Since 2004, Wafa House has established its office and a toll free hotline, providing services to victims of Domestic Violence as well as cultural education to the community at large..
Wafa House was the conception and realization of Dorria Fahmy, who is the agency's Founder. Mrs. Fahmy recruited and joined forces with her dear friend Nawal Kahf, the Co-Founder and current President of Wafa House.
Dorria Fahmy was a volunteer for the Passaic County Women's Center in Paterson and a Domestic Violence Response Team (DVRT) member for her local police precinct. She joined forces with Sr. Nawal Kahf, a domestic violence counselor, and began to lobby and advocate for the needs of the abused women in the Muslim community. Along with the support of the Islamic community and Sheikh Mohammad Qatanani of the Islamic Center of Passaic County (ICPC), these two sisters initiated the groundbreaking steps towards opening the doors of Wafa House in December 2004.
While working full time at a local hospital, Sr. Dorria realized that these victims felt reluctant to leave their abusers in fear of being re-victimized by going to a place where they would not be able to acclimate to the environment comprised of staff that may not be sensitive to their needs.
Despite the options Sr. Dorria offered the victims, the majority would end up dropping the charges against their abusers due to lack of support. At this point, the unique idea of creating a program that caters to the needs of the Middle Eastern and South Asian victim came into light.
The victims they came across were of Middle Eastern or South Asian descent who did not feel comfortable going to a shelter where their cultural needs would not have been met. The most difficult issues at hand were the language barriers and insensitivity to their religious needs. Most of the victims were not able to articulate or express themselves in English.
These victims were looking for shelters where they would be able to practice their daily religious routines, such as praying five times a day, etc. This requires a person to wash up or take a mini shower prior to praying. Also, the Muslim victim requires special dietary needs of Halal meats, slaughtered in a particular way.
where we are now
Wafa House is proud to serve an average of 1,000 individuals and their families every year. Our client base extends nationwide to the Middle East, Canada and United Kingdom.
Under the umbrella of services we provide, Wafa House is proud to now be registered under the National Diaper Bank (NDBN) for the last five years as we continue to provide support to low income families at no cost to them.
We have assisted in reuniting children with their biological parents after displacement or removal from their homes by DCPP. We provide counseling services and teach active parenting skills in order to provide parents the necessary tools to unite their families.
Most recently, with the founding of our legal clinic we have seen over 140 clients, providing legal services free of charge. Our Federally funded legal clinic focuses solely on assisting victims of domestic violence with family as well as immigration matters.