I want to know more about the "shunning" process in Islam and particularly towards women - to understand what they face. I am offering support to a woman who is being ostracized by her "community" because she left her abusive husband. The ex-husband's family is trying to take the kids....So I guess I'm asking from an outsider's perspective how I can be of support to her in a way that would be helpful. I also want to understand more about the Islamic teaching/practices on this subject. Thanks.

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Depends on circumstances and laws. In some cases it could be considered kidnapping.

This is true. Tread carefully here. There are or were underground networks that help hide spouses and children in abusive situations. I don't know how you would find them or if this is a good idea...they would again be at the mercy of a new group of people.

Also, many of these people are christian.

This is just an fyi. It's not my advice. This would be illegal if the father still has parental rights. Don't break the law...that is my advice. :-)

@Kairan Nierde:

"Don't break the law...that is my advice."

IIRC if a Law puts your life in jeopardy then the Law does not hold sway and it is legal to break it.

You're talking about the legal defense called "necessity." It's the same one that lets you off the hook for breaking the speed limit to get someone to the ER in an emergency.

The thing is, the defense can only be exercised in court. You'll be arrested first and probably have your kids taken and put in foster care OR in the care of the dad before you can exercise the defense. Then, hopefully the court agrees.

RE: I know I keep making posts where I sound somewhat cold, but does she have any options where she could completely ditch her and his family, go into hiding and start a new life with the kids, or worst case scenario - without?

She is on section 8 housing. (They are full and cannot easily move her). She's has them break in and steal her kids already once and the police called her in the middle of the night saying "your kids are at our station. They have broken into her home when she is not there. The cops cannot do anything.

I'm going to offer my place as respite, but most women survivors of DV have trust issues. She will likely think it's too good to be true.

Her section 8 case manager or worker might know of support resources. Even if that doesn't help, contacting them yourself might help you gain trust with her.

I should have mentioned (even if you probably know) that a case manager has to maintain confidentiality for the client, but they should still be interested in hearing from other sources like you who know the client, especially under such threatening circumstances.

She is requesting a new case manager. She said he's just nods and says yes, but he doesn't GET the Islamic mentality she is dealing with. I only somewhat understand from all the discussions I've learned from on TA. Islamaphobia is real and many people, professionals even, are in denial or simply ignorant to be able to offer solutions. She is awaiting to see of she can be moved, but she feels unsafe where she lives, so moving with family was her only choice for now. The exhusband's family is threatening to remove the children from the country. They are totally fucking serious too. It's a verry complex, scary situation. The easy way out would be to reject her religion, take off the burka and blend in (move to a shelter)....she's been followed, so she would have to make a complete disappearance from her community. Easy for us to judge and say what she "should" do, since it's obvious her religion is keeping her chained but by rejecting it she could get to safety, but like Gregg said, that's ultimately her choice. She may not have even thought about that....I hope to get to know her more and build a level of trust and maybe we can go there....we'll see.

Belle, have you thought about asking over in the ex-muslim support group here on TA?  There's a chance some of them may have some helpful input.

One highlight of her story is that a family member of her ex-husband went in front of the judge and basically said "the kids belong to me now." (Since she left him, the kids go with the husband's family).
The judge laughed and was like, "noooo, it doesn't work that way. She is the mother..." One good thing about the US.


@Belle - look there it is >> " a family member of her ex-husband went in front of the judge and basically said "the kids belong to me now." /em>

This is where it becomes intergenerational and toxic and the pattern will continue with her children now. Her children and their first cousins have now become estranged via covert  and unspoken means and they will never get the chance to get to know each other properly without also knowing - the families dirty shame secret. ... Some of her childrens first cousins will then continue to use her children as scapegoats because they will side with the others - on and on and on. Can you see the cycle?

Your friend has to try to stop that cycle (power to her) with her children so that the abusive behaviour starts to dilute within the generations.. Which will probably take another 1000 years.

See how complex it is?


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