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Brutal: The Heartbreaking True Story of a Little Girl's Stolen Innocence [Kindle Edition]

Nabila Sharma
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)

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Book Description

He was my religious teacher. I should have been able to trust him. But he made me do unspeakable things…

At seven years old, Nabila Sharma began her lessons at the mosque as every good Muslim girl does. But from the minute she looked up at her Imam, the man who held her spiritual future in his hands, she knew something was wrong.

Over the next five years Nabila’s life became unbearable. While she was behind the doors of the mosque, the most sacred of places, the Imam brutally molested her on the slightest whim. Each day he would make her perform unspeakable acts, physically and mentally torturing her into compliance, to fulfil his perverse desires.

Nothing would stop him; no plea would make him relent. But he was a respected member of the community, trusted by everyone; if Nabila cried for help she would risk the honour of her family, an unthinkable act. There was nowhere she could turn, no one she could talk to. As a young Muslim girl, Nabila was powerless.

Brutal is the shocking, revelatory and heart-rending account of one girl’s plight in a society where honour and shame are a matter of life and death. It is a tale of innocence lost and a life shattered, but above all it is a tale of survival, of a young girl who found love and hope in the darkest of places.

Product Description

About the Author

Nabila Sharma was born and raised in the Midlands, the youngest of five siblings and the only daughter in a strict Muslim home. At the age of six she was sent to the Mosque to begin lessons and was subjected to brutal abuse at the hands of the Imam. The incidents that occurred over these years changed her life forever.

Now an independent woman, Nabila works to bring light to the crimes kept in the dark and justice to those who deserve it.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 553 KB
  • Print Length: 307 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0007438494
  • Publisher: Harper Element (26 April 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006I1AE0G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #92,975 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well-written & shocking account of betrayal 5 Jun. 2012
This is a very well-written book which describes the suffering of the author as a young girl in graphic detail.A real page-turner,it becomes ever more shocking with every paragraph as one shares the horror & revulsion the author feels as she is molested by the grotesque Iman of her local mosque. From his hot,stinking breath, his dirty finger-nails and the love bites he leaves on her tiny body, her vividly recalled memories evoke an horrific picture of an innocence lost & betrayed.

No child should be subjected to the systematic sexual abuse that the author went through for five years from the age of seven from a person in such a position of responsibility. Worse, the terrifying events also damaged her relationship with her parents and wrecked her self-esteem. A subsequent relationship with a violent boyfriend and a threat to her life from those who should have supported her, makes for compelling, but uncomfortable reading. Thank goodness she has finally found the courage to expose the injustice against her and has set in motion events which will hopefully lead to the arrest and punishment of the man who stole her childhood.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This true story is about a girl who suffered sexual abuse by a religious teacher within the local community, self harm and neglect. Nabila writes about the fear she lived in and of the repercussions she feared. It took me 2 days reading this book and it left me somewhat angry and sad but happy that the author has finally found the strength and empowerment to write about what happened to her. An easy to read book but not easy to stomach, was totally engrossed!

Too often you hear of sexual predators within certain communities who are excused for their behaviours and too often do they use the mask of religion or culture to cover their abuse, be it religious leaders, imans, priests or rabbis. In an era of safeguarding children, I hope this true story lends itself to those to have kids or work with kids to ensure that they don't come to harm but also I hope true stories like this give courage to those who suffer in silence.

Thanks Nabila for sharing your story frankly and honestly, I hope you are finding justice and action is being taken!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A heartbreaking but inspirational read 5 May 2012
By Rachel
This book shows how human spirit can prevail even in the toughest of situations. This brave girl has battled through horrendous times but refuses to be beaten and is an inspiration to us all. I couldn't put this book down and I'm sure it will touch everyone who reads it. Buy it today!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking! 31 July 2012
By Aishah
I finished the book within hours! Its so heartbreaking what happens and what kills even more is knowing that this is still happening around the world, Children should not have to put up for this, Nabila is a prime example of one of the many people looking to be the voice of the children who has to go through the pain! Nabila you are very strong for being able to speak up about what happened .. A huge inspiration xx
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truely harrowing story 21 July 2012
By Zara
A brave account of one girl's world being turned upside down. It was a heartbreaking read, as it goes into the details of what happened to her every single day for 5 years. It makes you think differently about the people we automatically think we can trust. Alas it seems that we have to be wary of even those who seem to be the one figure we can trust. Its well worth the read, it certainly opened my eyes! its honest, its gritty and I take my hat off to Nabila Sharma for being courageous enough to talk about her experiences! 5 stars!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brutal 18 April 2013
I only went to Tesco to buy my lunch but as soon as this book caught my eye I knew it would be one of those books where you would miss your meals and favorite TV shows because this was something worth staying up for. I read the book within hours and I could read it again. Such a strong, inspirational woman. I would recommend this book to anyone especially girls that have already been through similar situations.I would never imagined there would be a happy ending in this story but I was wrong. Love this book, it's full of encouragement, hope, faith and inspiration.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Brutal is a must read account of a young child's innocence taken from the Imam, a man who would normally be highly regarded in the Islamic faith. Unfortunately it's not uncommon that such a disgusting and demoralising act is carried out by such individuals, it's just a hidden secret. It takes a lot of courage to speak yet alone write about such a taboo topic, yet Nabila has told her true story capturing graphically every twist and turn that has led her to be the strong person she is today. A young girl sent to mosque to recite and learn the Quran turned into daily molestation and abuse by a sick individual. What surprises me is how all the signs of abuse were there, but overlooked by all, including her mother, father and brothers. Nabila not only endured abuse by the Imam but unfortunately it triggered further horrible events to unfold in her life. There is no doubt that this is a compelling read and one where you hope that there is a happy ending for Nabila. A truly inspirational story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential we all read this book. 27 Aug. 2012
By Avid
Nabila has written an honest and couragous account of the sexual abuse of her ( and Im sure others too) by a man who was responsible for many muslim children in her community. Its a very important book for us all to read for more reasons than I can account for on here,not least that we owe it to our children to safeguard them by being open and honest with them about safecare in our communities,and that we train our children to speak out about anyone touching them inappropriatly.

I read the book in a couple of sittings as I could not put it down. Nabila takes us through description of her family circumstances,the beautiful child that people saw her as,and how this and other factors in her family,and surrounding neighbourhood, reacted to the various situations she found her self in. It broke my heart as a mother of 2 young people now grown up,to think how easily children can be abused, if we do not look, talk, and listen to them. Sexual abuse of children is not an outdated scenario, it is very much there in our communities..and this is sadly the message victims of abuse have to give out.... Nabila wants to make she is so bravely that those who are not checked in mosques to teach children, have to be, but also that no one person should be teaching a group of children outside of state education time,where they remain vunerable, as in Nabila's case.... a single unchecked Imam in a mosque.

The book is a must for parents and anyone who wants to be a parent..but also for victims of sexual abuse,to validate that they are not alone.It covers many aspects of importance about trust, and lack of communication,fear because of shaming,and the misplaced honour of parents,that place the child's safety at risk.

Well done Nabila x were with you all the way.
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