destruction of pets and property; and forcing isolation from family, friends, or school and/or work.
An abusive environment weakens a Muslim's willpower and iman (faith), two things a Muslim relies on to get out of a bad situation. This abusive environment causes a Muslim, domestic violence victim, to experience unwanted and undesired pain and suffering. A part of the victim wants to just give into the abuse, and another part of them doesn't. To make matters worse, the abusive behavior has a negative rippling effect on the entire family.
Many good Muslims struggle with this issue of abuse, regardless of their nationality, gender, age, and social status. Alhamdulillah (All praise to God), many people are successful in transitioning out of their abusive situation. However, starting and maintaining this process of change can be quite challenging. This is when the encouragement, support, and expertise of a domestic violence counselor can help. A domestic violence counselor can make the advocacy of the domestic violence victim pleasurable and supportive. A Muslim domestic violence counselor can help other Muslims through this process so that they can avoid the pain of abuse.
What to Expect in Domestic Violence Counseling
- Your counselor will work with you to support an environmental change as you build internal and external resources that will help you maintain the positive change in your life.
- Likely, you have been affected by this problem for a long period, so it will take time for you to get a handle on things. But remember, "Surely, Allah is with the patient" and "For every difficulty there is relief."
- You will explore your abusive situation and its impact on you and your family and come up with practical steps to make some safe and positive changes in your abusive environment.
- You will gain an understanding of the rituals, thoughts, and challenges that fuel the abusive environment and you will work with your counselor to break the cycle of abuse, with the understanding that breaking the cycle of abuse has many layers. Therefore breaking the cycle of abuse is a marathon, not a sprint.
- You will be expected to take action. Talking about and understanding the problem of domestic abuse is important, but it must be accompanied by safe actions that only you can make the decision to take and the outcome of your decision will be only yours to bear.
- Your counselor will advise you regarding a safe plan of action.
- You will use tools like dua (prayer), Quranic guidance, the wisdom of our Prophet (Peace be upon him), Islamic practices, and the stories and experiences of other domestic violence survivors to help you on your journey. You will be encouraged to adopt a lifelong holistic approach towards changing your abusive environment, which means you will use all local and other resources, services and individuals available to assist with improving upon the quality of your life.
- You may be encouraged to make a 3-month support commitment with your counselor, as a minimum, in order to provide you the comfort in knowing that you have support throughout your ordeal and towards an abuse free environmental transition.
- As you work on making changes towards a non-abusive environment, you and your counselor will remember that ultimately healing is with Allah (God) and also having faith in Islamic healing is important.The Angel Jibril came to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and prayed for him and said, "(In the Name of Allah I pray over you for healing (Ruqyah), from everything that bothers you, from the evil of every soul and every evil eye that hates you, may Allah cure you, in the Name of Allah I pray over you for healing.)" and Allah knows best.
- Please note that our counselors are not professional counselors, however they have some understanding and background in psychology and Domestic violence.
Terms & Conditions
Availing our counseling services implies that you agree to the following terms and conditions. Please read them carefully.
- You agree that you are entering the counseling voluntarily.
- You agree and acknowledge that you will not use the counseling service for any illegal activity.
- You acknowledge that our counseling services are not responsible for any decision or action taken by you based on the service given. It is wholly your responsibility.
- You acknowledge that you are 18 years of age or older. If you are not yet 18 years old please do not sign up for this service.
- We will maintain complete confidentiality, unless legally compelled to disclose information, or we feel that there might be harm to you/someone else.
- During the counseling process, you may experience some emotional distress, since painful issues are being talked about. You acknowledge that you are aware of this before starting the counseling.
- You agree that in case of a crisis, you will contact a local counselor.
- Acknowledge that you are not associated with any terrorist group or activity, nor do you promote such ideas.