Islamic marriage advice and family advice

I was sexually molested by my older cousin and I don’t know what to do

When I think about mercy, I think that It should be in our nature to forgive. But, what if who you are forgiving has not asked for forgiveness? Should I forgive them for their sake? Or forgive them for mine? Does it make sense to forgive someone worldlessly, or is that not forgiving. Its been 9 years and I need some sort of closure.

child abuse girl %photo

The night my older cousin molested me was a really long time ago. I was 12, he was 23, I was immature and saw him in the same light as i saw my own brother who was the same age -I was still a kid (fasting was not wajib on me yet).

My cousin slept beside me that night until I rolled off the bed in shock and wordlessly ran down the hallway and slept on my parents' bedroom floor. Because I was just a kid, and didn't even know what the concept of molestation was, I didn't know why exactly I rolled off the bed. I guess it was instinctive that what he was doing wasn't right. He scared me.

Since that night I have never spoken to him about it, I'm 21 now, and he is a very 'pious' person according to my mother- She loves him deaaaarly. My mother praises his wisdom, my brother still looks up to him, and though he resides now in a different country with his own family, when I hear his name or any kind of appreciation regarding him I feel sickly. One day it came out that he did the same thing, though he had not reached the same extent he did with me- with my other sister.

That begs the question, that if this wasn't just a one time mistake, a misunderstanding, if he did molest my sister, and he did molest me, who else could he have abused by now? Should a man in his thirties now, who comes off as pious as he does, not understand his past mistakes? Is it absurd of me to expect some sort of apology?  (By the time a male is 23 surely he knows not to touch a non-mahram girl, or any young girl so extensively, right?  ) Should he not be seeking forgivness as a true muslima should?

I want to forgive him, but How do I know that he is even sorry? How do I know that he realizes his mistakes? and God forbid that he hasn't realized his mistakes at all, What then? Do I so something about it?

I think in the end I'm looking for some advice on what to do about this situation that has been stale for almost ten years. Should I talk to him? Should I talk to my family? My family doesn't know about this, only my sisters. My brother and father don't know anything and Im not sure what good It would do to tell them now-. I only realised what it was that happened once I talked about it to my sister and it turned out that the same thing happened to her and it wasn't simply in my head.

I think it is important that I state here that my other sister (not the one molested by the same cousin) was also sexually molested by a stranger when she was little and it is severely impacted her psyche.  So with that being said my feelings toward this cousin are not just on a personal note from me to him, but from a victim to an abuser.

Is it not my duty to do something about this? Or would it cause too much turmoil and should I just let Allah deal with it? (meaning do nothing and hope and have faith that he isn't still touching young girls). He has a daughter now and unfortunately I fear for her safety with him.

I would greatly appreciate your two cents, this has been eating away at me for a decade.

- keeplight


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9 Responses »

  1. As salamu alaykum, keeplight,

    I am deeply sorry for what you and your sisters have gone through being a child.

    Let´s think about it, if you and your sisters talk now, can happen two things, one is that everybody believes you and once this is done they still have the option of talking or not, if they do for certain it will cause a huricane, and if even if they don´t believe you, at least they will have an eye on him, just in case.

    Then, I think that at least you should say it to your mother and then see what she thinks about it, because once you open the box of wind, I don´t see the way of stopping it,...

    There is no way to know what is in your cousin´s head or heart and, I wouln´t advise you to go to talk to him now, it can be misunderstood and you don´t want that in your back. If I was you, I would go to my family and then seeing their reaction and their advise, at that point, I will look for counselling to close the door behind me and be able to live my life without so much pain and to learn tools that teach me how to deal with the traumatic experience, insha´Allah.

    Forgiveness comes directly from Allah (swt), learn to deal with this without expecting to know if he has repented or not; to heal this, you will need to separate yourself from him, I know it sounds difficult, but go to a mirrow and tell me what you see in it, just you, carrying your past and dealing with your now, heal your past and then the next time that you look at the mirrow you will see yourself now, being your best with all the wounds healed, insha´Allah.

    May Allah(swt) bring Peace to your Hearts, insha´Allah.

    All my Unconditional Love, Respect and Support,

    María

  2. Assalam Alaikum Sister,

    I too am sorry about what happened in the past to you and your sisters. I believe many girls have been through something like this and also keep it to themselves. I knew someone back home (india) that dealt with a similar issue but sadly by a hafiz that was teaching her the Quran! Thank God he would come during the day, but she was very young as well. I met this man before and he was really young as well, maybe 21. I could tell that he wasn't a good guy. It's just so sad how Shaitan makes people do horrible things. I could understand how tough it was for you.

    Well I agree with sister Maria, at this point, it wouldn't make much sense to revisit this issue with your cousin. I'm pretty sure he is well aware of what he's done and it's really HIS problem to deal with and ask for forgiveness. You can just pray that Allah (swt) guides him in the right direction. As for you and your dear sisters, you can be strong and work hard to help each other put this behind. But I do understand your fear about the safety of his daughter.

    If you really think he could cause harm to her, then I suggest you do something about it. You can't really know for sure if he's harming his child, unless you speak to her or even him. but I'm sure that's not really possible as he lives in a different country or just maybe not possible at all? I guess this is a bit tough, and I'm sure some guilt is causing you to worry. Is there a way you guys can reach out to your mother on this? I know it's like opening up a can of worms, but you need to begin somewhere right? Just pray and ask for guidance, its your family and you know them well, so only you can truly figure out if talking to someone about him will protect another girl.

    Maybe Allah bless you, iA.

    Sarah

  3. Salam Alaikum sister,

    I would like to keep this short, so may i start by saying i totally understand what you are going through as the same thing happend to my sister a few years back and she managed to tell our older sister who then told our mother and it was dealt with between the family, and it does cause tension but it was dealt with altogether after many incidents and then one BIG incident, but yes seen as its in the past, i would not want you to feel like im saying you should forget so please forgive me if i say something in the wrong way but i think now that you have told your sister and your sister has been through the same thing, you should deffo open up to your mother maybe you both can sit down and tell her so that your mother may have ways which you can deal with this instead of bringing tension between the two families. I'm still worried about this relative as you are unsure about if he has even realised what he has done? and he might be doing it to someone else around the world, its o hard i know you think of all sorts but sister just start off by telling your mother and inshallah in someay your family may stop talking about this guy and keep distant so that the relative will automatically know that your family are aware of his actions. i hope this helps sister, once again im so sorry that you had to go through this it's terrible and so uncomfortable to even think about, even if it was years ago right. anyways sis takecare x

  4. i'm not a muslim..but your story hit me with a pang..because its almost exactly like mine..only difference is that i was 9 years old..and he was probably around 18 or 19 or more..i don't really know..but yeah he molested me..i was in the same bed..i felt something was wrong..but the thing is u were at 12 so u were at least able to get yourself away from the situation by running away when u felt something was wrong..but i was simply too young to even feel scared about it..i was just completely confused but somehow somewhat even then i felt like something is wrong...and he then and still now...acts like he is this very pious guy..my parents love him for this and always praise him..which makes me so sick just the way u feel...and my brother who doesn't have a clue about what he did adores him! just like your story...but i don't have sisters..i am the only daughter..and my abuser sadly lives very near to my place..and i often have to go to his house cos my parents wanna visit him and his family...and i can't keep acting like i am sick or something to avoid myself from going there...if not they will just think something is wrong with me..not him..and i simply can't disclose this matter to them..its hard to explain..but i think u understand my position..we are both in the same shoes right now...

    but what i would like to tell u is that..ithrough meeting with people on the internet..some very helpful matured people..one person really helped me through this and i don't feel pain about what happened anymore..but it still sickens me when i have to see him..what is important is that you forgive yourself for what happened...have you forgiven youreslf? do u still feel guilty about what happened? all this things has to be resolved first in my opinion..who cares about him..somethings is mentally wrong with him...but if u feel the need to forgive him for you to be able to forgive yourself then by all means do so..but you can't force yourself to make that happen...i have not forgiven my abuser..i don't know whether i ever will...but i have forgiven myself..i am happier now...my heart goes out to you and your sisters..pray for closure from god..and i hope god guides you through this pain that he has caused upon you..stay strong..i don't know you..i am off a different religion..but it doesn't matter..i see you as my sister now..i see you have been through the exact same thing as me..and my love goes all out to you. :)

    and one more thing...i did confront him about what happened..i asked him why he did this to me via text message..he din sound sorry at all to me..i mean he did say sorry and all but it seems more like he felt sorry that he din marry me..he's just sick..anyways that was a long story..my point is..it was very painful to read whatever he sent me and all..but something..like a burden was lifted off my shoulders..because i confronted him about it..i feel that...if u want better closure u should confront him about this..don't do it alone..try to do it by a text message..he tried calling me but i won't answer his calls cos i was scared to death to even talk to him..he even sort of harrassed me..but yeah don't worry he's at the wrong end..so u have nothing to be afraid off...it does help a bit..so give a it a try when u feel ready..hope this helps sis..:)

  5. My friend was molested by he cousions uncle and she dosent know what to do and her parent don't belive her

  6. Salaam, after reading your posts everything is really hurting me I have been a victim too I was 11 when ony uncle ( mums brother) used to come into my room in the middle of the night and touch me up I was really very scared I started putting the lock on in my bedroom where after a few nights I found the lock was Brocken I cried and cried nobody understood my tears my family was sick of me crying I didnt want to say anything because they would say I'm lying my whole child hood went to pot I still remember I never used to look after myself wouldn't brush my hair never was intrested in looking well the image in front of everyone was I was a scruff he used to live with us after a few months he moved when he came back I was then 17 where I never forgot what happened and still my whole apperence affected my life so the second time he came I couldn't bare it was scared he continued doing the same I then told my aunty about it she told me to keep quite don't say anything which didn't help me at all he continued doing it one day no one was at home apart from one brother who was fast asleep he stood there naked and was ripping my clothes off I tried screaming I couldn't my voice didnt come out he won't let go of me I managed to escape went running to my brothers room sat on the floor crying really loud. My brother woke up asked me what happened I told him it all the words won't come out of my mouth but in the few words I told him then my parents were informed and he was thrown out up until today it's hard reason why Iv shared this is to help other victims tears are flowing out of my eyes but the best thing is I told I would advise everyone to do the same because of that my life has been difficult I found praying crying to Allah swt has made me stronger that today when I look at myself in the mirror I feel and look beautiful and I can make an effort with myself knowing everyone's return Is to the all mighty. What I have shared is very emotional for me up until today family's talk bad behind my back but my actual family is understanding people say I was bad it was me I think to my self ur return is to Allah swt if not in this life in the life after ul find out. With this I would please like to ask for strong duaas to make me less emotional reading other people's stories I get upset I want to be strong I don't want to be weak I really do hope my post has help.

    • I'm very sorry to hear that this happened to you or to any girl. Your auntie who told you to stay quiet should be ashamed of herself. What a pathetic excuse for a relative. Alhamdulillah that when the truth came out your family threw your uncle out.

      There's nothing wrong with being emotional about this issue. It is indeed a crime against our youth that should outrage any human being.

      Wael
      IslamicAnswers.com Editor

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