Your website gives a lot of info on domestic violence, defined as abuse between couples, but what about child abuse? Do you have any articles or resources on that? I really need them. I suffer from PTSD, ADD, depression, and anxiety because of intense physical abuse and emotional neglect. Can you please help me? I have a therapist who is very good and also spiritual, but he cannot provide for the Islamic component.
Child abuse can be a form of domestic violence. According to the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), child maltreatment is defined as:
“Any recent act or failure to act on the part of parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation; or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.”
Child abuse includes non-accidental physical injury, neglect, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse. Although any of the forms of child abuse may occur separately, they often occur in combination.1
In the United States, each year more than one million children are confirmed by child protective services to be victims of child abuse and neglect, and every day, a minimum of three children die as a result. Violence in the home is a major factor that contributes to child abuse and neglect.2
Islam is very clear about the importance of establishing peaceful and healthy family relationships. The Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him) taught us to be gentle with children, and there are numerous examples from his life that demonstrate his love and compassion for young people. For example, we know that he would greet his children affectionately, play with them, and listen to them.
Unfortunately, child abuse and neglect can lead to a variety of mental health problems, as you’ve shared with us. The good news is that you are seeking therapy. A therapist does not have to be Muslim to help you heal, but it may help to provide your therapist with information about your faith and share resources about Islam and mental health.
You may find some of the following articles/websites helpful for yourself and your therapist:
Child Abuse and the Muslim Community:
Forgiving Your Parents & Learning to Move On:
Project Sakinah: http://www.projectsakinah.org/
Peaceful Families Project: http://www.peacefulfamilies.org/index.php
FaithTrust Institute: http://www.faithtrustinstitute.org/resources/articles/Advocating-for-Muslim-Child.pdf
Counseling Muslims: http://www.routledgementalhealth.com/counseling-muslims-9780415988605
VMCounselors was a collaborative advice column produced by two previous website authors, Amal Killawi, a Clinical Social Worker with a specialization in mental health and marriage education, and Munira Lekovic Ezzeldine, a Marriage and Family Therapist, specializing in premarital counseling. Please note that our counselors are not religious scholars and will not issue religious rulings.
The columns and other materials included on VirtualMosque.com are presented on an “as is” basis, for information purposes only, in the areas of relationships and social commentary (collectively, the “Content”), and are not intended to replace or substitute for any professional medical, legal, financial or other advice. Please note, however, that the Content has not been regularly reviewed by any qualified psychiatrist, psychotherapist or other medical or legal professional in your jurisdiction and is therefore not intended to be relied upon, or to replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, counseling, therapy or other treatment. If you have any questions regarding the Content posted on this website, you are advised to seek the advice of your physician, mental health provider, or other qualified health provider. Reliance on the Content or this website is solely at your own risk. VirtualMosque.com and the individual authors make no representations or warranties and expressly disclaim any and all liability concerning any treatment or action by any person following the information offered or provided within or through the website. In no event shall VirtualMosque.com or the authors be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of data or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of this website.
- Prevent Child Abuse: http://www.preventchildabuse.org/about_us/faqs.shtml [↩]
- Lung, C. T. and D. Daro. 1996. Current trends in child abuse reporting and fatalities: The results of the 1995 annual fifty state survey. Chicago, IL: National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse. [↩]