A recent article in The Mirror relayed the accounts of four men, all of whom fall under that sprawling umbrella term ‘Domestic abuser’. The question posed was whether these men could, in time, be ‘cured’ of their violent dispositions and habituations through a programme that focused on ‘physical violence, psychological abuse and the impact on children’, claiming to have the potential to reform them and restore them to their families. Nonetheless, the controversy is initiated at the first use of the term ‘cure’; it implies that domestic violence is a disease, something intrinsic, uncontrollable, and ultimately blameless. It allows for the abuser to evade responsibility; it is dismissive, and catastrophically so.
In good sport, we can analyze the success stories from this treatment. Stuart and Peter were two men whose marriages were, according to the article, saved from the changes in behavior and subsequent epiphanies that were bought on by the programme. Stuart stopped his abusive behavior when he realized that his children knew about what he did to his wife behind closed doors. Not wanting his children to hate him, he used the thought as his deterrent. However, can this really be classed as a story of success? Stuart’s behavior did not change because of the realization that beating his wife was wrong, but because he became aware that he may lose his children as a result of it. It is evident that there is still something categorically wrong in the pathology of the abuser – the way in which he treats his victim is not changed because he views her differently, but because intervening bodies threatened to take something away from him if he did not stop. By the same token, Peter was an average Joe who one day ‘lost control’ after a long day at work and punched his wife in the face. His progression in the course remains unmapped; nonetheless, his story is another example of these repetitive dismissals of responsibility and blame that have become a staple of the abusive condition. Other stories include men who failed to complete the Domestic Violence Intervention Project, and it can only be assumed that they carried on with their sexual perversities and sporadic beatings on other victims. But with this said, can a course like this really ‘cure’ men who beat women?
Interestingly, the very first thing that the article asks us as readers to do, is to conjure up an image of what we perceive an abuser looks like. To wholly understand the pathology of a violent perpetrator, we must ask ourselves this: What situation or helpless disposition could possibly cause us to consistently harm our significant other? Only in doing this, in trying to imagine ourselves beating back the hands that rock the cradle and hitting the faces of the people whom we swore we’d protect, can we begin to see how completely ludicrous a ‘cure’ is. For in assuming a cure, we establish an excuse, and in doing this, we dismiss the imperative notion of choice. We all have the choice to spit poisonous words or to bite our tongues, to raise our fists or to walk away, to accept responsibility or to say we that we are susceptible to loosing control and evade blame entirely. It stands to question whether anyone reading the article, when asked to think of what abusers look like, came up with a picture of themselves.
Source: Derbyshire, Victoria
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/victoria-derbyshire-domestic-violence-treatment-2345505 [7 Oct 2013]
This pain is so strong..
What did I do wrong?
There’s not a day I don’t go without trying.
Taking my medication and resting is not all i do.
Some days I get up n run too.
Five years ago what I went through suffering in silence …
A marriage full of violence..
Memories of the slaps across my face are nothing but a feeling of disgrace…
How can I forget the kicks and them times he played mind tricks?
Pushed on my back,being strangled and punched to the ground.
Amazed at how I didn’t crack and how i Never made a sound…
I remember how I would silently cry and ask why?
Pleading on my knees
I would beg him it to stop please.
Sometimes he didn’t
Some days he couldn’t
But in the end I knew he wouldn’t…
I try not to cry I try not to show the pain ,
But day in day out the memories drive me insane…
Will I ever be free from the words he said to me the way he beat me?
Even-though he’s hundreds of miles away
The memories will always stay…
If I’d known that till this day I would be paying the price…I wouldn’t have never made that sacrifice…
I keep telling myself the past and it’s torture,
Has no place in my future.
To believe that is so hard when deep within I have been left scarred.
Doesn’t he know what he did to me is not all history?
Its what he did to me is making his life sad its me that’s behind his every tears.
He knows how he treated me was bad and that he fears.
Now i know he wasn’t strong.
He made me feel I was always in the wrong…
Back then I had no voice but today he has no choice…
With each passing day,
Night in night out he may try and block it out..
but the past will never go away.
This memory of ours will always stay…©
“It’s all your fault! You deserved it!”
The above words are commonly heard by victims of domestic abuse. And according to these words, it is they who are responsible for the actions of the abuser. I’m sure there are a number of “you what!”s escaping lips at this precise moment; however ask a person who has been at the brunt of domestic violence who they blame for their situation. More often than not their answer will be themselves. So many of their responses will start with ‘If only …’, ‘Maybe if …’ or ‘Perhaps I could …’ And they will continue to believe that they are at fault because the other person has been, for months or years, telling them vehemently and without hesitation that that is the case.
Afshan Khan has been serving the community for 27 years in Islamic counselling and Mediation service for Muslim women. It was an honour for Nour to get hold of her as she shared her expertise in this field. The workshop proved effective through its interactive nature. Many sisters were able to engage with sister Afshan and disclose their personal feelings hoping to take something positive back home.
I have often found myself questioning how fashion magazines sometimes feature women in compromising poses, some which I find more worrying than others. I have found and selected three images, all taken from popular magazines of models being strangled. Violence against women is portrayed clearly in all three photographs, but I wonder if this is a boundary that is too commonly crossed. Is this a disregard for what is an acceptable form of expression within fashion and should this be addressed? How could photographs like this effect ending violence against women? Does it affect the people experiencing it in real life?
Born into the hands of a tyrant,
You held me closely near your chest,
Enveloped me with your breath,
As I listened to the sound of your heart
And, that is where it all began.
Salaam aleykum readers
It is always humbling when Nour is supported by other organisations in helping us to reach our goals and to give us a reassuring confidence that we will insha’Allah grow bigger and better to help those who are suffering from domestic violence. We have always stressed the importance of our Imaams leading any initiative related to preventing and educating communities about DV, so that it may be successful. Our Imaams are our pillars, and on those pillars can we build and generate our strength. We are so excited to tell you that Imams Against Domestic Abuse (IADA) have given us this new found strength, and we hope to be theirs too insha’Allah.
Perhaps the most commonly misquoted and misunderstood verse of the Holy Qu’ran is Surah 4:34. Many muslims and non-muslim misinterpretate this verse. In this article we shall study the meaning of this verse by explaining the crucial arabic words in question correct. Further we shall interpretate this passage in the light of the authentic sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. Surah 4:34 reads:
Men are “qawwamuna” over women, because God has given some more than others, and because they support them from their means, and the righteous women are the truly devout ones [ God fearing ] , who guard in their husbands absence the intimacy which God has ordained to be guarded. And as for those women whose “nushuz” you have reason to fear, remind them [ of God and His teachings ] ; [ next ] then leave them alone in bed; then [ as a last resort ] “hit” them; and if thereupon they pay you heed, do not seek to harm them. Behold, God is indeed most high, great ! [ Surah 4:34 ]
The BBC show Panorama, through secret filming, has found that Shari’ah courts are not helping women in domestic violent situations.
The Telegraph states: “85 councils operating in mosques and houses across the country has revealed that the courts, which are run by sharia councils, are ruling in favour of men meeting estranged wives or having access to children when they have found to have been abusive”
DV (Life – Share Your Story): Part 1 | Part 2
Then I remember. The pain starts rushing back in. The pain of rejection. The pain of sadness. The pain of being alone. The pain of reality. Why won’t everyone understand? They tell me everything will be alright?? NO! It won’t be alright! They say just to relax. How can I relax? My thoughts are now swirling and being convoluted by images of the past. I cannot think straight. I cannot seem to stop the thoughts. They are starting to build up and the noise in my head is deafening… I am afraid that someone else will hear it. I try to grasp onto one thought. I try to concentrate. I try to make it stop. Make it stop. Make it stop. Then I hear a noise. What was that? I then realize it was my own voice. I was screaming STOP! Please stop I mumble to myself. Please? I am weeping the pain is all too much to bear. How can life be this painful? How can it be? Where is the laughter? When will it come? It seems like years since I laughed. I wonder if I can still laugh.