When I stopped being a victim and moved to becoming a survivor, I found attending my local domestic violence groups very good. However I decided that I would try to understand the tactics used with me in more detail. The wheel of power and control that I have adjusted is very similar to the original power and control wheel I was handed at my sessions. Most abusers use very similar tactics to control however individuals with a religious belief tend to manipulate the religion to suit there objectives. My own father made my mother not take contraception as he was catholic. He was however hypocritical and slept around all the time. He also used the religion to silence her.
My abuser manipulated religion and even though I had studied Islam. He would abuse shouting and swearing if confronted for being wrong. He had no worries about the hereafter when considering his violent treatment of us all or his non provision.
I then decided to make my own version of the pyramid of power also shared at a domestic violence workshop. Religion plays a massive part of the abusers toolkit as they manipulate whatever religion they are to meet there unsavoury goals. I personally know that I have suffered a backlash from the community for getting help. I was told that I shouldn’t have called the police. I am bring the authorities into our private family issues. Its just family problems. Being forced to remain a wife to someone for fear you and your children being killed is completely out of Islam. Not providing for your wife and children is out of Islam. Oppression is out of Islam. Rape is out of Islam. Violence is out of Islam. Yet I have been told by sisters that its haram not to forgive him if he says he is sorry. This is completely wrong as in Islam a woman can ask for a divorce because she no longer finds her husband attractive. We need to end the sigma on survivors of domestic violence and the misguided pressure applied to victims to return to a abuser.
We need to end the silence of domestic violence. We need to end the shaming of victims who are brave enough to speak out. We need to share our stories to let fellow victims know they are not alone. Domestic violence happens to women from all walks of life and is not because the victim is unlovable or deficient. Its not the victims fault. The fault lies with the perpetrators.