Should I Listen to My Counsellor and Reveal Past Sexual Abuse to My Parents?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

My elder brother sexually abused me a number of times when I was 13, and now my counselor suggested that I share it with my family because my brother needs to be confronted for his wrongs. Secondly, as we live in a joint family, it would be better to tell so that other kids can be safe from him.

Is it right from the Islamic point of view to reveal his actions as it would have big ramifications for him and it would cause problems for everybody? What should I do in such a situation? Should I reveal it all or is there any other way to deal with this?

Answer

Thank you for your question. I am truly sorry for the abuse that you suffered as a young teenager, and I pray that you heal from this trauma and use it as a means to strengthen yourself and gain closeness to Allah Most High.

Delicate

This situation is very delicate, and you were a victim, and although there is much benefit in revealing the secret, there is some harm as well. My conscience tells me that it is more beneficial to reveal it but under careful consideration. Please consult a local scholar with all the details of the matter and pray istikhara. You should feel very positive about this before you say anything. Ask Allah for guidance before dawn, and pray the Prayer of Need as well. I pray that the outcome is beneficial, especially that the children living with you keep safe.

Anas narrated that Allah’s Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one. People asked, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! It is all right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?’ The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘By preventing him from oppressing others.’” [Bukhari]

Please see this as well:
I Was Sexually Abused as a Child and Have Become an Abuser. Is There Any Redemption for Me?

May Allah grant you the best in this world and the next, and always protect you and your family.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.