According to the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, in 2016, there were around 768,767 Muslims in New York City, making up 8.96% of New York City’s total population. With approximately 3.45 million Muslims in the United States, New York City has one of the largest pockets of Muslims, accounting for 23% of all Muslims in the United States. According to a study published by the PEW Religion Center, New Jersey ranks No. 1 in the nation in the percentage of its population that is Muslim with over 3% of individuals identifying as Muslim. This number has undoubtedly increased, as recent data from the Pew Research Center suggests that by 2040, Muslims will be the second-largest religious group in the United States. Muslims in NYC, come from all walks of life; for example, one-fifth of Muslims in NYC are black, and 15% identify as Arab. Furthermore, we know that on average,1 out of every 3 Muslim women experience intimate partner violence in the United States. These staggering numbers mean that there is a dire need for an expansion of resources that support Muslim domestic violence survivors. Currently, the Asiyah Women’s Center is the first and only center that can accommodate the holistic needs of domestic violence survivors and victims of homelessness that identify with the AMEMSA and BIPOC population in New York City.
Our center is an apartment that we rent, it can only serve 12-15 women at any given time. The Asiyah Women’s Center currently has 42 women and children on our waiting list, who are waiting to leave their abusers and receive a call from us with a bed placement. The distrust and fear of the city shelter system that Muslim women have, makes the Asiyah Women’s Center one of the only places they can trust during one of the most vulnerable times of their lives. In the coming weeks, we intend to rent a new location; this will allow us to house 12 more women and children at any given moment.