Field Notes: Reflections on Addressing Domestic Violence in American Muslim Communities


  • Bonita R. McGee
  • Nur Shaina Ayers



Islam views the family as the cornerstone of society (Alwani 2007). Unfortunately, American Muslim families face challenges to their strength and foundational role in society as the social malaise that touches the larger society, such as violence and abuse, are present in their communities. Domestic violence (DV), also described as Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), gender-based violence (GBV), or family violence (FV), impacts families and communities regardless of race, class, socio-economic status, education, or religious affiliation. Muslim communities in the US have increasingly acknowledged and addressed the issue over the last twenty-plus years. Authors McGee and Ayers engaged community advocates, professionals, and imams to explore their entry into DV awareness work and reflections from the field regarding the progress observed during their respective tenures. The authors will provide a profile of the participant cohort and then describe their responses to a collection of prompts and inquiries, thereby highlighting their views on community support as well as those promising and best practices used by communities to raise awareness and support DV survivors, and share their recommendations and vision for the work’s future. Finally, the authors will provide some final thoughts and recommendations.