Reham Hewedak, '13, Places Second in National ABA Writing Competition


A paper she began in Fall 2012 during her last year of law school ended up placing second for Reham Hewedak, ’13, in a nationwide legal writing contest for law students.

Hewedak’s paper titled “The Escape from Domestic Violence: Do Non-Muslim Women Have the Option to Leave with their Children from Non-Hague Muslim States to Return to the United States?” the article specifically recommends bi-lateral treaties and modifications of Hague conventions to remedy this issue, she said.

“The article examines the legal needs of American non-Muslim survivors of domestic violence in non-Hague Muslim states,” Hewedak said. “The article offers some recommendations which can remove the incentive for potential abductors to remove their children to Muslim states.”

In 1987, American Betty Mahmoody published the book Not Without my Daughter, which documents Mahmoody’s escape with her daughter from Iran, where her husband had physically and psychologically abused her, back to the United States. Mahmoody had to illegally escape from Iran with her daughter after her husband tried to turn their two-week vacation there into a permanent relocation of the family. Mahmoody’s illustrates how non-Muslim victims of domestic abuse often do not have the option to legally leave Muslim countries to escape their abusive relationship for the fear of losing custody of their children under Shari’a custody laws.

Her article also highlights Islamic view of domestic violence and Muslim states’ use of religion to justify the lack of restrictions in the laws of domestic violence, Hewedak said.

Hewedak began writing the paper in Fall 2012 in Kerry Blomquist’s domestic violence law class. While in law school, Hewedak did an externship in domestic violence court, working in the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office. She also worked at the Julian Center handling family law issues for survivors of domestic violence.

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