A Muslim perspective: Religion as protective resource in violence against women and girls

Sandra Iman Pertek*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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This chapter explores ways in which religious resources can operate as protective factors against violence against women and girls (VAWG) and support survivors, using the conceptual framework of religious ideas, religious practices, religious organisation and religious experiences. First, the religious ideas from the Qur’an and hadiths are explored as they assist survivors with meaning-making, thus enabling them to cope with traumatic experiences and build resistance against their oppressors in powerful ways. Many women subjected to domestic abuse argued that Islam protected them from violence, condemned violence and promoted gender equality. Second, religious practices are considered, in particular prayers, dhikr and reading the Qur’an, as important protective resources helping survivors to draw strength and resilience. Structured and voluntary prayers enhanced victims’ coping capacities and buffered against psychological distress. Third, religious experience is explored, specifically spiritual experiences of survival, protection, patience and healing. VAWG experiences took on a spiritual meaning and itself became part of religious experience, in which survivors centred on the connection with God and the invisible powers. Finally, exploring religious organisation, the case is made that religious beliefs can mobilise organisational policy for faith-inspired anti-VAWG practice, based on the example of policy development at Islamic Relief Worldwide and the delivery of a pilot anti-VAWG programme by Islamic Relief Ethiopia.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOn the Significance of Religion in Violence Against Women and Girls
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781003169086, 9781000811339
ISBN (Print)9780367769505, 9780367769499
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2022

Publication series

NameReligion Matters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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