Crisis Center Helps Muslim Women Seek Refuge from Domestic Violence

April 6, 2006

Source: North Jersey Herald

On April 6, 2006 the North Jersey Herald reported, "Founded in fall 2004, WAFA House (Women Against Family Abuse) is a privately run domestic violence crisis center based in Paterson that caters primarily to the needs of women of South Asian, Arabic and/or Muslim descent. The Arabic word 'wafa' translates to 'sincerity,' 'faithfulness' or 'to have hope,' and the organization has come to be known as a place where a Muslim woman can find all three. The rate of domestic abuse in the Muslim community is about the same as in the general population -- about 18 percent, according to a 2000 study performed by Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., a rate comparable to the national average. It tends, however, to be more hidden, says Dorria Fahmy, WAFA's founder and executive director... 'There is a mindset that you don't talk about things outside of the home,' says Fahmy, explaining the thinking that inhibits some women from seeking help... The need for organizations like WAFA House is especially great in New Jersey, which is home to an estimated 10 percent of the U.S. Muslim population, according to the New Jersey branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations."