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Abused, But Family Reputation is More Important

Questioner

S

Reply Date

Nov 26, 2018

Question

As-Salamu Alaykum dear counselor. May Allah grant you the highest Jannah in sha' Allah. I'm not brave enough to seek therapy; I fear to call the police as I was sexually abused by my brother-in-law and they would look for him. I took one of your tips and tried to speak about it with my sister, but she told me to get over it. We got into an argument, which was completely her fault, and I ended up calling her the B* word. Then I messaged her how I felt and told her that she had been selfish and she didn’t care about my safety but only the love for her disgusting husband.

I also reminded her of how she had begged us not to tell my father or my brothers about the incident. Then she told my other sister, Fathi, about my message, but twisted my words. She mentioned everything else except the part of how she didn’t care of my safety and how her husband hadn’t apologized to me. Neither has she told her about how I have nightmares at night or how I cry myself to sleep. Fathi came home and we got in a huge argument. She told me what Ikran (my sister) told her and the story was completely wrong. She didn't even show her the message. But nobody in this house cares about my safety anyway. My mom said she hated me because I was trying to bring up what had happened in the past, and the reason she doesn't want to speak about it anymore is because she doesn't want that people outside of my family get to know about it.

So, basically, my safety isn't as important as our reputation. Till this day, I honestly hate my sister, Ikran. She told me to get over what happened, but recently she told me she would never get over me calling her the B word. My mom told me he would get his justice on the Day of Judgment, but sometimes I feel like it's too far and I just want to kill myself, or I wish I was in a different family or never born. I just can't get over it, but I'm scared if I go to a therapist, cops will be involved.

Counselor

Answer


Abused, But Family Reputation is More Important

In this counseling answer:

• Naturally, after the hotline listens to your story and provides you with some resources and support, they are going to urge you to seek counseling with a therapist. Please do so and do not be afraid of hurting your family by seeking treatment. By not seeking treatment, you are going to continue hurting yourself!

• Now is the time to step up and take hold of your life.


Salamu ‘Alaikum Sister,

I am sorry to hear about the sexual abuse you have experienced at the hands of your brother-in-law. What is even more heartbreaking is how your family has reacted and how they blame you and disregard his actions. I ask Allah to help you overcome this difficulty and to help you help yourself!

Sister, PLEASE seek help through counseling! At least call the hotline. When you call, you can stay anonymous and you do not have to tell them the identity of the perpetrator. At least give them a call! Here are the resources and an additional resource that I added:

Teen Health & Wellness

Naseeha

The National Child Sexual Abuse Helpline: 1-866-367-5444

Naturally, after the hotline listens to your story and provides you with some resources and support, they are going to urge you to seek counseling with a therapist. Please do so and do not be afraid of hurting your family by seeking treatment. By not seeking treatment, you are going to continue hurting yourself!

The family members that you describe are all adults and they can take care of themselves and make decisions on their own behalf. You, on the other hand, need all the help you can get. You have been living this way for three years (since 7th grade). Now is the time to step up and take hold of your life.


Check out this counseling video:


I completely understand the predicament that you are in and how much you fear the police and your family. The nightmares and constant fear you live in may very well continue and may manifest into bigger and more serious mental health issues. Not to mention also being constantly in the presence of the perpetrator and possibly exposing yourself to be sexually abused yet again.

I continue to pray for Allah to give you the strength to seek the right help for yourself. At least start with calling the hotline.

Salam,

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:

Child Abuse Made Me Suspicious of Proposals

Sexual Abuse: Be By Your Child’s Side

Sexual Abuse, Disorder & an Illegitimate Child

 




About Aliah F. Azmeh

Aliah F. Azmeh is a licensed clinical social worker who practices in Detroit, Michigan. Aliah graduated with a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan in 2007 and has experience working in the United States and overseas. Aliah currently works as a clinical social worker and provides individual, family, and marital counseling at Muslim Family Services in Detroit, MI.

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