Yearning for Freedom: A Reverts Struggle to Practice Islam

March 23, 2023

Dee, a 21-year-old Australian-born girl, recently converted to Islam four months ago. She lives with her parents, younger brother, and an adult male cousin who came from overseas 15 years ago and has not left the family. Dee is currently employed and receiving Centrelink Youth Allowance. However, she revealed that she has endured long-term domestic violence from her parents, including physical, verbal, mental, and emotional abuse. Her cousin controls all the family finances and also has access to Dee's birth certificate, bank account, and Centrelink payments.

Dee shared that she has no control or independence in her life, and her parents chose her university degree, job, and friends. Her cousin controls all her income and online access. Dee's family is strongly culturally minded, and they do not like Islam. They do not allow her to befriend Muslims, and they worry about being judged by their community.

Dee is emotionally conflicted because she does not want to harm her family, but at the same time, she wants to end the abuse and practice Islam freely. She is unable to practice Islam at home and tends to pray when she is out of the house. Dee plans to confront her family about the abuse and explain why she is leaving.

The National Zakat Foundation is assisting Dee with an exit plan to ensure her safety. We are looking into crisis accommodation and financial assistance for Dee, as this is an ongoing case.

Please don't hesitate to get in touch with us if you or someone you know is in need of assistance.

All names and places have been changed to protect the identity of clients.

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