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Muslim and BME men take action to end Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG)

“We use VAWG to refer to a range of actions that harm, or cause suffering and indignity to, women and children. These include but are not limited to:

  • physical, sexual and psychological violence in the family, general community or institutions. This includes domestic abuse, rape, incest and child sexual abuse
  • sexual harassment and intimidation at work and in public
  • commercial sexual exploitation including prostitution, pornography and trafficking
  • so called ‘honour based’ violence, including dowry-related violence, female genital mutilation, forced and child marriages and ‘honour’ crimes”

(Scottish Government)

Every 10 minutes there is domestic abuse incident reported in Scotland. Over 850 Muslim and BME women in Scotland have contacted the Amina Helpline from March 2020 to March 2021 to seek support with issues related to domestic abuse, on average that is 16 women per week. In the UK it violence against women kills two women a week, making it a bigger killer than cancer. Domestic abuse affects all communities, including the Muslim and BME community.

Men are victims of abuse; however, statistics show women are still disproportionately affected by abuse.

Prevalence of abuse experienced by women:

74% of reported domestic abuse related crimes were of female victims. On an average, a woman is killed by a man every 3 days. Women experiencing abuse have higher rates of mental health issues, the abuse contributes to women suffering from depression, anxiety, stress, self-harm, and suicide. For children, the emotional effects of witnessing domestic abuse are very similar to the psychological trauma associated with being a victim of child abuse.

We cannot remain silent on an issue which is continuing to destroy so many lives. We are calling upon Muslim and BME men in our community to show their support for an end to abuse in all its forms and uphold and promote the following values to help achieve equality for all women:

  • We do not and will not tolerate abuse against women and girls
  • We believe it is the abuser who damages family honour (izzat) and should feel shame not the innocent victim
  • The Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) said “The best people from among you are those who are best to their wives” (Tirmidhi)
  • The Prophet (peace & blessing be upon him) said: “Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.” (Narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh). This hadith emphasises that we should be active in ending oppression whether it’s within the household, community or globally.

Calling upon all Muslim and BME Men, use your voice and speak out against injustice and fight against all forms of abuse and oppose the false notion that any culture allows violence against women. Join us and show your support to this pledge by signing below. Please distribute this pledge link widely to your friends, family and colleagues.