If you think that you have just one life, think again. There's the life you think you have, the life others think you have and the life you really have- three lives!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Update on the domestic violence issue

You'll remember my ranting about a Muslim women's association (otherwise known as Enablers) that had first hand knowledge that a father was abusing his daughters. He had broken the nose of one of them and cause the other to become deaf in one ear by banging her head against the wall. He had held them captive in their bedrooms for 3 weeks and threatened to kill them. He had also threatened to return them to Afghanistan to face the prospect of an arranged marraige or an honor killing.

You'll remember that upon learning of this I advised the association to go to the authorities. You'll remember that the association refused and instead brought in a conservative Imam to speak to the father. You'll remember that I drove to the police station at 9pm one night and filed a report. I informed the authorities. The girls were taken from their father and placed in foster care.

You'll remember that I attended a meeting with the authorities at their request along with a representative from this association of Enablers who defended the father, denied he had done anything wrong and then later called me a Kafir because I suggested that the intergenerational conflicts needed to be addressed by engaging the girls' boyfriends so that they also understand what is going on.

You won't know that I received a copy of the letters the girls had written during their time with their father that detailed every disgusting, degrading and humiliating moment of his abuse. You won't know how much I wept over those letters.

You'll remember that I did not choose to be involved in this situation- but the burden of knowledge was far too much to bear.

Well, the authorities have returned the girls to their father. He has taken them to Afghanistan.

I can only despair.

19 comments:

Sam said...

that is too sad, i have not read your posts about these girls...but man..i hope nothing happens to them..I do not beleive the state took them back to their abusive dad. *sigh*

howie said...

TUS-

You did what you could do and beyond...

On the other side of the coin...what about places where there are few rights and protections.

We work often takes me into abuse settings and I see some awful stuff...The Child Protective Services agencies are usually poorly staffed and have minimal resources...but kids do get saved...albeit sometimes too late.

But what happens in SO many places in the world where there are few or no protections?

Imaan On Ice said...

Oh, that is too sad. Really. Breaks ones heart actually.

But don't give up.

Barak Allahu fiki for your unselfish effort.

//Imaan

The Raccoon said...

The authorities have signed the death warrant of these girls. Or - at best - given them to slave traders.

Great.

Can't you blow this one up through the media, TUS?

Ravine85 said...

Wow, that's so depressing. Those poor girls. I can't imagine how this "association" can live with itself after this.

Will E. said...

Funny how some lives are extremely blessed and others are extremely cursed.

Reading this post I expected a more trajic ending and by the sounds of it I should not stop expecting it.

The Usual Suspect said...

Sam- I also hope nothing happens to them but I'm not betting on it.

Howie- I know that the authorities are hard pressed with staff but there is also a deeper issue. The problem is that they get nervous/ afraid to confront issues that are framed as cultural/ religious- there was so much stress in the 90's about achieving cultural competence and sensitivity that I think it scared the shit out of a lot of people. I think that the Enablers got hold of the authorities and did their usual rant "you have put the girls in an un-Islamic environment. You are not respecting their religious needs blah blah blah" It's exactly what they were saying at the meeting we had. My response was "how is a so called un Islamic environment less dangerous than an abusive environment- where exactly do your priorities lie- in saving the girls or perpetuating abuse because of some warped notion of religion". Anyway- I've seen this often enough- with the Police, child protection, welfare agencies- they are too afraid to confront communities in case they are accused of being insensitive.

Imaan- thanks

Racoon- the authorities already get a lot of adverse media attention because of the number of kids who have died even though the authorities knew that they were at risk. I have spoken to someone and will take it higher- I need an explanation- I need to know how and why this happened.

Ravine- they live with themselves because they do it all the time. Just last week they phoned again about a man who is sexually abusing his kids. They won't go to the authorities on this one either- they will let people suffer in stoic silence and stay in the shadows because they think that is Islam.

Will e- some lives are blessed and cursed at the same time. They are blessed because they survive the cursed and they are cursed because they long to be blessed.

TeacherLady said...

TUS, I'm so sorry you weren't able to change the situation for the better. I have dealt with similar frustrations where I know a student is being molested by a father or an uncle and the people who are supposed to stop it do nothing. I have to resign myself to doing what I can and trying not to have nightmares about the rest. You stepped up and did what you could, no one could ask any more of you.

howie said...

TUS-

In the USA...PC got so bad that the American Assn. of Social Workers had recommended that children only be adopted by same-race...talk about reverse racism!!!!

And yes it was all the culture crap. You are right...we have to learn better to think in terms of right and wrong on a much more elevated level. A very good analysis by you.

And for this to get coverage and attention, ironically it would have to be the Muslim community raising hell.

howie said...

On a vaguely related note...what do y'all think of this petition I stumbled across:

http://www.spme.net/cgi-bin/display_petitions.cgi?ID=6

The Raccoon said...

TUS -

Ye Gods. Strength and honor to you for caring and doing.

Roman Kalik said...

Good grief. Gut feeling tells me that it was a combination of pressure on the authorities and pressure on the girls by these idiotic nuts that did this. The authorities fell for the cultural trap, which is a crime in itself in my opinion, and the girls got anti-support instead of support so my guess is that most of their complaints were taken back by them.

You tried, TUS. You did your best. It's just so damn frustrating that the only other effort here was to counter your own.

Mumbo Jumbo said...

Ya sater. That is so indescribably frustrating.

I hadn't read your story before but it sounds horrendous.

At least you tried. A lot of other people would not have wanted to get involved.

kinzi said...

This must've killed you, TUS.

Don't despair...you modeled empowerment from these girls, and the irony is that they may be helped more in Afghanistan with radar-eyed NGOs there on watch. May it be.

Please keep your heart in the fight. The burden of knowledge is bearable with the help of God, because you are engaged in His will (wow, aren't I the prophetess here, whoops!). His shoulders can bear what yours can't.

I agree with one of the other posters...it's time for an editorial. I'll be praying for you.

halalhippie said...

Don't despair...you did the right thing. And other ppl/authotrities doing wrong doesn't make your right thing less right.
Right ?

pommygranate said...

TUS

What is the point of the Enablers, then?

Path2Hope said...

I can only imagine your torment. You did all you could for them and we can only pray for the fate of these poor souls.
Sometimes I wish I could teach myself to go numb..this world is seriously demented.

Rationality said...

The world needs a massive wakeup call. These people use their religion as an excuse for their actions. Very stupid actions. You did all you could, short of kidnapping them yourself. They do have a few options.....get murdered ( an "Honour" killing) marry a husband who is just as abusive as the father or get sold as a sex slave. It does not make a pretty story.

Molly said...

Good post.