Join 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence in Muslim Communities with Nisa HomesWritten by Nisa Homes
16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence is a campaign that brings together people from all over the world to speak up, start conversations and renew their dedication to eradicate gender-based violence from our communities.
These 16 days start on November 25th (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) and end on December 10th (International Human Rights Day). In Canada, we also commemorate the École Polytechnique massacre on December 6th as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
In honour of the 16 Days of Activism, we want to bring to light topics and realities around domestic abuse that are not addressed in our community because of stigma and taboo.
In our communities, support for victims of abuse is lacking. They are told to stay in abusive relationships by close family and friends because “it’s better for the kids” and that “they will bring dishonour upon their family if they leave.” The community is so worried about a “broken home” that the pain and trauma of the victims is ignored.
So, what can you do to stop this cycle?
Speak up! Abuse is not a private matter or a women’s problem — it’s a community problem. The impact of abuse spills over into the greater community, the trauma of which is passed down through generations. It can hinder the growth of a portion of the community, often creating cycles of abuse in the future.
Being aware that domestic abuse exists in our communities and taking the steps necessary to address it as well as prevention is key in eradicating gender-based violence.
“But he’s so involved and volunteers in the community!”
No one can imagine the pain of the women who must constantly cover their bruises and cuts with make-up, long-sleeved shirts, and lies while their abusers are praised and celebrated in the community.
The truth of the matter is abusers do not advocate their violence. They carry out horrifying abuse behind closed doors because if they were to do it publicly, they would be shamed & shunned. That's often why when a woman reaches out for help, she is met with confusion, surprise, and disbelief.
This is not okay. Survivors who take the step to seek help need to know they have people who will believe them. That might be the only phone call or message they make.
Over the last three years, intimate partner violence has increased by 30% in Canada.
This year alone, Nisa Homes has already sheltered 430 women and children, with an alarming 129 women and children on our waitlists across the country.
What can you do?
The need for transitional shelters is urgent and the need is NOW.