Past Events

The City Circle is an open circle for open minds

Fistful of Love: Impact of Domestic Violence on Children

Speaker:  Dr Saima Ahsan, Dr Zaza Johnson Elsheikh, Khalida Haque, Ahmed Uddin
Date:  Friday 14 October 2016
Time:  18:45 to 20:30
Please note change to normal venue: Bloomsbury Church, 235 Shaftesbury Ave, London WC2H 8EP


Event Details:

On Wednesday 7th September PM Theresa May claimed to have a “good track record on domestic violence” but charities such as women’s refuges’ criticise the government for cutting vital funding and causing an increase in the number of deaths caused by domestic violence. What of the collateral damage?

Domestic violence often involves the discussion of the perpetrator and victim. But there is a third group, namely the children. The impact on children is unquantifiable and just as long lasting given the government reports that in around 90% of domestic violence cases, children are in the same room or the room next door. This often results in behavioural issues such as: absenteeism, ill-health, bulling, anti-sicla behaviour, alcohol and drug misuse, self-half and psychological impacts.

What is the profile of an abuser? What is the impact on children? Why do parents stay in the abusive relationship despite the negative impact on children? Is it inevitable that the child will become victim or perpetrator? Join us for a panel discussion as we continue our campaign and series of events on domestic violence with our expert panel.


Dr Saima Ahsan is a Paediatric registrar in London. She has a masters in Global Health Development from the Institute of Child Health, UCL. She has volunteered for organisations specialising in supporting victims of torture and has worked with former child soldiers and victims of war to help them access the health system appropriately. She has a special interest in medical education and child public health in the developing world. In her spare time she enjoys playing basketball and outdoor trekking.

Dr Zaza Johnson El Sheikh qualified as a medical doctor (University College London, 1994) and solicitor (Hempsons, 2004) before pursing her innate interest in human interaction. She trained as mediator and regularly deals with conflict resolution in family matters. She is co-founder of Belief in Mediation and Arbitration (BIMA) and actively works on interfaith issues. Having a mixed cultural (Afro-Arab/Caribbean) background with (Baptist-Muslim) parentage has provided her first-hand personal experience of the tensions between people of different backgrounds and experience of how to resolve tensions that controlling and violent behaviour.

Khalida Haque is an integratively trained counselling psychotherapist, clinical supervisor and group facilitator.  She is a counselling services manager with the Schools Counselling Partnership, founding director of Khair Therapeutic Services CIC ( and co-devisee of the Sakeena Tranquility DV Recovery Programme, currently piloting in East London.  She also co-hosts The Big Reconnect Sleepover. Khalida has over a decade's experience of working therapeutically with various and sometimes complex issues but a significant recurrent theme, at all her work places, has been domestic violence. Khalida is bi-lingual and author of articles published by Sisters Magazine and Fitra Journal.

Ahmed Uddin is the UK programme coordinator at Islamic Relief and previously worked at the National Zakat Foundation as the Head of Community Relations. He brings a wealth of experience from his years working in the public and charitable sector. Since graduating he has worked for a number of high profile organisations including the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), Muslim Youth Helpline (MYH) and the Islamic Human Rights Commission where he travelled around the world carrying out research and promoting human rights. He has spoken regularly on television as an expert on various topics and at the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva.


Shabana Saleem (Chair) is an Associate Barrister at Charles Russell Speechlys. She has a Masters in international dispute resolution and particular expertise in Islamic and Middle East law having worked within Muslim Mediation and for expatriate clients abroad. Shabana has acted for and advised men and women suffering domestic violence and those wrongfully accused of domestic violence. Previously having worked for Croydon Council Children Services, she has seen first-hand the impact of controlling and violent behaviour on the victim and the child. She actively seeks to mitigate the impact of such behaviour when acting for clients in children proceedings.


Additional details

Free entrance. All welcome. Prayer space available. Street parking free from 18:30. Doors open at 18:45 and the talk begins at 19:00. If you have any questions, please contact us on