I’ve typed up this letter numerous times. Each time, I delete and start over. For some reason, I can’t seem to find the right words.
So here goes….Bismillah.
Along with being co-founder of Verona Collection, a single mother of two and a convert to Islam I am also a survivor of domestic violence. It is who I am. It is a part of me, and it will always be a part of me. If you follow me on my personal platform this something you will already know for sure as I'm very public with the abuse I went through. However, this is the first time I’ve shared this on the Verona platform. It's not exactly something anyone hopes or wishes to have gone through, but it is something I say with my head held high. Why? Because I survived. I made it through, and I made it out stronger. And now I am here to help other women like myself.
In 2018, through the success of Verona, I was thrown into the spotlight for a short time with interviews left and right — ranging from NYT to CNN. With all this unexpected attention, I realized it wasn't just my right but my responsibility to speak about my story. I knew domestic violence affected many women around the world, including Muslims, but I was unaware how prevalent abuse truly was. I turned to social media and as my hands were shaking, I decided to speak up; I posted the story on my abusive marriage.
I looked for all the right things: “he prayed, did charity, read the Quran, even gave khutbahs in the masjid” and yet I was abused by the man who was supposed to be my caretaker, provider, and my guardian. I suffered physical, emotional, and verbal abuse. In fact, I even suffered a miscarraige due to the abuse. In 2015, I waited until he went to work and packed up my car, and then, I left for Florida with my two baby boys to start a new life.
When I went public with my story, I received thousands of messages of women like myself who have, and are still suffering abuse... and they suffer silently.
Now, years later, after a lot of healing (with more healing to go) I have dedicated my life to helping other women.
In light of October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Verona will be speaking out against the injustice. Not only will we be raising awareness, we will also be partnering with Muslim Aid USA and Launchgood to help raise funds for victims and survivors of DV.
For the past few months, I have spent countless days and nights planning this campaign. I’ve put my heart and soul into it, and I pray that it gives victims and survivors the hope they are looking for — not just through funds, but through true impact and change.
One in three women in the U.S have been or will be victims of abuse. Let’s stand up against this injustice and give our sisters the support they need. The cycle of abuse needs to be broken, once and for all, and each one of us needs to do our part in achieving that.
If you would like to donate to this campaign, Click Here