To preserve and strengthen the family through intervention and education.
An empowered community, free of social ills, where families and individuals thrive emotionally and financially.
Empathy, Empowerment, Excellence, Inclusion, Integrity and Justness
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is the act of violence or willful neglect within a family. It is the emotional, psychological, physical, sexual, and/or economic abuse that one person in an intimate relationship uses in order to control the other through actions or threats of actions. This includes behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone
Who is most affected by Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion, gender, education level, or socioeconomic level. It can happen to couples who are married, living together or who are dating. According to the National Organization for Women (NOW), intimate partner violence impacts 33% of women, but among immigrant women it is as high as 49.8%. When women are both immigrants and low-income, the personal risks and barriers to safety are multiplied.
Wafa House is a Domestic Violence Agency, built within the Arab and Muslim communities throughout Northern New Jersey. We are committed to reducing abuse and increasing community awareness of domestic violence, as well as increasing cultural sensitivity within local law enforcement and other agencies. As bilingual and multicultural advocates, we are able to empower those in our community to come forward and deal with their issues in a safe and understanding environment.
How Do I Know if I’m Being Abused?
Abusive situations aren’t always clear, and abusers often try to downplay or confuse their victims by showing love, kindness, or remorse between incidents. However, abuse comes in many forms, and doesn’t need to be frequent to be considered abuse.
Some examples include:
Physical: Hitting, slapping, punching, pushing, or any violent physical contact is abuse.
Verbal: Abuse can happen through words. Threats, shaming, intimidation threatening to leave you, hurt themselves, or kill themselves or you if you don’t comply with their demands. If you have children, they may also threaten the safety of your children. All these behaviors are considered emotional abuse.
Denial/Gaslighting: The abuser denies the abuse is happening, or even blames it on you. Abusers often normalize the behavior and make the victim believe the abuse is normal or justified.
Controlling behavior: Controlling who you can see, what you can do, where you can go, isolating you from others, demanding that you do certain things, restricting access to money or resources.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, without intervention, abusive behaviors (which are primarily learned) become more destructive over time. Domestic violence typically continues over a long period and gets more frequent and severe over time.
What Is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault can come in many forms. According to the Rape Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN): “The term sexual assault refers to sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent of the victim.”
Some examples of sexual assault are:
Unwanted sexual touching or fondling
Forcing a victim to perform sexual acts, such as oral sex or penetrating the perpetrator’s body
Penetration of the victim’s body, also known as rape
What is a perpetrator?
A perpetrator is a person who commits assault or rape on another person. The majority of perpetrators are someone known to the victim. On average, 8 out of 10 sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows, such as in the case of intimate partner sexual violence or acquaintance rape.
How do I know if I’m being forced?
Force isn’t only physical. Emotional coercion, psychological manipulation or other intimidation tactics such as threats of violence to coerce a victim into non-consensual sex are also considered force.
What is rape?
Rape is a form of sexual assault (not all sexual assault is rape), and the term rape is often used in legal matters to specifically include sexual penetration without consent. The FBI classifies rape as “penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”
The term “date rape” is sometimes used to refer to acquaintance rape, or someone the victim knows, such a date, a classmate, a neighbor, a friend, or any number of different roles. In other cases, the victim may not know the perpetrator at all.
Can I be raped by a spouse or significant other?
Yes. Marital status does not automatically imply consent or an obligation to consent.
Rape in a romantic relationship and/or marriage is called intimate partner violence or marital rape. This includes forced sex and sexual assault between spouses. It refers to forcing or manipulating another person into unwanted sexual acts or intercourse. It is sexual assault Intimate partner violence or marital rape is not always overtly violent. For example, using drugs, threats, or any other means of deception to force someone to perform sex acts is considered abuse/rape.