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If You're Experiencing Domestic Violence...

A few hours ago, not far from where I live, a woman was stabbed to death, may God have mercy on her soul and grant her Paradise. The perpetrator is known in the local Muslim community. It appears to be yet another instance of domestic violence. Clearly we need to do a lot more societally to prevent domestic violence, but that has been talked about ad nauseum. Tomorrow, Nov 25th, is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, a day when we trot out statistics yet again: 4 in 10 women experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime. Less than 40% get help. If you are experiencing domestic violence, know that you are important. God created you and dignified you. God gave you worth as a human being. God doesn’t want for you to live in fear. No matter what you’ve been told you did to deserve the abuse, none of it is your fault. You are not responsible for controlling someone else’s moods and behaviour. What they're doing is wrong and they will be held accountable for it before God. You do not have to be silent. You do not have to be patient. You do not have to forgive or forget. And you definitely don’t have to feel bad about seeking help or a way out. You are the only one who can help yourself out of this situation. There are resources available to you. But you have to take that first step. Maybe you’re not sure what will happen to your children if you leave, or how you will survive financially. Having spoken to advocates who help women restart their lives after escaping domestic abuse, I can assure you that while it’s going to be hard in short term, eventually you and your children will find peace, comfort and happiness again. If you are in immediate danger, call 911. If not, start making an escape plan. Tell trusted people around you what you’re experiencing, and ask them to help you. Call Sakeenah at 1-888-671-3446 or Nisa Homes at 1-888-456-8043. Visit https://www.sheltersafe.ca/find-help/ for shelters in your area or https://endingviolencecanada.org/crisis-lines/ for helplines. May God show you a path out of this difficult situation and envelop you in His Protection and Mercy always.

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