My name is Lisa, and I’m the Co-Founder of Verona Collection. I am a Muslim first, single mother second — and amongst many other things, I am a survivor of domestic violence.

 When our community is affected with yet another sister's life lost due to domestic violence, it hits me to my core. I feel angry and sad — I’m also triggered and absolutely heartbroken. As advocates for the fight against domestic violence, we come together and we express our feelings. Sometimes, we might even feel like our work is failing. We tell ourselves we’re not doing enough.

And the truth is, unfortunately, it is not enough — because the solution does not come down to a few individuals in the community stepping up and supporting those who have experienced domestic violence. The solution cannot depend on underfunded organizations, and overworked, underpaid social workers to fix our community. This needs to be a collective effort. We all must work together and speak up when we witness injustice.

You must do your part.

I’m angry as I write this post, because we all need to do more. We need to be better. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, "Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith."

Allah is directly instructing us to take action. We cannot sit on the sidelines as we witness oppression.

Here are a few ways you can help victims and survivors of domestic violence.

  • Acknowledging that their situation is difficult and scary — it is brave of them to regain control
  • Not judging their decisions or guilting them over a choice they make
  • Remembering that you cannot “rescue them,” and that decisions about their lives are up to them to make
  • Helping them create a safety plan
  • Continuing to be supportive of them if they do end the relationship and are understandably lonely, upset, or even return to their abusive partner
  • Offering to go with them to any service provider or legal setting for moral support

A few organazations that I personally vouch for, and work with are Nisa Homes based in Canada, Texas Muslim Womens Foundation (serves women worldwide), and Ikram Foundation -an organization that provides support for survivors after divorce through educational grants.

It’s our time to take a step towards change. This is not a cause reserved for only other women who have experienced domestic violence to fight against. Each and every one of us has a role to play.

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