The first time Noor* visited the Board of Imams Victoria, in Melbourne's Coburg North, to apply for an Islamic divorce, she took with her an audio recording she had secretly made during one of her husband's violent outbursts.
"It was of one night when he was screaming and yelling at me in front of the children," said Noor, a Muslim who wore a niqab during her decades-long marriage.
"He was verbally abusing me, smashing doors, ripping up sheets, putting down me and my family ... I taped it thinking no one would believe me."
Once inside the building, a glass-fronted office space wedged between an electrical store and a denture clinic on a sleepy stretch of Sydney Road, Noor sat down nervously before a panel of five male imams and carefully recounted the years of physical, emotional and financial abuse she had suffered at the hands of her husband, who had recently breached the intervention order she had taken out against him.