Male Privilege.

Silence Hides Violence Umm YouseffPyramid of power

My perpetrator seriously believed that because he was male he possessed male privilege and used it to gain power and control. He believed he had to be served and obeyed even though he was being violent nasty and miserly. In the twenty two years of our relationship he never paid towards any of our costs of living. He would actually eat from our pocket.

He would spend his time reading about the role of women in Islam missing vital details about compassion, provision, protection and love. His viewpoint on marriage came from his own childhood seeing violence and abuse. Sadly his mother, brothers and sisters informed him that this was the way men gained  power and control. He needed to use abuse to gain anything he wanted from his wife.  He still believes all men beat and abuse there wife’s and children. He feels I am wrong for shining a light on his behaviour and good women remain silent about abuse. He had a choice, he could have rejected this ignorant viewpoint and treated his wife and children with love and compassion. He chose to be greedy, oppressive, controlling and violent.

He used isolation to cut me off from the outside world. He would control everything insisting on food being made and the house being spotless before I could go out even for a doctors appointment. If I invited a friend or family member over in the early days he would cause a scene or insist the house was cleaned spotless afterwards so in the end you would give up inviting people which is what happened leaving me isolated and alone.

He also used religion and culture to prevent me telling anyone. When I told my sister he said I was haram for telling on him. I always confided in my sister and he hated her because she knew how abusive he was. Yet some things were to painful for me to tell her as if I said them out loud then I would have to acknowledge how abused I was.  The most painful abuse for me was the sexual abuse as I was sexually abused as a child. My husband did not allow me to say no and he would be cold and horrible to me afterwards leaving me feeling dirty and used. It was worse than my horrendous childhood. When I first contacted the police as he was being violent, he used the community to tell me I shouldn’t go to the authorities, it was “Family problems”, “Secrets of the house”, I replied “So what am I to do when he is threating me with weapons then”. Eventually I did stop getting help as it made him worse.

He would verbally abuse me constantly calling me nasty names and making me feel like he hated me. My house was clean and beautiful yet he made me feel like it was dirty. He would refuse to support me with the children and left me with very little respect in my own home. This disrespect lead me to not even like him as a person let alone love him. Very early on I did not want to be with him let alone sleep with him. He was fully aware how I felt. He did not care. He would telephone me all the time wanting to know if I told anyone about his behaviour, saying I was haram when I replied that I did.

I always believed that he had no control over his temper, he wanted me to believe that as it was his biggest threat. I thought he might just lose control and kill us all. if I tried to raise a issue he would pull hideous faces, flip out threating to kill, he would push me, slap me, spit on me, call me horrid names, swear and act as though he hated me more than anything on earth.

After he would say he didn’t mean any of it but I knew he did, he meant every nasty word as time after time the same exact behaviour was repeated. sometime he would just sit there full of contempt for all of us it was as though he had no feelings for anyone but himself and his family. He had no love or care for his own children he seemed to think that they would love him regardless of his behaviour. He even said ” Why can’t you just pretend to be happy like your brother” to our son. He therefore completely knew no one but him was happy and he was fine with that.

The whole way through our relationship he has used manipulative techniques to maintain his power and control. He denied that he treated us all so badly and actually lie to me saying how kind, loving and generous he was to us. Yet he and I both knew the truth I would just be quiet when he would say how good a husband he was. I was to frightened to state the reality. He would trivialise his aggressive behaviour and his verbal put downs laughing at me for believing he hated me.

In the first twelve years every time I had him removed from the house he would go straight around to my sisters house as she was also Muslim married to a Algerian and her husband would take him in. He was extremely manipulative and was very good at crying and looking very sorry, this would then put pressure on me to let him have another chance. Sure enough this final time when I was brave enough to call the police especially as there was a ten year gap of me not getting any help from the police because I really was to terrified to get help. I contacted the police and he went straight to my sisters. This time his manipulation did not work as there was no way I was going to fall for his fake tears. He controlled every aspect of my life and oppressed me and the children.

I am finally free and no matter what he thinks I will never return to being his victim. I am not being undermined by anyone, now have a voice and respect in my home. I am free to chose my hijab myself. I am free to have friends. Most of all I am free to be me.