A Turning Point for Victims: Group Helps Abused Muslim Women

October 6, 2006

Author: Clem Richardson

Source: New York Daily News


Robina Niaz, founder of the Turning Point for Women and Families, a Jamaica, Queens group dedicated to empowering Muslim women and children, says a single statistic shows one thing women of all faiths have in common.

Every nine seconds, a woman is the victim of domestic violence in this country.

"When people ask me if domestic violence is a problem in the Muslim community, I tell them domestic violence is a problem in every community," Niaz said. "A woman is victimized every nine seconds. Some of them are Muslim; some of them aren't."

No matter who the victim is, Niaz said, "a society can never be free of violence if our homes are violent.

"We must call it what it is," she said. "Domestic violence is wrong under Islam and any other standard you want to apply."

Niaz, a native of Pakistan, founded Turning Point 12 years ago. A social worker in her native country with a master's degree in psychology, Niaz earned a second master's in social work from Hunter College two decades after earning her first. Turning Point offers social services that are sensitive to the cultural differences of Muslim women, who were often victimized a second time by language and religious barriers when seeking help with domestic violence issues.

See also: Islam, Civic, Women