Domestic Abuse Advocate Publishes Book

Dec 17, 2023

NEW KENSINGTON, PA — Whitaker House Publishers releases I Didn’t Survive: Emerging Whole After Deception, Persecution, and Hidden Abuse, a memoir by women’s abuse advocate Naghmeh Panahi.

Millions who followed the story of Pastor Saeed Abedini’s imprisonment in Iran for his faith were shocked and confused when his wife, Naghmeh, halted advocacy in 2015, claiming abuse. After 7 years, Naghmeh is ready to tell the full story of what happened before, during, and after Saeed’s arrest. The book gives a behind-the-scenes look at Panahi’s personal story of abuse within her marriage to Abedini, whose imprisonment in Iran from 2012–2016 gained international attention. It also covers the larger problem of the role of religion in perpetuating abuse, an issue that has been widely reported on in the press, most recently in articles by the Washington Post and Christianity Today.

“God used Saeed’s imprisonment to free me so that I can now be an advocate for and encourage those who have been or are in similar circumstances. This book is a calling for the church to do better,” said Naghmeh. “I’m thankful Whitaker House partnered with me to tell my story.”

In addition to speaking and advocating for other abused women as the executive director of Tahrir Alnisa, Panahi works with the underground church in her home country of Iran.

“Naghmeh is a woman of integrity and undaunted faith despite enduring the unthinkable,” says Whitaker House publisher Christine Whitaker. “Her story exposes the far-reaching repercussions of abuse while demonstrating a redemptive faith in Christ that transcends pain and tragedy.”

Naghmeh is available for interviews to talk about her story and related issues. Contact Karen Campbell at to schedule an interview.

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