Why Abusers Abuse

The factors underlying abusive behavior are complex. If the abuser wants to change their behavior, they will have to work hard, and over a long period of time. If the intention is there, if their heart is strong and their will follows, Insha’Allah in the end they will be able to overcome their oppressive tendency. An abuser can change — but the change will start with taking responsibility for their behavior. The Prophet, peace be upon him, is reliably reported to have said, “I have only come to perfect good character. Following are some important pieces to help you understand abuse.

  • Abuse is a choice. Abusers know what they are doing and what they want from their victim. If no one speaks out against them, they will continue.
  • Abuse is about control. Abusers often feel little control over other aspects of their lives, so they attempt to control their partner in order to cover up this insecurity.
  • Abuse may follow a pattern. Abusers may once have been a victim. Violence may seem like a normal way to express anger and frustration. However this is no excuse for abusive behavior, even if an Abuser tries to rationalize their actions by citing their past. There are many ways an Abuser will try to justify their actions. Remember, abuse is not tolerated in Islam. Following is a list of common excuses. We have provided some suggested responses to clearly send the signal that you DO NOT accept abuse!
The Excuse Your Response
"In Islam, it's my duty to discipline them." "Islam does not prescribe oppression of anyone."
"I was having a bad day." "Hurting or making someone else feel bad will never solve your problems or improve your day."
"It's not abuse." "You hurt them. It is abuse."
"They made me upset/angry, etc." "No matter how someone makes you feel, it's up to YOU to choose how to respond."
"It was a one-time thing. It won't happen again." "Once is one time too many to abuse someone."
"They deserve it." "No one deserves to be abused—for any reason."
"I was drunk/high. Drugs made me do it." "Stop blaming other things. Nothing can force you to act a certain way—it is a choice you make."
"I didn't mean to hurt them." "Well, you did. And that's abuse."
 

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