Today was really interesting for me! I started my volunteer training at Leeway Domestic Violence and Abuse, which is a phenomenal charity working with victims of domestic violence. There weren't many of us there, but that just makes it all the more special. The great thing is that if I manage to obtain a place on the Masters course, I can still volunteer with Leeway as they have certain services there. I'm not allowed to say much because of the confidentiality, but trust me when I say I can't wait to get stuck in!
Domestic violence has always been something I'm passionate about stopping because no woman or man should be subjected to something so horrific. Violence is always dreadful, no matter who the perpetrator is, and it should be stopped. What shocks me the most is the statistics - 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime, and it's 1 in 6 for men. Also, 90% of children are either in the same room or the next room as the violence occurs, which was the most shocking statistic for me. Children should never witness or even be aware that violence is happening, if it has to happen at all. Thankfully, there is a law that may have been passed or may be in the process of being passed that will make such situations child abuse. I do not know much about this law, but insha'Allah something is done to protect these innocents.
After my training, I didn't really do much until this evening when I went to my very first sister's circle at UEA's Islamic Centre. It was absolutely lovely and I met some tremendous new friends, which was amazing. They were all welcoming and very helpful, even showing me how to pray! I can't pray yet as my time of the month has arrived (boooo!!!) but I have been told that I can still make a supplication to Allah (swt) so I will do that until my time is over. I am looking forward to this time next week when I should be able to pray again, although my Arabic will still be heinous (apologies, ladies!).
I loved being part of the sister's circle and asking questions about Ramadan, prayer, halal meats etc especially as my sisters were so helpful! They told me to just take it slowly, which I will do, and to practice the basics so that hopefully everything else will fall into place. I've also been told that I should pray in Arabic, so the hunt is on for a copy of the Quran that isn't written in Arabic but is Arabic - so as in it says something like "insha'Allah" rather than writing it in Arabic script. I know what I mean haha!
As for tomorrow, I am going to a poetry workshop and will be seeing all my other friends there. One of the sisters has taught me how to pin a hijab properly, so I will try and have a go at it tomorrow! I can't promise anything, but hopefully it will go to plan!