The following story is written and told by a survivor of domestic violence. She has asked for her identity to remain anonymous due to safety concerns.
I have told most people my conversion story, but I have never been 100% truthful about it. The truth is, I have been married twice. My first husband was Muslim, but he did not practice Islam. He was abusive and I was very young at the time. I should have listened to my family and everyone else about not marrying him, but I did not listen. I was only 19. I was Christian when I married him. I was also Christian the entire time we were together. It was not until he and I split that I actually converted to Islam.
The true reason I looked into Islam was because I could not fathom why he would hurt me the way that he did when so many of our other Muslim friends were so nice and genuine. I didn’t understand why he was the way he was so I looked into the faith and found out that he was the problem, and it was not the religion itself.
Now, on to my second husband. I was in this marriage a lot longer so it was worse in many ways. He is addicted to sex slave pornography and has been abusive throughout our entire marriage. He has abused me in every way possible. It has been financially, sexually, religiously, physically, mentally, and emotionally. You name it, he has done it. Though he has left many bruises on my body, nothing compares to the long-term psychological damage he has caused me.
It is very hard for me to share my story but I feel that it is necessary because I am not sharing this for myself, however I am sharing this for all of the other Muslim women, converts, and any woman who is not able to stand up to their abuser and leave. I know that it is very hard to leave because it took me several years to leave my second husband. This was partially out of fear that I would never remarry again because it is so hard to get remarried when you are divorced amongst Muslims.
However, I was blessed to have so many supportive sisters to help me along the way to give me the emotional push I needed to leave. I had to make that decision on my own though. It was a very hard decision, but it was something that I should have done years ago.
For many people who are in abusive relationships, you know that it is never easy to simply leave an abusive marriage. That is because the abuser makes you think that you are worthless, that no one will ever love you, and that you are the crazy one. In reality, you are not crazy. They are the reason that you have PTSD and have to take medication to numb the pain that they have caused you.
I wrote a novel that was filled with more truth than fiction. A lot of it was real and from my own experiences. I thought that that book would be a way for me to leave the relationship and have the strength and money to financially support myself. However, I did not make as much money as I wanted but it is what it is. Money does not buy everything. Money cannot buy freedom, only leaving can get you freedom.
I pray that anyone struggling to leave their abuser right now has the strength that took me many years to build and finally escape.
If you or someone you know is looking to stay safe during this time, call or text Penny Appeal USA's 24-hour domestic violence hotline: (704) 764-1773