domesticviolance

It is extremely amusing how currently in the Australian Media they are having a go at Islam due to a video that became public of two sisters in a talk discussing how a husband should beat his wife. These two sisters were discussing how after verbal admonition (towards a disobedient wife), that the last resort may be physical admonition, and this is something that has been expanded upon by the scholars. It is true that as a last option, it is allowed to admonish them physically and this is not something we reject (Surah Nisaa:44), but what sort of physical admonition is actually meant? As the sisters stated, it may simply be a strike to the palm with a folded handkerchief or type of light cloth, not a log, not a clenched hand, not a whip, or anything of that sort! 

Imam al-Raazi mentions:

أن يكون الضرب بمنديل ملفوف أو بيده ولا يضربها بالسياط ولا بالعصا

It should be a striking with a folded handkerchief or his palm, and he should not strike her with whips or clubs. [Tafseer al-Raazi 4:34]

Furthermore, a brother expands on this beautifully and mentions:  “The “striking” without pain is only a teaching mechanism intended to draw attention to the seriousness of major sins and reform bad behavior. It is not intended to punish, humiliate, or degrade the dignity of a wife, nor is it meant to injure or harm her. For this reason, classical scholars placed strict limits on this and recommended a man use nothing more than a handkerchief.”

The irony is, as they are all exploding in anger and hatred at Islam in this delicate matter by which they bark “domestic violence” and abuse!”, for many, it is their own religions and values that in reality contains nothing in regards to how women truly should be dealt! Unlike Islam, it protects, and dignifies women, and seeks to safeguard them from all harm - physical, social and emotional. Which of their religions and values from their doctrines, books and texts promote the good treatment of women like that of Islam!? Rather, you will find many of their households, with men with no morals, men who come home drunk and abuse their wives (which Islam strictly prohibits), men who come home in a state of anger (by which Islam promotes strict control and restraint), and many other determinants which exist that lead to domestic violence that this religion has catered for, to prevent evil and harmful outcomes. 

Allah says in His Book, the divine source of guidance for all Muslims:

وَعَاشِرُوهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ

And live with them in kindness” [4:19]

And indeed, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, the best of creation, the man which all Muslims are required to follow in his actions and dealings said:

استوصوا بالنساء خيرًا

“Treat women gently”

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:

خَيْرُكُمْ خَيْرُكُمْ لأَهْلِهِ وَأَنَا خَيْرُكُمْ لأَهْلِي

“The best of you is the best to his wives, and I am the best of you to my wives” [Tirmidhi]  

And the Prophet said,:

اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ فِي النِّسَاءِ فَإِنَّكُمْ أَخَذْتُمُوهُنَّ بِأَمَانَةِ اللَّهِ

“Fear Allah regarding women. Verily, you have taken them as a trust from Allah” [Tabarani]

It was reported in Sahih Muslim by the Prophet’s wife, A’ishah  رضي الله عنه who said:

مَا ضَرَبَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ خَادِمًا لَهُ وَلَا امْرَأَةً

“The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, did not strike a servant or a woman” 

And the Messenger of Allah ﷺ  further said:

لَقَدْ طَافَ بِآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ نِسَاءٌ كَثِيرٌ يَشْكُونَ أَزْوَاجَهُنَّ لَيْسَ أُولَئِكَ بِخِيَارِكُمْ

“Many women have come to the family of Muhammad complaining about their husbands hitting them. These men are not the best among you.” [Abu Dawud]

Moreover, Imam  ʻAzizamabadi commented in regards to this Hadith, 

“The words: they are not the best of you, refers to the men who are striking their wives strongly or without restriction; rather, the best of you are those who do not strike their wives.” [Awn al-Maʻbud ʻala Sunan Abu Dawud 2146]

It is only the fool and the ignorant one that has no understanding of the wisdom behind the rulings within Islam, that will make such claims that Islam endorses domestic violence. Verily, it is is Islam that teaches its followers to treat women kindly and gently, it is Islam that teaches its followers that the best of believers are those who are best to their wives, it is Islam that teaches its followers that one should deal with their wives honorably and should provide them their rights.  Indeed, the one who acts on the contrary has nothing to do with Islam nor the Sunnah of the Prophet  ﷺ.

2


Born on unceded Sto:lo First Nations territory, Jasmin Kaur is a writer, graphic designer and spoken word artist. Her writing, which explores otherness, decolonization and the beauty of resistance, acts as a means of healing and reclaiming identity. As a youth facilitator, Jasmin has been leading writing and personal development workshops for young people since 2013. Aside from community organizing, Jasmin is working towards becoming a middle school teacher. You can find her on Instagram at @jusmun.

To my girlfriend's ex girlfriend...

Because of you she doubts everything.
When she is happy, she’s scared to trust it.
When she is scared, the feeling is all to familiar.
You did a real number with her.
You definitely didn’t deserve her.
You didn’t deserve her love, her trust, her loyalty or her body…
Her beautiful body that you laid hands on. That you hurt and abused and wounded deeper than just the surface.
I will always hate you for that.
I will hate you every time I go to brush a hair behind her ear and she flinches.
I will hate you every time her eyes fill with tears at the memory of what you did to her…
But, what you don’t know… what maybe she doesn’t even know…
Is that she is a Phoenix.
She will rise from the ash that you created, more beautiful and stronger than ever before.
When she learns to trust again, it will be unbreakable.
You are not the defining person of her life. You will not be the standard.
I am.
I will show her what it means to be loved.
I will earn and keep her trust.
I will value her for the treasure that she is.
Her body will be loved, caressed and embraced. I will kiss every inch of her until there are nothing but good memories remaining.
I will show her what it is like to be adored and appreciated. She will never know what it’s like to be taken advantage of again.
She is mine. I am hers.
You may have been her “first love”, but I will be her last.

cuts & bandaids: part one

It’s funny how as a child, having the time of your life meant going outside to play, riding your bike, feeling the wind and sun on your skin. Things were so simple. Heartbreak was not being able to get the piece of candy or that toy from the store. For whatever reason, you couldn’t wait to grow up and experience real pain. It’s no longer that scrape you got from falling off your bike; it’s deeper. It’s internal pain you can’t get away from. Mommy and daddy can no longer kiss it away, no longer can you cover wounds with bandaids. If you allow it, that pain will start to impact your actions, decisions, & thoughts. Trauma; a deeply distressing & disturbing experience. Whatever it is that you’ve been through, it takes a toll on you in every way possible. The impact is psychological. The expression, “big girls don’t cry”, is one of the most inaccurate that I’ve ever heard. I’ve cried more nights as an adult than i ever did as a child. No matter how hard I tried, my pain could not be covered. Not even with the forced smile and “I’m fine” when others inquired. The more I ignored it, the thicker the cloud got above me. I found myself asking “what happened?” “where did i go wrong?”. I then experienced physical abuse in a relationship and it’s probably one of the hardest things i’ve ever been through. The first time it happens should be the last time. That first black eye, the first bruise, knot, bloody nose, pain in places people can’t see. An argument starts as a verbal disagreement and next thing you know, you’re either so fed up you’re throwing the first punch or being knocked to the ground. Coaching yourself to get up, fight back. You’re knocked back to the ground but your pride won’t let you stay there. You make a decision & realize that decision could either save your life or take it. You get back up, but this time you’re not getting up, you’re down for the count and bleeding. Left alone to pick yourself up & deal with your own injuries. You’re so used to it, you start figuring out how you’re gonna hide or lie about this one. The next coverup story is always harder than the last, but you’re in a trance.

You’re probably asking yourself “why didn’t she just leave?” So much easier said than done. After the 6th & 7th time….the point you start to lose count, the point where you tell yourself “i’m either gonna fight back and stay or walk away and lose everything”…all for the sake of family. Oh he did apologize & he did cry asking for another chance, maybe he’s really sorry this time. Hilarious. You tell yourself whatever you need to in the moment. anything to not have to face reality right? That was the hardest battle I ever faced until I decided to fight my depression instead. Until I realized it’s time to fight for my life for the sake of ME. I wish the emotional pain I still deal with would have disappeared with the scars & bruises. Thats where the pain starts to take over your entire life. Every move you make is because of what you had to experience. You start blaming yourself asking “why the hell didn’t i just leave!?” You look up and realize you’ve been lying to everyone for years. You’ve been acting as if everything is as peachy as they look in pictures. That type of pain pushed me to drink heavily. it puts you in a state where you no longer want to see your reflection. You are absolutely disgusted with yourself, how you even allowed to let this happen. You didn’t call the police again this time. You get tired of constantly loving someone that has no idea you even exist. Finally, you work up enough courage to put yourself first & those baby steps towards self-progression are the hardest. The goal is to love the skin you’re in; the same skin you wanted out of so bad. I never saw my mom at 100% in control of her anger & I want to break that vicious cycle i’ve seen take place in my family. I battle with letting go of the negative traits of her i see in myself everyday. I push my hardest to get myself better for my children. Life is already difficult enough. i don’t need them seeing me off of my game because when it’s all said and done, who will they run to to get back on theirs? If it’s hurting you, more than helping, run and never look back. You’ll thank yourself in the end.

I was dating a violent, abusive, terrifying, alcoholic, Crossfitter.

He said all of the right things. He told me I was beautiful, smart, funny, and caring. He told me he would never hurt me. He told me that when he saw me in my friend’s room the day we first met, he knew he had found the girl he wanted to marry. All of that changed when he got drunk one night with his friends and pulled out a Ka-Bar at a party and told everyone he was going to kill me with it.

When I first met Him, I was a freshman in college; a transfer into everyone else’s second semester because I took a semester off between high school and college. I didn’t know anyone and I was “the new girl.” My school was small so everyone in my class knew I was coming in. I found out later that I was known as the girl from England… Not sure how everyone found out I was born there but everyone was disappointed when I didn’t have a British accent. Anyways, I got to college and met a group of people my first couple weeks there that ended up being my absolute best friends throughout my college experience. The Binford Kids. This group was known for their 5pm dinners in the cafeteria and group outings and generally just being loud and obnoxious in large numbers. But hey, I immediately fell in love with each and every one of them.

One day, while I was hanging out with The Binford Kids in my friend’s room, a group of guys walked by the door and immediately stopped, did a double take, and walked in. “You’re new here!,” one of them shouted to me. I told them my name and small talk began. Each of them began to introduce themselves and the last guy introduced himself and we locked eyes for a second. He blushed and turned away and his friend nudged him and said, “Awwww you’re blushing!” Things got more awkward and we ended up just hanging out in the room for awhile, all together. Once it was time for them to leave, the one that I had locked eyes with earlier approached me and said, “ Hey. So… I was wondering… Do you want to hang out sometime? I mean, I can give you my number and we can hang out. Since I know you’re new here and everything…” I said yes, we exchanged numbers, smiled, and went our separate ways.

Honestly, I don’t know how it happened but we became inseparable. He moved, I moved. We spent every moment that we weren’t in class together and everyone knew us as a single unit. I had never felt this way about someone before and it felt so right. My friends all knew him pre-Me so they warned me to be careful. I didn’t listen because the man I saw in front of me was not the man that they were describing. He was sweet, kind, quirky, funny, and muscular. They were describing a player, a man who cared only for himself, and someone who was very, very violent. I saw none of it until later.

The first time I saw his true colors was the first dance performance of my college career. I have been dancing since the age of six and it is a part of who I am. This performance meant the world to me; to be able to dance in front of all of my friends and my new boyfriend. The night of the performance, I was talking about it with my friends and He walked in. “Are you coming tonight?,” one of my friends asked. Expecting him to say, “Of course I am! Why would you even ask such a thing!” was too much of me to ask, I guess. “Yeah… I don’t think so. I was planning on having a guy’s night; smoking, Xbox, stuff.”

Excuse me? Did I hear you correctly? You’ve known about this for weeks and you would rather smoke weed and play videogames with your friends that you see EVERY DAY than see your girlfriend dance in front of an audience for the first time in years? I just stared at him in disbelief and all of my friends sat in silence. I didn’t argue and I didn’t push and he just left the room. I burst into tears because my picture perfect boyfriend wasn’t so perfect after all. To be clear, he did come to my performance. With all of his guy friends. Stoned off his ass. And I bet he doesn’t remember a goddamn thing.

After that incident, there were many like it. Missed dinner dates, missed celebrations, broken promises, and making it clear that everyone else came first and I was just there as a second, third, or fourth option. I made excuses for him and said that it was okay; that he was tired, he forgot, and he didn’t mean to hurt me. I was with this man for three years and until the very last day I saw him, I stood up for him. My friends continuously told me that I was making a mistake and he wasn’t good for me but like the stubborn little shit that I am, I didn’t listen. One of my best friends in college was the one that pointed out something after we had ended things. “Whenever I asked you why you were with him, the answer was never, ‘I love him’ or ‘Because he makes me happy.’ No. The answer was ALWAYS, ‘Because I lost my virginity to him.’” That invisible tie was something that kept me in that relationship for many, many months too long.

He became abusive and controlling; would get angry if I saw my friends too much, if I spent too much time away, if I talked back to him, if I even talked at all sometimes, and if I talked to other men. One of His friends had a friend visiting from out of town for a weekend and the first night he was there, the friend got handsy with me because he was drunk and I told Him. He stormed out of my apartment, me running behind him screaming at 2am, and ran to his friend’s apartment. He broke the door down, off the hinges, got on top of this man and started beating the living hell out of him while he was sleeping. I stood there in silence as the man that I loved was beating this poor man’s face because he was drunk and got handsy with me and I made the mistake of telling Him, knowing he would be upset. He broke bones and not once did I even flinch or make a sound. I just stood in the doorway as blood flew around the room and I listened to this man’s agony and his screams for mercy. I was a hollow shell.

Our sex became non-consensual and that is something I will never forgive. He was violent, controlling, and he raped me. Over and over and over again. Some people believe that you cannot be raped by your partner, that sex is always a yes if you are dating. That is absolutely and completely incorrect. I became his play thing and I became someone he could “fuck and chuck.” I mean, as long as he was getting off, right? He began to sleep around the school; so many women that I couldn’t even keep track. I know of three, one of them being multiple times, but I know there were more. All of these women knew of me and knew about our relationship and none of them seemed to care. One night, after having too much to drink, I confronted him about his affairs and that sent him into a blind rage. A rage that brought him outside my apartment, down the stairs, and into the parking lot. I pushed and I pushed and I pushed and all of a sudden, his fist was through a car window. He had been so angry and so blind with rage because I was confronting him that he sent his fist through a car window. A car window that belonged to my neighbor. A car window that was never fixed by him. A car window that was replaced and paid for by my roommates. I stood there and looked at the scene and realized that I was dating a monster. A monster that broke car windows, doors, pushed my friend through a wall in our apartment, a monster that broke tables, chairs, and sent me into the fetal position, hoping and praying that he wouldn’t break me. I was dating a violent, abusive, terrifying, alcoholic, Crossfitter.

The night that ended things was one of the most horrifying and life changing moments I have ever experienced. There was a rugby social, which meant that we would fight about something and he would get drunk and do terrible things. You know, the usual. We did fight and I ended up staying home that night with my friends and we were all watching some trashy reality TV show when one of my friends got a text from a guy on the rugby team, who was at the party. It read something like, “He has a knife and is coming to your apartment for ‘Her.’ He said he was going to kill her. Get her out. Now.” My friend looked at me and said, “Get your stuff. We are leaving.” I had no idea what the text said and I had no idea what was happening but the urgency in her voice told me to get my shit together and to do it fast. We drove to my friend’s house down the street, the only place that we knew he wouldn’t come looking for me, and we waited. I don’t know if he came to my apartment, I don’t know what happened within those two or so hours that I had been gone but we figured it was safe to go back.

It was safe for awhile until I received a call late at night and it was Him, drunkenly screaming on the phone that he was sorry and he was coming over. Shit. Shit. Shit. Fuck. Shit. I ran into the common room where my roommates were and said, “He’s coming over.” Immediately, everyone got up and started moving. I felt like I was in a tornado of worry, disappointment, and fear. His nickname was his name with the word “Scary” before it… We were screwed. A knock on the door. A drunken knock, followed by a, “Baby, please let me in. I need to talk to you about what happened earlier.” My phone rang. It was Him. I answered. “Go away. Go home and sober up. Go away.” I thought that if I said, “Go away” enough that he would listen and leave. Wrong again. “Open the door.” BANG BANG BANG. His fist sounded like it was going to come through the door. I was leaning with my back against the door, on the verge of tears, my body vibrating every time he slammed his fist against the wood. I was about to cry not because I was scared, not because I was worried that someone would hear him and call the police. I was about to cry because my exact thoughts were, “This is my fault. I shouldn’t have provoked him during our fight.” He had brainwashed me into thinking that this was okay. This is how normal couples behaved. This was my fault.

A voice brought me out of my haze. “911, we need help in Madison Woods. My roommate’s boyfriend is at the door and he is trying to come in and he might be armed.” Oh. The knife from earlier. He might have a knife on him. I completely forgot. However, my first thought was not about the knife. It was about my roommate calling the police on my boyfriend. I rushed into the kitchen and started screaming at her, telling her I could handle it and telling her she shouldn’t have called. Then, I lost control of my body, slumped to the floor, and I started to sob. I have never sobbed this way before or after this night; the sobs came from a place deep within my body and they ached. I sobbed because I had brought so many people into this mess and this was the worst it had ever been. This man who I called my partner was outside my door, drunk with rage, and possibly armed with a knife. He called again, I answered. This time, I could barely make out what he was saying but I did hear, “I fucking hate you, you goddamn whore.” And then, I saw police lights. So many police lights outside our window. Oh god, they’re here.

“GET DOWN ON THE GROUND WITH YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR.” I was listening through my cell phone, which was still connected to Him. I heard him tell the police that it was okay, he was just trying to talk to his girlfriend. “GET DOWN AND LET ME SEE YOUR HANDS.” Grunt, shove, push, gravel. He dropped his phone next to his face and only then did I realize that a police officer had pushed him to the ground and handcuffed him. He was screaming at me through the phone, which seemed so far away. “YOU FUCKING BITCH. YOU DID THIS TO ME. YOU FUCKING DID THIS. I TRUSTED YOU.” I have no idea what happened after that because in that moment, I blacked out. I do not remember what happened once I hung up the phone, I do not remember if I slept, I do not remember going into my room or how I got there, I do not remember a single thing. From that moment on, I do not remember anything until I found out that he was being kicked out of college for possessing a weapon with the intent to use it for bodily harm.

I defended him until he was removed from my college and left the state. I stood up for him in judicial meetings, to my friends, my family, the Dean of Students. I made it clear that he was just “too drunk and didn’t know what was happening.” No matter if he was going to the use the knife or not, joking about killing your girlfriend with a knife that is used by the military and is the size of an infant is not something to joke about. He got kicked out of my college and I never saw him again. Three years of abuse ended, just like that.

I worry I will see him someday and I worry what will happen. I worry that I will become the victim again and cower in a corner. I worry that his rage will scare me into silence. But then I remember that taking three years of abuse from him was a blessing in disguise. I am such a strong person because of him. I am outspoken, wise, understanding, and I will not take any more bullshit in my life. Sure, it took me three years to get myself out but I am out. I am free. I have been free for almost 5 years now. And freedom has never felt so good.

#LAVENDER museums

BECOME A PATRON OF THE ARTS

When consciously and specifically buying Lavender creative art, you are single-handedly financially rewarding another Lavender Sister’s art therapy process and the expressive piece then helps others to relate to our common journey.

My Story.

I read an article about physical domestic abuse today, and how the woman who was abused has video clips of the abuser hurting her (as he was sick enough to record it.) 

I thought how this man will definitely be arrested, because she has proof. I thought how, even if she didn’t have video proof, her bruises would be enough. And how people (including myself) who has been in violent domestics that aren’t physical, have no proof. There are no visible scars, or marks. And there is no video footage. 

Thinking back to that abusive relationship reminded me of a party I attended a few weeks ago. 

I remember that particular ex attending. I remember feeling on edge, and telling someone how in all honestly, I didn’t feel safe alone in a room with him. 

I remember the girl he’d been sleeping with running around, so overly happy it ached my core. And I remember him saying hi, and me turning away. 

I remember not wanting to leave, and let him have control over me, even after we’ve broken up. But, I remember leaving at around 2am to see my friend. 

At around 4am, my friend said a girl starting asking if I was alright that night, and if it was because my ex was there. My friend proceeded to ask the girl if she knew; if she knew what went on during and after the relationship for me to be on edge. 

This girl lied, she said yes. I barely knew this person, we’d barely spoke, and she barely knew my ex too. 

My friend said that my ex was sitting there the whole time, allowing this girl to talk about my privacy, publicly. 

The girl went on to say I should be friends with him, and that my ex is ever so sad I won’t be. She said that he wanted to be my friend, and that I should be. 

Understandable my friend was taken back. Who was she to intervene? And if she knew the extent of the situation, why on earth would another woman ever expect me to be friends with him? 

Of course, she had no idea. 

She had no idea about the time he crawled through the window drunk, and told me in front of my friend that I had settled. Only to accuse me of being in love with another ex later that night, calling me a slut, spitting on me and taking my duvet away from me. Exclaiming I didn’t fucking deserve it. 

She had no idea how the next day he threw a pint of toilet water and another pint of tap water over my head because I wanted to shower first, and then spat on me again and pushed me against the shower.

She had no idea that he called me slut, bitch, cunt, loner, loser, failure and too many names I could remember; not just that day, but for months. 

She had no idea that I locked myself in the bathroom as he kicked the door and called me names. 

Or how he threw plates at the wall, and how bitch just ended up being my nickname. 

She didn’t know about the night he went crazy, accused me of being a racist, sexist bitch… when I offered him chips. (I know, it made no sense to me either.)

How that night amongst others he’d leave for hours, sometimes over 24, with no explanation. Just a ‘fuck off bitch’. 

She had no idea how he told me all my friends were shit, and nobody liked me. 

Or how he’d push me over and warn me that the site of me is making him angry again. How he constantly demanded me to ‘go to your room’ for being a bitch and making him mad again. 

How he left me to walk home with over eight bags of shopping as ‘punishment for speaking out of line.’

She doesn’t know how scared I was, how forgiving I was. Or, how gullible I was to believe every nasty word.

She had no idea I had to live at a friends for a month before finding a new home because I was too scared to stay. And that the one night I did stay he arrived home covered in someone else’s blood, and got out a knife so I had to phone the police. 

Yesterday was national woman’s day and it’s the only reason I’m speaking out about this. 

Domestic abuse isn’t always obvious. The people involved could seem happy in public. Scars aren’t the only sign of an abusive relationship, verbal abuse is invisible. 

So next time, don’t assume you know the full story of any relationship, don’t assume what you see on the surface is all there is. 

2

#LAVENDER poetry LOUNGE

  • Open 6 to 11 thur thru sat
  • Submissions gladly accepted

Every night, the memories haunt. They haunt my mind, my thoughts, my sleep. Sometimes they haunt my days. He wants a trial. He knows he did this. He knows he’s guilty. Why? Why does he have to keep hurting me? I thought when the task force took him down, it would be over. But it’s not. It seems that was the easy part. It seems the assault was the easy part. Living with the things he did to me was the easy part. Living with the aftermath is worse.