Nabila was sexually abused as a child by the Imam of her local Mosque and broke her silence in her book Brutal. She now helps to support and encourage others to speak out against sexual abuse. In an interview with Sell Your Story UK, Nabila says,
“No one had written a book like mine before and I am very proud to have done this and to get the message out that this kind of abuse goes on in the Asian community and needs to stop.
I did the book to educate the Asian community that you must listen and do something. I hope it will make a difference to someone else’s life.Abuse in the Muslim community is rarely, if ever, talked about and is hushed up. There is a story here about physical and sexual abuse but all the TV shows and the book shops have been so far been scared to talk about it as to not upset the UK Muslim community. It seems it’s okay for these things to happen so long as it’s not talked about. Well it should be talked about so that something can be done about it…”
And recently, Asian World Newspaper has asked Nabila to join their team and she now has her own “problem page” called ‘Dear Nabila’ where persons can ask her for advice.’ More details about the page will be available soon. Check out her Facebook page for Dear Nabila.
Here is an example of messages Nabila has been receiving from other women who were sexually abused:-‘
The last page in your book was amazing. I just wanted to say. That I went through the same thing as you had, expect there was also penetration. To make my story a little bit more complicated was that it was from my uncle, my dads youngest brother I’m 23 now… And I have had relationships before but it has deeply affected my ability to trust men Anyway… I don’t think I can ever speak out to my family. I think my dad would die from a 3rd heart attack And my mum’s a pretty typical Pakistani house wife, and wouldn’t do or say much ether, although I’m sure she would stand up for me My sister knows, but she didn’t believe me until just recently, however I still feel like she’s not fully convinced Didn’t expect that from my sister… Thank you for the strength… It’s sad to say, but it really made ne feel like I was not the only one
Yumna first thank you for taking the time to read Brutal. and secondly i’m so sorry that you have gone through something simmler, i’m starting to hear so many of theses stories so you are not alone its just i choose not to be silent anymore. I wish i could convince you to take things further and report this but you have your reasons i’m disappointed with your sister why would you make up such a thing. I hope you don’t have any more contact with your uncle. Maybe you should try and speak to your mother and sister together, and try and explains to her what you have been through Have you had any counselling or help? Below are some help lines and groups you can contact it helped me enormously.
And you will find someone you can learn to trust it will take time, and the right person is out there.
I’m glad the book has helped you that is why i did it to encourage others to speak out.
#Breaking the silence of sexual abuse
- Brutal: One of our 2013 Book Suggestions … Vote Now! (muslimahvoicesbookclub.wordpress.com)