Saturday, January 31, 2009

Men's Group from Church Raises Funds for Domestic Violence

2 comments Posted by Hannah at 3:48 PM

Wicked Local Mansfield Reports:


Church Men’s Group raising funds for HUGS II
By Rachel Bolden
Thu Jan 29, 2009, 12:55 PM EST

Easton - Each year the men of the Congregational Covenant Church in Easton raise funds to fight violence against women.

On Friday, Feb. 6, the church’s Men’s Group hosts its annual Flavors of the World charity dinner dance at the Thorny Lea Golf Club in Brockton from 7 p.m. to midnight. Proceeds will benefit Help Us Get Safe (HUGS) II and the Womansplace Crisis Center, both local nonprofit organizations which offer shelter and counseling to victims of domestic violence.

The Men’s Group became involved with the cause about six years ago, when one of its members served on the jury of a domestic violence case. The fund-raising event, now in its fourth year, began as a modest dinner in a church basement and raised $5,000.
Since then, Flavors of the World has dramatically increased both its popularity and its profit. Proceeds have more than doubled since the event’s inception and last year’s total was $40,000. That money helped Womansplace purchase a larger local shelter for women and children in need of protection.

Womansplace, the only domestic violence shelter in Plymouth County, received more than 2,400 hotline calls in the last year alone. Unfortunately, they are now experiencing declines in funding, making it difficult to serve the increasing numbers of women seeking refuge.

HUGS II is also having difficulty keeping up with growing demand. HUGS II President Denise Papagno said that the organization is suffering from cuts in both government and private funding.

“At the same time, we are experiencing a spike in the number of victims requesting services for themselves and for their children,” Papagno, an Easton police officer, said. “There is clearly a correlation between job loss and increased domestic violence.”

Kevin Symmons, co-chairman of the Men’s Group, said he recognizes corporate sponsorships will likely decrease this year due to the struggling economy. With that in mind, they are putting a greater focus on encouraging attendance.
“It’s more of a grassroots approach,” Symmons said. “Finding people who want to come and then asking them to bring friends.”

This year’s event will feature cuisine by Crazy Chefs Caterers, wines by Pop’s Fine Wines, and desserts donated by Finales. A local band will provide music and dancing throughout the night. A silent auction of generously donated items will also take place during the course of the evening.

All proceeds will go towards keeping both Womansplace and HUGS II in operation.
“We are committed to helping these organizations continue to provide emergency shelter, education, training, and other critical services to the mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends in our area,” Symmons said. “We hope that the community will help make this event a success by joining us at the Flavors of the World dinner dance.”

“Flavors of the World” will take place at the Thorny Lea Golf Club from 7 p.m. to midnight. Tickets are $75 per person and can be purchased by calling the church at 508-238-6423, Kevin Symmons at 617-774-9874, or by e-mailing Denise Papagno at dpapagno@easton.ma.us.

If you are unable to attend, but would like to make a contribution to either organization, please send your tax-deductible contribution made payable to: HUGS II or Womansplace and mail directly to Covenant Congregational Church, c/o Men’s Group, 204 Center Street, N. Easton, MA 02356.


I hope other men's groups do similar events!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pattern of Behavior: Domestic Violence and Faith

1 comments Posted by Hannah at 9:59 AM

I think one of the most overlooked characteristic of abusers seem to be the pattern of behavior they portray. I’m not sure if that is due to the spouse’s reactions to their behavior, or if people just genuinely don’t wish to see it. It is a huge source of frustration to me.

Since every person on this earth is custom for the most part people will have certain aspects of behaviors that can’t come straight off lists you read. One of the aspects that seem to trigger the behavior is their sense of anxiety over something. I realize that anxiety isn’t a comfortable feeling, but we all have some of it to deal with in life. The reason I feel this is their reactions to small mundane things in life.

I remember one story that I was told was about how this woman’s husband loved tortilla chips, and they MUST be round ones! He didn’t want the triangle ones. Now in most cases people wouldn’t have an issue finding those round chips for him. It seems odd, but then again it isn’t worth fighting over. Their daughter one day had gone to the store for them, and was asked to pick up those chips for Dad. She returned with the items from the store, and explained that they were all out of the round chips. She went to the second store, and they didn’t have them either. She made the decision that maybe just this once triangle would have to do for the big football game that afternoon. Sounds reasonable right?


For some reason abusers seem to look at the lack of round chips, and not the effort that was placed into finding them. The family got the speech about how his feelings didn’t matter, and how he works and slaves and all he asks for is ROUND chips! The fact the game was coming on soon, and the daughter knew he would be upset if she was late did come to mind. That wasn’t enough to be excusable. The whole family got to hear that afternoon about how no one cares about him due to the lack of round chips. I’m not saying we aren’t able to have preferences, but most people can also see the reaction was unreasonable.

After the first explosion over the round chips the family followed with a moment of silence. He slams doors, and yells at the dog. More speeches about how no one respects him, and what HE likes and prefers! It was turned around to how he never gets his round chips, and how everyone forgets about what he LIKES! How it’s HIS money that pays for the chips, and how he should HAVE some say on HOW his money is SPENT!

For the most part you don’t want to get in the middle of the man and his rages. At least in their home they had learned. You were better off waiting until he had calmed down a bit, but that resolution wasn’t going to happen. You could bring up the aspects of the uproar later, but it will always be taking the risk of the fuse being relit again!

Hmm. I guess that would be the second aspect of abusers. Resolution isn’t going to happen, because actually owning what they did would also raise their anxiety levels. Some are okay with a quick “I’m sorry” with flowers and candy, but if you feel that is the time to bring it to resolution by talking about the event? You risk trouble once again. They said they are sorry, and if you are smart you don’t push your luck. People state that communication is the most important aspect of relationships, and I’m NOT going to say it’s not important. I think resolution of disagreements is part of that. That is the part they aren’t capable of due to their anxiety levels.

How about we get back to Mr. Chip man! I have to wonder if they realize they are acting like fools, and their anxiety levels tend to get out of controls at that point. If a chip commercial came on during the game you heard snarls. If anyone went NEAR the triangle chips they were given the look of death. If anyone wanted to leave the room for peace they were mocked and ridiculed. “You wouldn’t be uncomfortable if someone would have gotten my DAMN chips! Thank your sister for THIS! Its all her fault!” When sister tries to leave due to being upset, “WAHHHHH! You going to go and cry NOW?”

It doesn’t matter how gentle the rebuke is over that behavior it will land you right back in rage land again. I mean OPPS that anxiety level was lifted once again! You are in trouble if you leave, and in trouble if you stay. The family knows it time to prepare for Hurricane Round Chip! Destruction was coming, and everyone was heading for shelter! Mom steps in to try to stop things from spiraling out of control, but it’s to late. She just stepped on a time bomb, and it’s her turn for the wrath of Mr. Chip man. You think the kids got it bad? Nope. Mom will take the brunt of it now, and worse of it.

Once she leaves or gets run off he will step into his silent mode. He will watch his game HIS way, and lets all PRAY that some noise doesn’t set him off again! As you can imagine the family is reeling. The children are scared, and mother is upset. They sneak off to bed, and hope that Dad is in a better mood tomorrow. Mom may very well have to listen to the speech again softer this time before bed before he wishes to snuggle up to love making session to feel he is given forgiveness. She just wants peace, and is scared to turn him down.

I remember at the end of her story she reminded us that she was no longer married to him, and then giggled about the fact maybe it was the shape that he might CHOKE on! She was attempting to make it humorous towards the end, but her point was how insane the topics are that they choose to rage about.

I’m sure most people would think this is an unusual type of story, but you can replace that CHIP shape and replace with other things and it repeats itself all over this globe. It could be over the next day, or it could go on for weeks. That pattern of behavior can repeat itself every time something new raises an abusers anxiety levels. In my own circumstances similar things would happen if you couldn’t read his mind! I remember a number of times I was brave enough to mention, “When you buy me that crystal ball I have been asking for you wouldn’t have this issue!” My bad I suppose, but it was said out of frustration. You just can’t reason with behavior like that. When you are frightened of them boundaries can be very scary. The story will repeat itself. It’s guaranteed.

When people speak to you about arguments please don't tell them that maybe he just had a bad day. I know you realize that most people DON’T go around slamming cabinets and carrying on over ROUND chips! You think there HAS to be more to the story here! Stop. Think. Listen again. Just before you take this petty item off your list ask some questions to check for the pattern. If you don’t chances are good you won’t be hearing from them again. Most people in those circumstances are to upset or scared to tell you the whole thing. You will get more if you ask.

I'll close with some quotes from Brenda Branson at Broken people.org:


What does a fool look like?
· He is always right. “The way of a fool seems right to him . . .” Proverbs 12:15

· He trusts in his own heart. “He who trusts in himself is a fool.” Proverbs 28:26

· He doesn’t learn from past mistakes, and is chronically foolish. “As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.” Proverbs 26:11

· He doesn’t want to change. “Though you grind a fool in a mortar, grinding him like grain with a pestle, you will not remove his folly from him.” Proverbs 27:22

· He will not listen to reason. “Do not speak to a fool, for he will scorn the wisdom of your words.” Proverbs 23:9

· He is motivated by anger. “A fool gives full vent to his anger . . .” Proverbs 29:11

· He is opinionated. “A fool finds no delight in understanding, but delights in airing his own opinions.” Proverbs 18:2

· He invites violence. “A fool’s lips bring him strife, and his mouth invites a beating.” Proverbs 18:4

Do you know someone like this? If so, here are some words of wisdom for you.

· Watch who you associate with! “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man; do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.” Proverbs 22:24-25

· Don’t rescue a fool! “A hot-tempered man must pay the penalty; if you rescue him, you will have to do it again.” Proverbs 19:19

· Warning—Danger Ahead! “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:22 (The word “harm” means total destruction.)

· Stay away from a fool! “Better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs than a fool in his folly.” Proverbs 17:12



This type of behavior is typical for the abuser whether they be a man or woman. The family can’t get help if someone doesn’t stop to truly hear what they are saying. They aren’t talking about chips. Ask more questions, and you might be surprised what they are talking about. Could be an anxiety level going hair wire, and going into domestic violence! You could help stop the destruction, once you stop playing those thoughts of how they are fighting over petty things to the side.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Bible Does Allow Divorce in Domestic Abuse Cases

4 comments Posted by Hannah at 1:57 PM

Barbara Roberts Not Under Bondage

Barbara Roberts author of Not Under Bondage was cited on the Christian New Wire, and stating "The Bible Does Allow Divorce in Domestic Abuse Cases"

The Barbara Roberts in the article goes on to state:

Using the scriptures and scholarly research, the book refutes the official policy concerning divorce held by many evangelical churches and denominations. Not Under Bondage explains the scriptural dilemmas of abuse victims and shows how the Bible sets victims of abuse free from bondage and guilt.

The author is a Christian survivor of domestic abuse who is concerned about how false teaching on domestic abuse in churches may be damaging victims of domestic abuse and their children, as well as neglecting the biblical directive to make perpetrators properly accountable. Not Under Bondage is the result of three years work researching Christian beliefs and the biblical texts about divorce.

Sparked by a message forbidding divorce to abuse victims posted on Rick Warren's Saddleback Church site, Christian circles are buzzing with debate about whether the Bible allows divorce for domestic abuse. It does.

Saddleback's policy, that the Bible does not allow divorce for domestic abuse, is fairly typical of many evangelical churches, and in that sense Saddleback is not being singled as being of special notice or concern. But what is of concern is that Christians are being taught falsely that the Bible forbids divorce to victims of domestic abuse.


Not Under Bondage

Barbara Roberts Book, "Not Under Bondage" is available on Amazon. She also sells her book right on her website "Not Under Bondage" where she lists some favorable reviews she has received for her book.

Barbara Roberts is available for comment

To email Barbara Roberts: barbara@notunderbondage.com
Phone: landline +61 3 5336 2174 mobile +61 438 275 339

Please allow for time difference if calling: author lives in Victoria, Australia (19 hrs ahead of US PST; 16 hrs ahead of US EST; 11 hrs ahead of United Kingdom).
US Pacific time zone please call between 1200 hrs and midnight PST
US Eastern time zone please call between 1500 hrs and 0300 EST
UK please call after 2000 hrs and before 1100 hrs UTC

I'm personally reading the book presently, and I'm very much enjoying it. I encourage you to add this to your library for education and reference purposes.

It refreshing to know that others can come up with scripture that shows if divorce is the path you feel you need to take in your life due to domestic violence. The Bible Does Allow Divorce in Domestic Abuse Cases, so check out Barbara's Book to read her refreshing study on this.

Congratulations Barbara Roberts for your citing in the Christain Newswire! We look forward to seeing further pieces, and wish you much success!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Biblical Battered Wife Syndrome

2 comments Posted by Hannah at 12:44 PM

Biblical Battered Wife Syndrome: Christian Women and Domestic Violence is article written by Kathryn Joyce on Religion Dispatches. Kathryn is also the author of, "Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement"

Adam and Eve

This article was written about Saddleback Church's position on domestic violence, divorce, and how they feel it should be handled. I had written prior how I think their stand on how you 'can't escape the pain' so you need to separate and figure this things out is an unrealistic view of the overall picture he is attempting to address.

The article in question goes into that audio I spoke about, and also another one that speaks about miserable marriages. Tom Holladay decided that he could qualify what he feels as domestic violence as being, "habit of beating you regularly". A SHOVE doesn't qualify you see!

Three writers that I have spoke about here prior were quoted within the article.

Jocelyn Andersen of Woman Submit! Christians & Domestic Violence

and

Danni Moss of Because It Matters

and

Barbara Roberts, Australian author of Not Under Bondage: Biblical Divorce for Abuse, Adultery and Desertion

They speak about the experiences that they have had within the Christian church while dealing with domestic violence within the home. They also speak of their reactions to Saddleback's conclusions.

The article ends:

Refuting Saddleback’s position on biblical grounds is direly important, says Roberts, to account for the different and additional burdens Christian women experience in weighing whether to leave a marriage. “Devout Christian believers are more intensely bound by their desire to obey God: their very real Savior, who they do not want to displease in any way. Christian victims thus put a positive internal pressure on themselves to ‘stay, submit, pray, forgive, and forget the previous abuse because that would be holding unforgiveness.’” Simply put, Roberts says, “A Bible-believing Christian woman needs a biblical argument for leaving a dangerous marriage because she loves God and wants to obey the Bible…Her scriptural dilemma can only be solved by applying and properly interpreting more scripture to counterbalance and correct her unbalanced emphases and misunderstandings.”

It’s to that end that Roberts and her fellow travelers are amassing a library of resources—novels, personal testimonies, and exegetical material—for women to whom secular reasons for leaving can’t appeal. Perhaps what’s most compelling about the existence of these seemingly contradictory stances on women’s rights, submission, complementarianism, and abuse is the fact that complementarian teachings and domestic violence are both large enough issues within the evangelical church to give birth to such an array of approaches. These including such nascent theological attempts—neither quite feminist nor complementarian—to help give biblically literalist women a safe exit.



Definately a good article, and worth checking out! I encourage you also to go and visit the author's blogs and websites as well. I have read Woman Submit, and I'm currently finishing Not Under Bondage. I want to say both are worth the investment! Check them OUT! Educate yourself so you can take the stand that God wishes you to when it comes to dealing with domestic violence within the church!

If we don't speak about Biblical Battered Wife Syndrome nothing will ever change! Stand up for your right Bibically, and with your education we can all save alot of lifes within the church!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Gossip? Lets look at the intent!

5 comments Posted by Hannah at 9:14 AM

Its Gossip! Do not talk about this! You are dishonoring those you should love!

Here are some definitions of gossip that I found.

1. Rumor or talk of a personal, sensational, or intimate nature.
2. A person who habitually spreads intimate or private rumors or facts.
3. Trivial, chatty talk or writing.
4. A person who habitually reveals personal or sensational facts about others
5 A rumor or report of an intimate nature.

If you have read anything in regards to forms of abuse like Emotional Abuse, Verbal Abuse, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, etc. the biggest killer is silence.

People can't help you if they don't know what is going on.

I have seen time and time again Christians shutting down others by telling them NOT to speak of their spouse, unless they are to edify them.

In one of my last last posts about a song about verbal abuse I spoke of a story towards the end. It was about a lady that had survived an abusive relationship, and she didn't feel she could really speak of it.

The reason that she was refraining was because she said that she had done things in her past that she was not proud of; she described them as terrible and horrible things, and she felt that she simply could not speak ill of anyone else. She said that she had no right...


I think we all have things we may have done that we are NOT proud of. Goodness knows I have some as well. I received a very thoughtful reply, and it truly did make me remember things as well.

I had recently been wondering and praying about the issue of discussing what happened to me and how is that different than mere gossip?

I believe the difference is intent.

Am I using what happened to me to teach others how to handle a situation or comfort others? Or am I relating my experiences in a bitter, hateful, malicious, spiteful, vindictive, retaliatory manner?


I do think the 'intent' part is key.

I remember when I started on my journey of recognizing what indeed was happening in my life. I remember some men and women mentioning things from their past, and how they grew past it. It wasn't meant as bitter, and to show how awful their spouse was. It was to make a point to the other person (me), and almost give them permission to open their eyes. I know I'm not alone in saying I felt like I must be the only one on earth experiencing these things. I just couldn't understand WHAT I was doing to trigger such awful reactions from my spouse. What did I say to make him feel he needed to return it with such venom and contempt! How much more softly and gently was I to approach, and how could I stop this walking on eggshells.

I was very aware of my every move! I questioned everything and anything I did with the intent of 'how is he going react?" On the surface most people would think - that's awesome! You think of HIM before yourself! I'm talking the extreme version, because I did that out of fear not serving. I knew the consequences if I stepped out of line. The intent they saw wasn't my reality at all. I would have LOVED it to be, but I did it because I was afraid of him. I was afraid of what would happen to me if I didn't. Big difference!

One of my first articles was about Debi and Michael Pearl. I feel sorry for Debi and Michael Pearl. One of the first things she mentions in her article is that you need to be sure you are almost PERFECT before praying for relief from an spouse that is cruel. Make sure your ducks are in row, and then PRAY that God takes them. Most people dealing with verbal abuse, physical abuse, and emotional abuse and their faith AREN'T looking for God to kill them! They want the abuse to STOP, so they can have that person back they felt they fell in love with.

She encourages her readers to stay silent:

He will see her giving up her rights and not taking offense when he knows he has wronged her. He will see she honors him, obeys him, treats him with respect, and serves him with a non-rebellious, non-resistant attitude. He will see her spirit is not raging outwardly in emotional fits or inwardly in silent brooding of hurt, but her spirit is quiet, restful, and peaceful. He will see she doesn't puff up and talk incessantly in criticism of him—or others. He trusts her. He knows she is not going to discuss him with her pastor or friend. He sees she is wise with what little money he gives her. She is a remarkable woman, not because she is classy in the way she dresses or looks, but in the way she controls her spirit. She rejoices for an opportunity to bless him, and he knows her heart is good. He tries her; he deliberately tempts her into hurt or anger; he judges her unfairly; he demands things of her that he knows embarrasses her, yet she is in subjection to him in all things. And in the end, she wins him by her chaste conversation. It is a promise from God to you. And God goes on to promise more to this obedient, believing lady.


The Pearls set up this 'happily ever after' if you just take the abuse, and keep it to yourself...and wait on God to take charge you will get your fairy tale marriage.

Luk 8:17 "Whatever is hidden away will be brought out into the open, and whatever is covered up will be found and brought to light.

Joh 12:46 I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in the darkness.

I believe that if you keep silent, and allow others to tell you its 'gossip' the cover up will not be found and brought into the light. God knows of course, but people aren't going to understand domestic violence within the church unless its spoke about. How are we to help those that need help if we encourage them to stay silent.

Think of all the testimonies that we hear about how broken people that sinned in all kinds of awful ways, and how their lifes turned around once they came to Christ. Do you think all those people kept silent about the struggles they had on their journey to Christ? Did they not have trusted people in which they could share their struggles and that venom they needed to get out of their system with? If you pick those parties that will give you a soft reply, and accept you but are willing to show your error lovingly - does that NOT show the right intent? Those are the ones you hear about when they speak of their journey in coming to Christ if you listen to them. They will speak of their hills and valleys. Its okay!

Pressure Cooker emotional abuse and faithI went into stage during my growth in which anger took over. The realization of what is happening in my life was clear, and all the stream from the pressure cooker came to the surface and I exploded. I'm NOT going to sit here and tell you that I didn't say some really nasty things about my spouse. I'm not going to say I didn't mention how I would love to see him HURT as well! I would LOVE to tell you how I lovingly placed all those items in a neat little box, and my reaction was more of Melody Wilkes from Gone with the Wind!
Melody WilkesI would be lying, but I would LOVE to say that! LOL! I think at that point of my life if I had SHARED it in group in would more than qualify as gossip! It would have been more of look what happen to me, and join me in the HATE parade! I was lucky that I had friends that accepted that rage within me, and helped me get past it. Place it into prospective so I could grow beyond that point. I don't wish harm or hurt to him anymore. I do wish to tell more about my story so that others can see the light, and move on to healthier aspects of life. Educate those that seem to think keeping silent regarding what I endured isn't healthy either. People speak of their experiences for a purpose, and gossip just isn't the defination!

I respect the women in the story choice of NOT wanting to share her experiences. I remember a time in which I got to after the anger stage in which I couldn't do it either. I saw the error of my own ways, but that didn't MAKE him abuse me. That was his choice. I never returned fire the way he did, because I knew I couldn't live with myself. I can't say I wasn't tempted!

I got food poisoning once, and I was so weak I couldn't get off the bathroom floor. I screamed for him to get me help, and he refused to do that. The next day I was rescued by a family member, and brought to help. I was very lucky I didn't die on the bathroom floor that night. I remember reeling from that experience, and his excuse of saying I wasn't CLEAR enough that I needed help. I was told by Focus Ministries that what I experienced was a form of physical abuse. I never would have put those two things together. His neglect as being physical abuse. I can now use that story as an education tool to show that beating isn't the only form. You don't have to be the burning bed type of women to experience this. My intent now would be education, but in the past it may not have been! I could have used this as a tool to show how awful men are, or how ugly he was, etc. It could have been a tool to keep the bitterness within me. I could have used this as a tool to hurt him with. The truth is MOST men aren't like that, and I know that women could be also that cruel. That bitterness isn't the type of tool I would wish to hold on to. Telling the story in that light wouldn't help in the form of education either. The focus would be more on me, and what is his name - address and phone number so we can hate him also!

Intent IS the difference.

If you have gone to your church or pastor for help, and they told you that you MUST NOT speak of your spouse in that fashion due to gossip - find someone else. Reaching out for help is just what you need. You may also have that anger stage that I spoke about later. To be honest - I think I needed it. That rage would have imploded on me more, and I don't think I could have moved on to where I'm at if not for that experience. I think God used it as a tool to show me its part of the journey, but you don't want to live there. Unlike abusers I had peace once it was released. Some tell me it was rightoues anger. I don't know, but I know it was something that helped me move on. Those safe people helped me keep things in check.

Speaking of the experiences of domestic violence within the church in forms of verbal abuse, physical abuse and emotional abuse and your faith isn't gossip. It could help others move on if you do this with the right intent. I know I won't stay silent ever again.

Blessings.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Song about Verbal Abuse and Emotional Abuse

3 comments Posted by Hannah at 9:26 AM

Those Words Hurt is a song that was on For the Black and Blue. The song to me was about a spouse that threw words at his spouse with the intent to hurt her with emotional abuse and verbal abuse.

If you listen to the song it has a ring of truth, but what stuck me was the refrain:

Her mind tells her
("That's not true")
Those cruel words
("That's not true")
Do not contain an ounce of truth
("That's just not true")
But repetition
("Could that be true?)
Has effect
("Could that be true?")
Repetition
("Why would he say that..)
Has effect
(...if that wasn't true?)
Repetition
("You're weak, you're sick...)
Has effect
(... you have no class")


The parts in like ("That's just not true") is the things you say to yourself as you hear the emotional abuse, and verbal abuse thrown at you. Go and listen to the song, and tell me what you think?

It ended with a story:

It's wrong to verbally abuse someone, but should we talk about those who do us wrong?

We all know that it's wrong to gossip.
We know that we should be careful of what we say.
We've all heard "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."
But "does that count" when someone has hurt us so badly and we need to talk...?

In December 2006, I was participating in a discussion group from church. I was prompted to speak toward a topic of conversation from our group leader. I felt both good and bad feelings inside as I began to tell the listeners of the abuse that I endured in my past; what I'd been through. Then our group leader asked Susan a similar question.

Susan is a beautiful woman who easily appears to be at least 10 years younger than her actual age. For the longest time, I've admired her because she's so pretty, or just so sweet - - I couldn't really put my finger on it, but there's just been something intriguing about her to me.

When Susan was asked this question, she paused before she thoughtfully began to speak. Susan said that she, too, had once been involved in a troubled and abusive relationship, but she felt that it was not right to tell any details. The reason that she was refraining was because she said that she had done things in her past that she was not proud of; she described them as terrible and horrible things, and she felt that she simply could not speak ill of anyone else. She said that she had no right...

There this gentle, precious lady sat in a circle of approximately 30 people, eyes cast to her folded hands, tenderly saying how deeply she loves our Lord and how thankful she is to be forgiven for her past. That's all that she could say...

...teaching me a very needed lesson; teaching like Jesus did, with love and by example.

And I now clearly see why I've been so drawn to this beautiful lady... I see Jesus.


Its been a while since I came across a song about verbal abuse and emotional abuse, and I wanted to share. I enjoyed it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Scholarship for Abuse Victims

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 9:41 AM

Moms Without Kids: A Family Court Holocaust mentioned a program for scholarship for abuse victims.

The Women’s Independence Scholarship Program, Inc. began as a program of The Sunshine Lady
Foundation (SLF) in 1999 and has provided more than $16 million in scholarships since its inception.

WISP is for women who are survivors of intimate partner abuse and are either currently attending or thinking about attending school.

Support is available for full or part-time students in accredited educational programs.

Applications are accepted on a continuous basis.

Please allow at least two (2) months for processing.

More information, including complete eligibility requirements and an application are available online at www.wispinc.org

For additional questions, call toll-free 866-255-7742

Women’s Independence Scholarship Program (WISP)
Scholarship Funds Available

What a nice idea, and thank you for this awesome scholarship opportunity!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

No One Would Tell

2 comments Posted by Hannah at 10:39 AM

No One Would Tell Movie.




















Monday, January 19, 2009

Series on Domestic Violence

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 1:04 PM

Honolulu Advertiser is running a series on domestic violence, and I wanted to share with everyone.

Part One - Domestic Violence

Part Two: An Abuser's Story

Domestic Abuse; Bystanders Responsibility

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Saddleback says you CAN'T ESCAPE THE PAIN!!

8 comments Posted by Hannah at 10:36 AM

Saddleback Church - Does the bible say it is alright to divorce a spouse that is abusing you? Question 32. Danni at Because it matters beat me to the transcript as I was doing the same thing. lol She is faster than I am! Anyway, here is what was said:

Someone asked this out of their heart though, “Does the Bible say it is alright to divorce a spouse who is abusing you. I think that’s an excellent question of Scripture.

It’s not like you can escape the pain. You think you are. There’s an immediate release when you divorce and you think I’ve escaped the pain but anyone in this room who has been divorced you could come up here and give testimony after testimony after testimony after testimony to say that, no, you don’t escape the pain.

There’s still a pain there. It’s a long-term pain. It may come years later when a son or daughter graduates from high school and they have to get back together somehow and make that thing work. It may come years later as you talk with a new spouse and an issue comes up that had come up in a previous marriage. You don’t escape the pain.

And I’d always rather choose a short-term pain and find God’s solution for a long-term gain than try and find a short-term solution that’s going to involve a long-term pain in life. And I take that to mean, and there are some Christians who disagree about this. But I believe that to mean that if someone abandons you that you are free to remarry.

Now the question is, why doesn’t it say anything about a Christian leaving a Christian? The Bible doesn’t say anything about that because it doesn’t speak as if that would ever happen. It can imagine an unbeliever leaving because an unbeliever isn’t going to follow… if an unbeliever leaves you and says, “hey, you have to stay married to me for the rest of your life. I’m going to go live with this other person, but tough. Or I’m just going to go out and do my own thing and whether it’s 20 or 30 or 50 years and you can’t remarry” — that doesn’t seem right, does it? It isn’t even Scriptural. The Bible talks about that.

So adultery is one, and abandonment is a second. I wish there were a third in the Scripture. Having been involved as a pastor in situations of abuse there’s something in me that wishes there was a Bible verse that says if they abuse you in this and such kind of way then you can leave them.

I want to tell you, the advice that we give, in our counseling ministries, first of all, if you’re in these kinds of situations, I strongly recommend that you take advantage of our lay counseling ministries. Go in and talk to someone and let them minister to you.

The advice that we give is not divorce but separation. You should not put up with the abuse. There is nowhere in the Bible that says you should put up with abuse. There is nowhere in the Bible that says it is an attitude of submission to let somebody abuse you. That is not submission.

And so we recommend very strongly, separation. Why do we? It’s the only way to healing, because there’s an abusive cycle that’s been set up. Separation combined with counseling has proven to provide healing in people’s lives.

Now whenever I talk about divorce, I talk about it with a great heart for what many of you have been through. Because I realized many of you look back on your lives, some of you were divorced before you were a believer in Christ. Does God hold you accountable for that like He would hold a believer accountable for that? No, of course not. You didn’t know. He doesn’t hold us accountable for what we don’t know.

So what if you were divorced after you were a believer? And as you look back on it now you’d say “I told myself it was for a right reason but I realize it was more my selfishness than anything else.” You have the maturity to admit that. I would remind you that although divorce is a sin, God forgives sin. There’s lots of sins out there. I gotta tell you, without God’s forgiveness in my life, not just before I became a Christian, but after I became a believer, I’d never make it into heaven, would you?

I say that, not to excuse divorce, because God hates divorce. But just to let you know the heart of God about this.




It seems Saddleback's Teaching Pastor Tom Holladay is the person actually stating the comments, but he is speaking for the whole church's position to me since they placed it on their website.

It seems to me that unless you have been directly impacted in some fashion regarding domestic abuse within the home that you may not be looking for scripture passages.

It’s not like you can escape the pain. You think you are. There’s an immediate release when you divorce and you think I’ve escaped the pain but anyone in this room who has been divorced you could come up here and give testimony after testimony after testimony after testimony to say that, no, you don’t escape the pain.


This quote really bothered me. They aren't separating and/or divorcing to 'escape the pain' as he puts it, but for safety and welling being. To stop the children from witnessing their parent being abused. To make sure their children KNOW that this behavior is unacceptable, and don't wish them to think its normal. They escape the abuse for all kinds of reasons, and most know that not all the pain is going to go away.

Are all those 'testimony after testimony' people ones that wanted to escape the abuse? I doubt it. I'm sure there are awful stories in other situations, but quit minimizing domestic violence! This man is speaking from ignorance of the damaging effects of domestic abuse, and YES some pain you do escape when you separate and divorce. I mean DUHHHHHhh here!

There’s still a pain there. It’s a long-term pain. It may come years later when a son or daughter graduates from high school and they have to get back together somehow and make that thing work. It may come years later as you talk with a new spouse and an issue comes up that had come up in a previous marriage. You don’t escape the pain.


Sigh. There is a long term pain in dealing with what happened to you. There is guilt, shame, remorse, mourning among others. There are habit patterns that you have that you realize you need to change in order to NOT fall into this trap again. I'm not talking remarriage here. I'm referring to all kinds of relationships.

You have to accept at times that your spouse refuses to look to themselves, and will continue to blame you for the rest of their days. You have to deal with the things they say to your children during visitation. You have to deal with those that Saddleback Church that tell you, "You can't escape the pain!" So we can't escape the pain within the relationship or out of it I guess. It doesn't matter if there is a HUGE difference between the two right? Having to live with it full time, and having no place to escape to compared to your own place with some sense of peace and safety isn't a reasonable expectation. Nope. Remember you son or daugther will graduate from high school one day, and you have to COME together for that! I have wonder if he realizes how completely insane that sounds???

And I’d always rather choose a short-term pain and find God’s solution for a long-term gain than try and find a short-term solution that’s going to involve a long-term pain in life. And I take that to mean, and there are some Christians who disagree about this. But I believe that to mean that if someone abandons you that you are free to remarry.

Now the question is, why doesn’t it say anything about a Christian leaving a Christian? The Bible doesn’t say anything about that because it doesn’t speak as if that would ever happen. It can imagine an unbeliever leaving because an unbeliever isn’t going to follow… if an unbeliever leaves you and says, “hey, you have to stay married to me for the rest of your life. I’m going to go live with this other person, but tough. Or I’m just going to go out and do my own thing and whether it’s 20 or 30 or 50 years and you can’t remarry” — that doesn’t seem right, does it? It isn’t even Scriptural. The Bible talks about that.


I'm sorry but this statement makes no sense when it comes to the subject matter. What has this got to do with someone abusing you within a marriage? The author stated pretty clear so far that he has no clue about dynamics within marriage in the realms of abuse. If I were guessing they feel abuse is an 'anger issue'. How much you want to bet? Separate and let us place your spouse into our 'anger' ministry. Abuse isn't about anger. They missed the boat once again.

So adultery is one, and abandonment is a second. I wish there were a third in the Scripture. Having been involved as a pastor in situations of abuse there’s something in me that wishes there was a Bible verse that says if they abuse you in this and such kind of way then you can leave them.

I want to tell you, the advice that we give, in our counseling ministries, first of all, if you’re in these kinds of situations, I strongly recommend that you take advantage of our lay counseling ministries. Go in and talk to someone and let them minister to you.

The advice that we give is not divorce but separation. You should not put up with the abuse. There is nowhere in the Bible that says you should put up with abuse. There is nowhere in the Bible that says it is an attitude of submission to let somebody abuse you. That is not submission.

And so we recommend very strongly, separation. Why do we? It’s the only way to healing, because there’s an abusive cycle that’s been set up. Separation combined with counseling has proven to provide healing in people’s lives.


They bible does speak about helping those oppressed, abused, in bondage, etc correct? If the party that is doing those things refuses to stop or even acknowledge the damage do we just STOP helping victims? Do we NOT get them away from that? Is domestic abuse NOT bondage or oppression?

Again I have no issue with separation, but that is also very simplistic comment when you see that what abusers are after is control. They are going to LOVE a church that tells their spouse, 'you can't escape the pain!" You don't press charges - you place them into their counseling ministry! I have no issue with stating that counseling can bring you healing, but his statements show very clearly you need to be VERY careful with WHOM you get counseling FROM! I mean if the biggest issue is down the road dealing with that spouse for a graduation to show you that you can't escape the pain? GAG! Sorry!

I don't know about you, but their counseling ministry may be one of the last places I would go to for help. Maybe they need to attend some of their 'Celebrate Recovery' classes so they can be educated about abuse. I have attended some that aren't associated with their church, but other organizations run them. They seem to recognize the 'long term pain' no matter what avenue you decide to go. I don't have a problem with separation at all. What they fail to realize is that most abusers aren't going to truly face their issues unless they are either forced or surprisingly are willing to. Sadly, most refuse to when faced with anything. That is the saddest part of all at times I think. Saddleback seems to think that addressing that wouldn't be an option because, 'doesn’t say anything about that because it doesn’t speak as if that would ever happen.' You see that is a very REAL possibility when dealing with this! YET never even hinted at!

Now whenever I talk about divorce, I talk about it with a great heart for what many of you have been through. Because I realized many of you look back on your lives, some of you were divorced before you were a believer in Christ. Does God hold you accountable for that like He would hold a believer accountable for that? No, of course not. You didn’t know. He doesn’t hold us accountable for what we don’t know.

So what if you were divorced after you were a believer? And as you look back on it now you’d say “I told myself it was for a right reason but I realize it was more my selfishness than anything else.” You have the maturity to admit that. I would remind you that although divorce is a sin, God forgives sin. There’s lots of sins out there. I gotta tell you, without God’s forgiveness in my life, not just before I became a Christian, but after I became a believer, I’d never make it into heaven, would you?

I say that, not to excuse divorce, because God hates divorce. But just to let you know the heart of God about this.


So if you choose divorce - because that is all that available in your state - to AHEM escape the pain you will need to admit somewhere down the pike it was due to selfishness.

People seem to realize in most cases abusers aren't going to leave. You know why? Its there house, etc. See the power and control there? Saddleback would have open arms if they went against one of their main characteristics? In most cases the victim is the one that needs to flee, because abusers aren't going anywhere.

Mr. Holloday they 'may not escape the pain' in some ways, but they escaping the abuser! You know the one that oppressed them, and placed them under bondage?! You can't escape the pain, but you can escape the abuse. Talk about irresponsible babble. They should be ashamed of themselves.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Video about Protection Orders for Domestic Violence

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 10:22 AM

Video about Protection Orders for Domestic Violence or Domestic Abuse.



This is from the State of Alaska, and I'm sure certain things vary from other areas. It is a good starting place for you, as I'm sure some of it would apply in alot of areas.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Poem for the Victims of Domestic Violence

4 comments Posted by Hannah at 8:15 AM

I found something today that was written by a unnamed person, but I thought it was awesome! It speaks of the different types of people in church, and how Jesus also see the victims of domestic violence. The ones that feel alone in the crowded room.

A CHOSEN VESSEL

domestic violence

The Master was searching for a vessel to use;
On the shelf there were many - which one would He choose?
Take me, cried the gold one, I'm shiny and bright,
I'm of great value and I do things just right.
My beauty and lustre will outshine the rest
And for someone like You, Master, gold would be the best!

The Master passed on with no word at all;
He looked at a silver urn, narrow and tall;
I'll serve You, dear Master, I'll pour out Your wine
And I'll be at Your table whenever You dine,
My lines are so graceful, my carvings so true,
And my silver will always compliment You.

Unheeding the Master passed on to the brass,
It was widemouthed and shallow, and polished like glass.
Here! Here! cried the vessel, I know I will do,
Place me on Your table for all men to view.

Look at me, called the goblet of crystal so clear,
My transparency shows my contents so dear,
Though fragile am I, I will serve You with pride,
And I'm sure I'll be happy in Your house to abide.
The Master came next to a vessel of wood,
Polished and carved, it solidly stood.
You may use me, dear Master, the wooden bowl said,
But I'd rather You used me for fruit, not for bread!

Then the Master looked down and saw a vessel of clay.
Empty and broken it helplessly lay.
No hope had the vessel that the Master might choose,
To cleanse and make whole, to fill and to use.

Ah! This is the vessel I've been hoping to find,
I will mend and use it and make it all Mine.
I need not the vessel with pride of its self;
Nor the one who is narrow to sit on the shelf;
Nor the one who is bigmouthed and shallow and loud;
Nor one who displays his contents so proud;
Not the one who thinks he can do all things just right;
But this plain earthy vessel filled with My power and might.

Then gently He lifted the vessel of clay.
Mended and cleansed it and filled it that day.
Spoke to it kindly. There's work you must do,
Just pour out to others as I pour into you.


God will do the same for you. The world it seems at times may have forgotten, but God remember those dealing with domestic violence within the church.

Additional Poems:
You can't
What It Means To Be A Victim
A Chosen Vessel
Will You Love me To Death
Shattered Pieces
Recycled Rose
Saturday Night Special
Walls

Monday, January 05, 2009

Sweep it under the rug church informs victim!

2 comments Posted by Hannah at 12:52 PM

Someone pointed out to me a video on youtube about a woman that was assaulted by her boyfriend (no longer at this point). They are both members of the same church, and they don't seem to feel accountability for him is needed. Its her word against his, but they will offer her 'recovery classes' to help her heal. I have to wonder if that tells anyone something? You want her to recovery from something you refuse to acknowledge or talk about. She wanted to speak out against this, and she was told that would be unChristlike of her.

You can hear the pain in her voice, and suffering in her tone. I can only imagine how much MORE emotional she may have been during this meeting. If the church can't deal with these types of issues why all the lip service about how they are there to help?



This is another great example of 'sweep it under the rug' because we can't acknowledge domestic violence within the church, and PLEASE don't go near the sexual assault either! I will be praying for this young woman personally.

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