Emotional, verbal, spiritual, financial, physical, and sexual abuse have existed in various forms in every society throughout recorded history. Yet it was not until the nineteenth century that domestic violence became a social issue in the United States. Once considered one of the most underreported crimes in the U.S., domestic violence made its way onto the national stage as a major social ill during the 1980s and 1990s. The public soon realized that no religious or ethnic community could be considered immune, and as a result,faith-based anti-domestic violence advocacy has become an integral part of the domestic violence movement over the last 20 years. According to a study conducted in 1998 by Sharifa Alkhateeb, as president of the North American Council for Muslim Women, physical violence occurs in about 10 percent of Muslim marriages in the U.S. The rates of emotional and verbal abuse are estimated to be as high as 50 percent, based upon international studies and preliminary research in the U.S.
To view the full article on Domestic Violence published in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Women, click here.