My Best Friend Wants to Become Independent From Her Parents | About Islam
Home > Ask the Counselor > Youth Issues > My Best Friend Wants to Become Independent From Her Parents

My Best Friend Wants to Become Independent From Her Parents

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Oct 12, 2018

Question

She wants to become independent because her father always beats her up. She also suffers verbal abuse from both of her parents and her brother. Her mother said to her that if my best friend moves from her house she will die. Her father said that if she does that, he will kill her. Her father is really serious about that, and you can't imagine what kind of angry and bad man he is. He has also beaten up her mother and her brother in the past. He is a crazy man. He always drinks alcohol and doesn't even trust his children because he is a liar.

He doesn't pray and he doesn't even want to go to Hajj. My friend is in pain and fear because of all this. She wants to move from her house, but in a peaceful way and without fear. She wants to go and to be ok with her mother. She can't stand it anymore. Her mother says that Islam says that the daughter needs to live with her parents until she is married and if she doesn't marry, she must take care of the parents. Her mother says, “Why else did I give you birth?” Her father is a sexist and thinks that his daughter is his property. Her mother is also someway like that and is also telling her that she needs to do the housework.

Her brother can't even cook an egg and he is always doing nothing. She wanted to become independent now but it will be better if she becomes independent when I can live with her. I want to become independent too in the summer because my parents are not Muslims and I have problems to pray and that kind of things.

What does she need to do with her father? And with her mother? Will it be okay if she leaves her home in secret? Please help me with some good advise. Thank you.

Counselor

Answer


My Best Friend Wants to Become Independent From Her Parents

In this counseling answer:

“Sister, it is not a good idea for your friend to try to leave and make it on her own, neither is it advisable that you both try to get a place together. It is very hard to support oneself as an adult with an education and given the fact that you both are about 16 years old, it would be a huge dangerous risk. There are many teens who leave home to escape abusive parents only to find themselves caught up in the sex slave trade business, out on the street homeless or having to do unsavory things to survive.”


As Salamu ‘Alaykum sister,

I am so sorry to hear about what your friend is going through. Your friend is in an extremely abusive situation from her family. However, with her father being the most severe and deadliest in terms of the abuse, he has inflicted upon her as well as his threats of killing her.

Sister, I am not sure of what the laws are in Spain. An internet search did not bring up much. But something must be done to help your friend. Child abuse is tragically a prevalent issue in a lot of countries, US included.  Although this website in Spain may need to be updated, they reported that “Despite the presence of child protection services, Spain reports many cases of child abuse each year. About 800,000 cases of domestic violence were reported in 2007”. Another site, thehotline.org has many resources to help someone who is being abused.

While it is in the US, there still is information on how to make a safety plan to leave, how to help a friend who is being abused as well as many other resources. Insha’Allah, I encourage you and your friend to read it. However, do not have her read the website at home as her parents can easily find out what she has been doing or planning to do which could be disastrous. If she uses her phone or laptop, have her erase her history and her search.

As far as the hotline, she may be able to send them a message or get in contact with them in some way and they may be able to refer her to an organization in her area that can help. The ultimate first step would be to contact a child abuse prevention hotline or organization in your area. As you are living there, you may have better results locating one.

I would kindly suggest dear sister that you speak with your friend away from her home and encourage her to tell someone that is to be trusted. Perhaps this would be a teacher, a counselor at school or a trusted sister at the masjid.

If she does not or cannot trust anyone she knows personally out of fear,  insha’Allah find a community center where counseling is offered and have her get an emergency appointment. She is to inform the counselor/intake person of what has been going on and insha’Allah they will help her.


Check out this counseling video:


Sister, it is not a good idea for your friend to try to leave and make it on her own, neither is it advisable that you both try to get a place together. It is very hard to support oneself as an adult with an education and given the fact that you both are about 16 years old, it would be a huge dangerous risk. There are many teens who leave home to escape abusive parents only to find themselves caught up in the sex slave trade business, out on the street homeless or having to do unsavory things to survive.

You both are children, young women, and deserve to finish your schooling, live free from abuse and fear as well as have a happy future. While I understand your desire to live in a home wherein you can freely pray, your situation is not one of abuse and your issues may be more easily resolved than hers. You may wish for a Muslim family or a Muslim environment; however, if your parents love you, feed you, care for you, and generally treat you good, there is no reason to leave them. That is another issue. However, and if you feel it is a detrimental situation, please do write to us again with your situation we will be happy to assist, insha’Allah.

Your friend, however, does need to be removed from her home in a safe manner as soon as possible. Her mom cannot be of help as she is abusive as well and she is also being abused by her husband. It is a sad and ugly situation. Insha’Allah there will be an agency, organization or counselor who can intervene and get her to a safe place. Possibly somewhere, where her father cannot easily get to her.

If an agency or counselor does intervene, insha’Allah once your friend is in a safe place a case can be open and her mom and brother can get help as well as they are suffering too. Again, I do not know the laws or resources there so please sister does look into it with her or for her if she is too distressed.

If your friend is too afraid to do anything, I would kindly suggest that you speak to your parents only if they will not go to her parents and only if they are supportive. If they are not, please do get a hold of the hotline for suggestions.

If you are unable then seek out a health clinic, counselor or teacher for help for her. I am not suggesting the authorities because I do not know how they will operate in your country. If you report to the authorities, they may go to her home, talk with her father and then think everything is okay and leave. This for sure will put your friend in grave danger as her parents, especially her father may go into a rage and seriously harm her.

This is not an easy situation, sister. It never is when someone we care about is being abused, hurt or otherwise oppressed. Please, think things through carefully and any moves you (or your friend) make, ensure they are wise ones, insha’Allah. This is a difficult situation and it makes it even harder when we do not even know who to trust.

Please do make du’aa’ to Allah for guidance and direction. You can always trust in Allah. Ask Allah to protect your friend and to help her get away from her situation into a safe place.  Allah knows best and He loves both of you.  What is happening to your friend is an abomination to Allah, Allah despises those who abuse others, especially children.

Please do talk to your friend and see if she is willing to seek emergency counseling, call the hotline, talk with a trusted person or go to an agency for help. If she is not, insha’Allah, you may have to do it for her. While you may feel like you are betraying her, you may actually be saving her life. In the meantime, encourage your friend, give her hope, explain to her that she is a wonderful person and does not deserve to live in abuse and that insha’Allah by seeking help her life will get better. This is not something that can be done alone sister, please do contact one of the above referrals.

We wish you both the best, she is in our prayers, please let us know how things turn out.

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:

Domestic Violence in Muslim Community & Tips for Victims

The Truth about Domestic Abuse and Children’s Development

Does Quran Allow Muslims to Beat Women?




About Aisha Mohammad-Swan

Aisha Mohammad-Swan received her PhD in psychology in 2000. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York with a focus on PTSD, OCD, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, and Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. She is currently studying for her certification in Islamic Chaplaincy, and takes Islamic courses at SHC. Aisha works at a Women's Daytime Drop in Center, and has her own part-time practice in which she integrates counseling and holistic health. Aisha also received an MA in Public Health/Community Development in 2009 and plans to open a community counseling/resource center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah.

find out more!