Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Muslim women speak out about domestic violence

3 comments Posted by Hannah at 9:19 AM

The Buffalo news has a story about some Muslim Women in the Buffalo area that are SPEAKING OUT against what had happened to Aasiya Zubair Hassan, and about martial abuse within the Muslim home as well.

We hear alot about the silence in the Muslim community over this awful tragedy, but there have been those that are speaking out!

They also want to give people a glimpse of what the lives of Muslim women in Western New York are like. Because those lives, they admit, often seem to outsiders to be shrouded in mystery.

It’s easy for people to see the garb they wear, the women said, and make assumptions about female repression in Muslim- American culture, especially where career opportunities and marital relationships are concerned.

“It bothers me that the headscarf is such a barrier,” said Ahmed, 38.

The three women said they do see one great good arising from the horrific death of Aasiya Hassan: a new openness about domestic violence, both within and outside of Muslim relationships.

“So much good,” said Ahmed, speaking with conviction, “is going to come from her tragedy.”

If you go to the link above there is also a video that you can watch in which these women are interviewed!

They said they want to commemorate her death each February with outreach and educational initiatives centering on domestic violence.

And, they are working to strengthen a fledgling domestic violence group that has existed at their mosque in Amherst for three years, called RAHAMA, or Resources and Help Against Marital Abuse. Rahama is also an Arabic word which means “mercy.”

The group, which meets at the mosque’s community center, will attempt to educate Muslim women about domestic violence, and provide them with links to services and shelters available in Western New York.

I think that is awesome idea! The story describes the three women, and notes their careers. They call come from different backgrounds and experiences. Some of them knew Aasiya Hassan.

The women acknowledged that girls in Muslim communities are raised differently from boys, and lead different lives as wives and mothers. But, in their view, that doesn’t mean those lives are less valued.

“Women and men have certain roles, and they are complementary roles, but they are not the same,” said Arman, 44.

The women said they reap great benefits by being, in 2009, both regular American women and people of Islamic faith and tradition.

“Being a Muslim woman in America is the best scenario,” said Ahmed. “The best.”

The women from Masjid Noor, the mosque on Heim Road in Amherst, said they knew Aasiya Hassan at arm’s length, which is the way she seemed to relate to many people.

Experts on domestic violence said that’s a classic signal of a woman in trouble: a victim keeps others at bay, does not socialize, and lives a life of increasing isolation.

“That was a common pattern,” said Laura Grube at Child & Family Services Haven House, of Aasiya’s case.

At the mosque, Aasiya Hassan was quiet and did not draw attention to herself, though she was the wife of a TV executive well known in the community.

But they did notice a few troubling signs. How despondent Aasiya often seemed. The way she hung back from socializing with the “sisters” at the bright, bustling mosque: women who like to chat, laugh, and compare notes about their families and jobs.

“She had the typical signs of domestic violence,” said Ahmed. “And I never assumed. I never thought. We never approached her –never reached out to her. We felt really bad about that. Really guilty.”

I think this is NOT unusal behavior for anyone. Most people aren't going to assume things, and do ignore the signs of domestic violence.

No ‘honor’ here

As for a so-called “honor killing,” the women disagreed strongly with the label –a hot-button phrase – that has been applied to Aasiya’s slaying. Most prominently, the president of the state’s NOW office, Marcia Pappas, recently called the incident an “honor killing” and refused to retract her statement in the face of opposition from local domestic violence groups.

Tabbaa said the tradition of “honor killing” in the Middle East has to do with fathers and brothers taking action when a woman in their families became pregnant out of wedlock.

Tabbaa said she was explaining the traditional concept of the phrase –not justifying or defending it –so that there would be better understanding of what it means in the Western world, in the wake of Aasiya’s death.

It has nothing to do with a husband- wife relationship, she said.

“That is not for the husband. The husband is not allowed to kill. The husband has a way out: divorce,” said Tabbaa. “Honor killing is about the dignity of the family.”

These women, as well as many domestic violence experts in Western New York, see Aasiya’s killing as an act of domestic violence, pure and simple.

“Honor killing was not the killing of Aasiya Zubair,” Tabbaa said. “It had nothing to do with religion. It was ... an evil, controlling man. What a sick man.”

I'm not a Muslim, but in college I did alot of different studies of different faiths. In my Christian college we had a number of courses covering different aspects of faith. I actually enjoyed it personally.

I do agree that I don't view this as an honor killing. I had a person disagree with me over the fact the man beheaded her, but I don't think that aspect makes it a proper defination. From what I have studied the aspect of 'honor killing' has more roots within the middle east and their culture. I don't get the impression that is a faith aspect, but more of a cultural one. You have a number of people moving to the West, and they are attempting to bring that part of the culture with them. From what I read there are a number of cultural aspects they are attempting to bring, and in some ways being accepted and others flat out rejected.

Me & the Mosque - Women in Islam is a documentary I found on youtube. These women are speaking about some of the aspects that have begun to change due to culture, and NOT faith being introduced. Another film that I found interesting was Jihad: Struggling with Islam . 'Jihad: Struggling with Islam' chronicles the struggle of one woman to reconcile her Self with the faith she was born into. A faith she has felt no real connection with until September 11, 2001. As the tragedy of that day unfolded, Hina Khan repeatedly thought "Please don't let it be a Muslim, please don't let it be a Muslim". That event led to a rude awakening which forced her to come to terms with what it means to be a Muslim and if this was a religion she wanted to be a part of.

The Toronto-born 34 year-old broadcaster documents her journey as she meets a variety of Muslims from open and inclusive progressives to fundamentalists who celebrated the events of 9/11. This powerful, personal, first-person film was filmed in Toronto, Canada and London, England.

I think this aspect isn't looked into as much as it should be, and I think when it isn't it raises the ignorance and fear of this faith. We have all heard the awful stories of how they treat women and children within the middle east, but if you take a closer look at alot of the muslims in different parts of the world...they don't all agree with that culture of oppression.

I'm glad these muslim women came out to speak about domestic violence within this faith. I hope they have other mosques as well that do the same. Oppression of women in any faith when it comes to domestic violence should be talked about and STOPPED at all costs!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Group will bring HOPE to local Parishes!

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 8:45 AM

Catholic San Francisco has a group of people in San Franciso, California to help bring a light of HOPE to local Parishes! They will to help their local churches have an resource to deal with the evil of domestic violence.

The Ministers of Light, an emerging group organized by lay Catholics in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, aims to shine a torch in a very dark place - the lives of those suffering from the effects of domestic violence.

The group looks to fill a gap in the pastoral care available for fellow survivors and to raise awareness of domestic violence in local parishes, Marisela Sookraj, founder of the group and a survivor of domestic violence, told Catholic San Francisco.

Sookraj said that while faith communities are often the first place a survivor will turn to when looking for services and counseling, many churches are ill equipped to handle the situation. Her goal is to train and install lay ministers to serve as in-house resources and advocates for survivors of domestic violence in each of the archdiocese's 89 parishes.

They aren't asking the churches to add to their already full plates, but giving them a resource to turn to when they are faced with families dealing with domestic violence within their church.

The group also recognizes that some people have left the church due to the non-response, and are asking them to come back and help with this effort!

She also said the group will not seek to saddle overworked pastors with an additional burden.

"The effort is about offering priests a resource in their community to respond to domestic violence," Sookraj said. "It's certainly not about inundating priests who already have a lot on their plates."

To that end, Sookraj said she only asks for priests' support in identifying parishioners who may be interested in taking domestic violence intervention and prevention training, and for their help in publicizing the group.

Maria Rosales-Uribe, fellow Mission Dolores parishioner and a lay facilitator who worked with Sookraj when she was in the parish's catechumenate program, said this approach is important.

"We need priests' support, but we don't want to add anything to their agenda," Rosales-Uribe said. "We're making it a grassroots movement from the people, bottom-up."

Contact information in case you are in their area:

For more information, contact Ministers of Light at (415) 625-2710 or ministersoflight@gmail.com.

According the article the Catholic church has a position on domestic violence that I feel is rarely seen!

Sherie Querol Moreno, community outreach coordinator at CORA, said the Ministers of Light campaign is an important step toward making the Church a helpful environment for survivors of domestic violence.

"Many folks don't realize the position of Church from the bishops' statement in 1992 declaring abuse as that which breaks up families, not divorce," Querol Moreno said. "It is okay for both parties to seek help, because there is help available. People should not be afraid to speak up."

I wish this group great success, and I truly hope the area parishes take advantage of this wonderful asset to their resources to help those within their church. This group sounds like they can bring great hope to their local parishes!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Story of a man being abused!

17 comments Posted by Hannah at 10:16 AM

Just to be fair I wanted to share this story. I speak about how domestic abuse does happen to men as well, and I truly believe it! This story is NOT faith based, but it shows the irrational mindset of an abuser.

Helen Sun, 37, told police she wanted to have a conversation with Robert Drawbaugh without him leaving. She changed the locks on their bedroom door and, while he was sleeping Monday, handcuffed herself to him, authorities said.

Drawbaugh was able to dial 911 from his cell phone. Nearly out of breath, he told dispatchers he woke up handcuffed, was still bound to his wife and was holding her down, according to a recording released by police.

Dispatchers heard Drawbaugh scream in agony, apparently as his wife bit him.

"Owwww!" Drawbaugh shouted repeatedly. "Are they almost here? Oh God. I need help!"

Asked by dispatchers why his wife was attacking him, Drawbaugh said he divorced her. He also said she has a history of violence.

Officers who went to the home in Fairfield heard Drawbaugh screaming for help and forced their way in through the front door.

Drawbaugh was treated at a hospital, police said. Sun told investigators that restraining Drawbaugh was the only way she could get him to speak to her, authorities said.

With domestic violence we speak alot about power and control, and how abusers get out of control once they feel they have lost that from their victims.

In this example, she handcuffed herself to him while she slept. She also changed the locks to the bedroom so he couldn't get out. Notice she used tools to make sure she could keep what control she had left. In her desperation while he called 911 for help? She starts biting him.

Here is the 911 call, and you can hear this man trying to defend himself as she bites him in the arm. Her behavior shows another aspect of controlling behavior when they realize things aren't the way they want them. She feels enough entitlement that restraining someone in this way makes total sense to her. Wouldn't surprise me if she has narcissist traits about her as well.

Irrational minds are not just with men! To me this story is clearly a man that is being abused. If she had other weapons in the room with her she could have killed him. People can say they don't know the other side of the story, and make all the excuses they want to. I can't think of ONE that would be rational in this case! I hope the guy gets a restraining order. Goodness knows he has MORE than enough proof needed for one!

I don't know about you, but I felt for this man as I listened. I realize she was arrested, and I hope she gets help. She deserves some jailtime, but with the justice system the way it is? You have to wonder.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Series of Emotional Abuse and Verbal Abuse you hear, feel, and see

2 comments Posted by Hannah at 10:51 AM

I was asked to put a page together that linked all the videos together. You can clearly see, hear and almost feel the abuse this man uses with his family.

Visions of Emotional and Verbal Abuse - Can you feel the humilation

Entitlement, Minimize and Divert

Do as I say and NOT as I do!

Abuser tears down the children as well.

Compare church approach verus Super Nanny towards domestic violence

Damage of Emotional Abuse and Verbal Abuse

Building Back Trust after Domestic violence

Domestic Violence - Can they change?

Damage of domestic violence, and the hard road to healing

Series of Emotional Abuse and Verbal Abuse you hear, feel, and see using a recently Super Nanny Show.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Abusive Religion - What about the children?

1 comments Posted by Hannah at 4:17 PM

An Open Letter to Those who Have Experienced Abuse at the hands of Religion is an article written by Dakota O'Leary. Its a viewpoint from an adult child that grew up watching domestic violence within her home, and how the church enabled it to continue.

I think its an important peice for people to read due to all the comments you get a church about the damage you do to your children if you separate or divorce. From what you can read of Dakota's life it seems her father and the church did the damage instead. People don't stop to think about that part to much do they?

She starts by saying:

Spousal abuse is a difficult subject to talk about anyway, but when you add religion to it, it becomes a prison like no other for the faithful who are abused. For the woman who is faithful, abuse becomes a matter of faith and submission a religious maze that is impossible to navigate through. And by the time an abused woman navigates it, she uses precious time that she could have been using getting help.

The family does need help, and it has nothing to do with lack of submission. It is a very difficult subject to talk about, and I see people making excuses for themselves saying its an isolated situation, it doesn't happen as often as people would have you think, etc. Human nature it seems to me likes to mininize what is happening in homes, and think it can't be happening within their church.

Pastors have little training in this area, and since there is this HUGE push for you to NOT go outside the church for help you have abuse and ignorance instead.

In the 80’s, spousal abuse was just starting to be widely publicized. My mother never called a crisis counselor. She never sought outside help. The reason why was because Worldwide told everybody that psychology was bunk, and if you trusted psychology, then you weren’t trusting God. Marriage counseling was only for pastors, and seeking outside professional counselling was taken as a lack of faith not only in the pastorate, but worse, in God. How many countless abused women hid their abuse like my mother did, never daring to seek outside help, because they feared what God would think of their lack of faith?

Women are called the weaker vessel, and that defination to that phrase is added to so often. If you look at the faith of abused people within the church you can clearly see even in their neglect by everyone around them they have strength. That strength within their situations are never really looked at. They live within war zones, and the church make things worse by their advice and guidance. Their pride refuses them to reach out for the education they need to understand WHAT they are dealing with, and how they could be a blessing instead of a hinderance!

And the worst part was watching my mother punish herself. If she could be more submissive, the abuse would stop–or so she thought. She prayed more, she submitted herself to the point of subjugating who she was until she no longer knew who she was. For her the abuse was a matter of faith. If she had enough faith, she reasoned, God would stop the abuse. And of course, this never happened. I prayed too. I prayed to God to make the violence stop. And he never did stop it. And so the abuse was looked at by our family as a test of faith. Suffering makes a person more holy according to Christian tradition, and this was the very thing that enabled the abuse to continue and escalate.

Much to often the punishing of themselves is what the victims do. The church continues to tell them to 'do it better', and the abuse will stop. Its your place in life to carry this cross! Be nicer and how them your love and respect, and they never stop to see how this enables the abuse to get worse.
For me, as the child of an abusive household that was also a very deeply religious household, seeing and article like this is a confirmation that we were not alone. But it comes 20 years too late. How much suffering could my mother have avoided if we’d stood up against the abuse and just left the church? How much suffering could have been avoided if our own church would have stepped in and stopped the abuse immediately? How much spousal abuse goes on in fundamentalist conservative churches today? For me, the costs have been heavy. I have never had a successful relationship because I don’t trust men. The relationships I have been in have all been with men who were mentally or physically abusive. I fear men, and seven years of counselling has been very slow in helping me trust them. I especially do not trust “religious” men from any religious background, and I do not trust churches. Consequently, I don’t go to church, and I don’t miss church. I don’t feel the need to find a “church home,” and I credit that experience at home with my more liberal beliefs. I am not a Christian, and I am not an atheist. I follow an alternative faith that speaks to love, to respecting nature, and to seeing God in everything. And surprisingly, I also credit that experience of religious abuse for my interest in religion today. At first my scholarly interest in religion was to answer the question “Why does religion make people do things that they would never do if someone off the street told them to do it?” And in answering that question I also discovered what a lovely thing religion can be, how much beauty is inherent in all the world’s religions, and how far we have to go in order to use religion wisely. For religion in the hands of the wrong people is a loaded gun pointed at the heads of the people who follow religious leaders, including pastors. Religion has the great ability to destroy lives for it encourages people not to think for themselves. It brainwashes people into believing that they should put up with anything, any difficulty, in order to be close to Christ. Laws are followed, and much of the time it seems to me that the love is left behind. Men of faith love the scriptures that point out they are the spiritual leaders of their home, but forget about the verses in which they are directed to love their wives and treat their wives as they would treat their own bodies.

I don't think the church stops to think about the lives they destroy when they make their excuses about NOT dealing with clearly sinful behavior. They don't stop to think that Jesus didn't deal with things like abusers do. The husband in this case was to model his love towards his family, and instead he was told he had the right to abuse them due to his 'God given' authority.

The author had some scripture for those pastors:

Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture!” declares the LORD. Therefore thus says the LORD God of Israel concerning the shepherds who are tending My people: “You have scattered My flock and driven them away, and have not attended to them; behold, I am about to attend to you for the evil of your deeds,” declares the LORD. Then I Myself will gather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and bring them back to their pasture, and they will be fruitful and multiply. “I will also raise up shepherds over them and they will tend them; and they will not be afraid any longer, nor be terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the LORD. Jeremiah 23:1-2, (NASB ©1995)

The church speaks alot to parents about being the proper role model for their children. How they are to show them the way that is right. Children like this author know that part of their message is wrong, and it seems to me the church is to proud to admit it.

In Proverbs: Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

In the author's case they trained up the child to see that beating is justified.

My own mother grew up being beat, and watching her mother being beat as the church rose him up the ranks of leadership. I hear the church speak about the lost people in the world, but they clearly can't take the log out of their own eye to see the counterdiction of their own messages. They claim they stand up and speak against sin, but yet as domestic violence goes on within the church they are silent. Why they can't see that the secular world isn't the only one lost I don't understand personally. They will speak out about certain sins, but others they remain silent. I have wonder what is going thru God's mind as he watches this.

If you are a pastor condoning domestic violence in your church,by your inaction and using any of the above Biblical “excuses” to blame the woman for getting hit, then you ought to quit pastoring. I would not want to be you when it comes time to be held accountable to Jesus Christ for the way you are pastoring your church. Violence is ALWAYS wrong. Domestic violence is ALWAYS wrong, it is not of God, and if you think it is, then you need more help than you are giving to your pastorate. I credit one pastor in 17 years who tried to stop the violence in my home. I credit him with saving my faith in Christ and in God. If I have any faith at all it is because one man tried to stop the abuse; but by the time he got to my family, it was too late. My parents, thankfully, ended up getting divorced, and when my dad contracted terminal cancer, he apologised to my mom. But an apology, however heartfelt, does not wipe away the damage caused by the years of abuse. My mother no longer goes to church; she does not trust any church, and like me, distrusts men of faith who are in positions of power. Yet, unbelievably, she still retains a strong faith in God. And that is to her credit that she does, for women of faith who endure abuse with no end in sight prove that women are strong. The thing is, women of faith who are being abused have nothing to prove. They suffer needlessly, their faith suffers, and the church suffers as long as abuse goes on hidden, the elephant in the room everyone can see but does nothing about. I have only managed to retain the belief that religion has beauty in it through extensive counselling, medication, and my own willingness to study and discover for myself what religion should be. And I am grateful to God/Spirit for the ability to believe at all.

This story isn't all that uncommon, and people can sweep it under the carpet as much as they wish. It won't change the reality that they refuse to see.

Religion ... Faith ... What God wishes from us is different from the realities that we are now dealing with due to NOT seeing domestic violence within the church for what it is. SIN! The abuser needs help, and yet they are enabled. Children are damaged along with the rest of the family. The authors family stayed together for the most part, and look at the damage it did!

Abusive Religion? It can be if you shut your eyes and pretend it HAS to be the victim that is causing this. What about the children? This story shows what can happen, and so maybe we need to rethink our theories.

Matthew 18:6 "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!

In this case it would be more than just Daddy huh?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Gaining control: Domestic violence is a bigger problem than some believe

7 comments Posted by Hannah at 11:15 AM

Gaining control: Domestic violence is a bigger problem than some believe, and I hear all the time about how this is such a small problem.

Victims are female and male -- but females are more commonly abused. However, the level of violence inflicted on a male victim is likely to be much more severe and more often fatal when they come from females perpetrators, according to Caryn Burton, training director for the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

She mentions in the video that due to women having less physical strength if they are going to attack they are going to use weopons. They need the woepons as a tool to overcome the fact that men are stronger.

This video she speaks about men being victims as well, and then goes on to speak about the dynamics of these relationships.

Here is a link that speak about her presentation on domestic abuse.

Daily World

It's also a crime that is commonly repeated over and over again without intervention.

"Domestic violence is about gaining and maintaining power and control. You'll hear people say he was angry. He was drunk. He was high. He was having an affair. No, domestic violence is about gaining the power in a relationship and maintaining control over that partner so what happens, what's said, what's done, what is expected, all of that comes back to that power partner and that is the person who is in control. It is a crime of power and control and nothing else."

Caryn Burton, training director for the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Inc

The second video speaks about the most common profession group among domestic violence perpetrators are member of clergy.

The most common profession group among domestic violence perpetrators are members of the religious clergy, according to Burton.

"Clergy, faith leaders, lay ministers, ministers, who has more authority than God? There are all sorts of passages in the Bible and in scripture, Koran or whatever your holy book may be is that fully support domestic violence.

Burton in her job as a domestic violence counselor said numerous times she's been told by victims that they had talked with their pastors and was encouraged to be a better wife, and endure and this (abuse) would stop. They were told to pray harder.

Second most common career group abusers are members of law enforcement.

She said YES domestic violence is a bigger program that some believe!

Monday, March 16, 2009

How to NOT talk about Domestic Violence

2 comments Posted by Hannah at 10:24 AM

domestic violence

In Contempt has an article, and the above cartoon the made over the author's feelings regarding people's reactions to Chris Brown’s abuse of Rihanna.

The author notes:

I was really reluctant to do a cartoon about Chris Brown’s abuse of Rihanna. For one thing, domestic violence is not inherently funny (duh); and there is always the risk of hurting the feelings of someone who has been abused or triggering past trauma. My little comic strip may be irreverent, disrespectful to authority, blasphemous, and rude-crude-and-lude. But it should be clear to most of my readers that mocking victims of violence ain’t my shtick.

It seems to me that the secular world also has their ways of NOT talking about domestic violence as well.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Damage of domestic violence, and the hard road to healing

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 5:10 PM

This will be the final portion of the series, and I hope I have opened some eyes to things you need to see. Its very hard to place these actions into words, and then show the true impact to families. I'm hoping visuals will help in that area.

(This is a portion of the Series of Emotional and Verbal Abuse your hear, feel, and see.  Check this link for the different topics we covered)

The damage of these types of domestic violence relationships can last a lifetime if people aren't shown how to learn to deal with them. Healing is a long hard road for not only the abuser, but the victims they love. At times its the abuser that makes alot of promises, but the work is to overwhelming for them. They are going to need support of men around them (or ladies if she is the abuser), and people need to remember not to rely on the family to help to much with that. If they get to frustrated with things they will lash out at the family members once again. Remember following up with family members privately isn't a form of gossip, but will help you gauge if your path is the correct one. You also don't want the family to stuff the fear anymore.

In this segment Super Nanny is going to leave the family for a while to see if any changes within the dynamics can stick.

As you can see Phil has tried, and YES he does better in some areas. The root of rage within him is still present. Change isn't easy. He was trying very hard to be as honest as he could, but as you saw he broke the bond of trust once again. At times they will own their mistakes, but at others their defensive nature will come out. Keep in mind the family may get the wrath of that as well. Those patterns are hard to break.

I was happy to see during this show that Super Nanny didn't wait for Phil to get himself help. She found help for him, and pushed for his commitment for lasting change. I think its important that the parties that are helping out in these areas do have resources available to give abusers, and to follow up to make sure they do it. Keep in mind that their spouse may not be the best person to do this. It would be best to have the abuser make the call themselves - it shows commitment on their part. You don't want the spouse to be accused of causing trouble, nagging, or handing them any excuse to blame. That is why it is important the help source follow up with them personally to be sure they are going to do this.

Most abusers like Phil Davis will say, "No Problem! It will be looked into." I'm sure once again their intent is there, but most of the time they won't follow up. Its safer for victims to have someone else follow up with them to make sure they do what they promised. Their habit patterns need to be front and center in your mind. They will be looking for excuses, and they love to blame everyone but themselves. They are right with you at first, but they will change their minds just as fast. They will also start to point fingers, "What about HER??" They will also ask for breaks, and remind people how well they have been doing as a tool to get you to back off. Its fear that is talking, and remember they are some of the best con artists out there. They know where the line in the sand is, and you can count on them pushing it. Its their habit patterns, and giving up their entitlement isn't going to be easy.

Counseling for Phil Davis will involve alot of work, pain, tears, etc. He speaks to a woman that runs a program for abusive men during this segment. He also speaks to a man that was brave enough to finish the program. He then speaks to an adult that dealt with this kind of abuse growing up, and how this impacted her world.

Christian men will need help like this, but they will also need spiritual support. They will need both, and so will their victims. At first you need to look for motive until the fruits of change have some staying power. It will be up and down for a while, and encouragement is going to be needed badly.

Lets watch our final chip of the help Super Nanny was offering him.

For myself on a personal note I don't understand why churches don't think about the impact this abuse has on the children. They grow up to make poor choices in partners, and feel this is the way they deserve to be treated. God doesn't want that for anyone. You can't help but be damaged by the effects of domestic violence, and it doesn't have to require fists.

Abusers can be men or women, but you have to have the tools to see things. You need to educate yourself to recognize the traits. Within a week after this was released on television Phil was being investigated by child protective services. Neighbors that knew the family said they had never seen abuse towards the family members. They felt they were nice normal family, but as you saw they were not. Child Services was concerned of course about the emotional and verbal abuse, but they were more concerned about the slaps to the children. Their safety and well being were more of a concern first! Safety first, and then deal with the rest.

Since the showing it was mentioned that Phil Davis indeed followed up and continued his counseling. It wouldn't be an easy ride for him, and most of the time its to much for them. They tend to make excuses like cost, time, and its not doing anything to help - once things get to deep. They will need that encouragement to continue, and remember their family members maybe risking safety if they do this themselves.

Just like the neighborhood you may not be able to see things right away either, but knowing when to hush and listen...and learn the proper responses and questions to give you hints of the possible trouble could go a long way. We aren't talking normal marriage dynamics you are used to dealing with. Can you imagine how the divorce rates would be effected if people got healing, instead of ignoring the elephant in the living room? Lets say the worse does happen, and a divorce occurs for a moment. If the children got healing you may have helped stop the cycle, and that also would effect the divorce rates within the church. Their generation will benefit! Think about it!

Remember this form of abuse can lead to the physical type that most say is the 'real' form. Why have families deal with this type of domestic violence until that happens? We should be striving for the hard road to healing, and doing our part to ending the cycle of domestic violence. Remember God speaks against the type of behavior you saw in this video, and if the family feels unsafe don't encourage them to stay. The rage within people that abuse emotionally and verbally - among other types - are not safe people to be around. Its not an easy decision, and in most cases unlike you hear about they are looking for the abuse to stop ... not divorce!

How much hope could you bring to children, and the family general once we recognize and deal with this. Wouldn't it be awesome to hear what Morgan said? "It makes me want to come home!" With God's help and fellowship with our faith community we can help heal the damage of domestic violence, and be there for the long road of healing.

Do I hear an Amen?!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Domestic Violence - Can they change?

2 comments Posted by Hannah at 4:52 AM

I do believe in my heart that people can change from being an abuser to someone that can deal with life in a healthier manner. They need to WANT it bad enough, and when I see abusers stopping because they can't mend those bridges they burnt? It tells me that it was game to them, and change isn't something they wanted truly in their hearts. I can see how that would be discouraging, but if they truly want this change they will continue. They want to stop hurting those close to them. They want to place that root of rage within them away forever. They will find the reasons why they do this, and find true healing for themselves.

(This articles is part of the Series of Emotional and Verbal Abuse your hear, feel, and see.  Please check link for the different topics we addressed using segments from the show the Super Nanny)

The only people that know if the parties are sincere in the true form is the parties that are doing the healing themselves. We can say to ourselves they look like they are doing it! It shows they want this! They can place that show out there for people once again, and we need to remember we didn't see it very clear the first time either. Abusers can be one of the best types of con artists I can think of.

The next video Phil Davis learns another form of healthier discipline towards his children. Remember what he is telling people in this video. He never wanted to place the work towards the discipline before - he demanded it!

The next video Morgan got to tell her father things she was never allowed to voice to him. You can see the love she has for this man, and you can see that he also cares for her!

Children that are victims within families that are dealing with domestic violence do still love their parents. They love them despite the damage they have caused. It hard for the children to deal with these feelings as well.

The sad part is that if separation or divorce does happen abusers will use these children as pawns in their striving for the control over all of them. It does damage the children, and once they are old enough it will cause damage to the relationship with their children. They will not always be forced to visit them, and they could lose them forever.

The sad part is they could continue the cycle with their own families. Domestic Violence - can they change? I believe so but they need someone to hold thier feet to the fire to make sure they are held accountable along the way. The spouse isn't that party.

How to Recognize True (and false) Contrition — by Dr. George Simon, Jr.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Building Back Trust after Domestic violence

2 comments Posted by Hannah at 3:53 AM

Emotional Abuse and Verbal Abuse can break the bonds of trust. The person that is abusing them isn't safe, and its HARD to allow yourself to trust once again.

(This is part of the Series of Emotional and Verbal Abuse your hear, feel, and see.  We are using segments of the show Super Nanny, and this family to show the different aspects of abuse.  For the full list of topics check the link.)

Now I want you to notice that Phil is once again acknowledging that he has hurt his family, and his wife with his rages towards them. The exercise is to show how his wife is having a hard time trusting him at this point.

His comment about, "I told you I would! SEE!" to his wife at the end is very telling. In small ways he feels people should trust him, because he loves them very much. They have good reasons NOT to trust him, but again he places things in his own little box of thought.

Does he mean it this time? Is it like all the other times he said he would stop? The real question is does he have the tools to handle this! Phil Davis doesn't have the tools at this point, but I'm sure he feels he has a better grasp on them.

We need to remember he may KNOW, but he does have a habit of abusing anyway.

To often I see churches telling the family that they must forgive the abuser, and to show this forgiveness to hand them the trust. They don't allow the abuser to earn the trust back, but almost coerces the victims into giving that to them. They clearly don't see how this enables the abuser. Its also not going to be the true form to make lasting changes in this relationship either.

As you watch his wife you can see that she wants to trust him. She wants this change so that he is safe, but we have to remember she has GOOD reason not to! Pushing the power play on families to forgive on the church's timeline, and not allow the fruits of the abuser's actions that would bring the healthier form is what normally happens. I have to be honest I do think that fear over divorce is what motives people. I have to wonder when they tell others to trust in God to let things happen WHY they do not allow that in this circumstance as well.

Pushing reconciliation and forgiveness before its earned is not only dangerous to the family, but enables the abuser not to have to do the hard work he truly needs to do. Separation at times scares the church, because they see it as the next step to the dreaded "D" word! We need to stop and wonder if this is the proper motive going in!

Abusers have a very hard time breaking the habit patterns they have. Its not an easy thing to do. It just like - lets say - alcoholics! At times we need to allow them to hit rock bottom before they can make that true commitment to treatment. Abusers need to make that commitment NOT to keep the family together, and because he LOVES her more than life itself! He needs to do this because this is what God would wish for him, and for him to want to be the man that God intended. Its going to a painful, and frustrating ride! He has always had his way, and he used the tools to make sure it was COMPLETELY that way as well. Those selfish motives are ingrained within abusers, and it will be hard to change that mindset. Their way is easier. The need for power is addictive, and they crave that badly.

Keep in mind that once victims do start to heal there might be a huge amount of anger they have to process. Remember emotions were not allowed in their environment, and they had to do something with them. They normally stuffed them. When the anger over the injustice and cruel acts surfaces, and feels safe enough for them to feel them - encourage it! They need to get it out! This phase will pass, and remember they were not allowed to really process what was happening before. They couldn't acknowledge it in some ways, and they used tools that enabled them NOT to acknowledge things. It doesn't mean they will live that anger all their life, but they need to know its safe to feel it for once.

Post traumatic Stress Syndrome isn't uncommon either. Most think of soldiers coming back from war when they think of this. There are alot of people that deal with this. You have natural disaster victims, rape victims, and in this case domestic violence victims. Those things can be worked on, but remember this could be a long ride for everyone. There will be alot of hills and valleys. It may takes years to bring it all together. At times people give up, and other times people just can't seem to let go of dangerous habits.

There are alot of steps to building back the trust after suffering from domestic violence.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Damage of Emotional Abuse and Verbal Abuse

2 comments Posted by Hannah at 3:27 AM

Super Nanny is going to try to show Phil Davis the damage he is doing to his family by using his youngest children. How the emotional abuse and the verbal abuse is truly damaging. Reminds me of this story:


There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His Father gave him
a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must
hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The first day the boy had
driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned
to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually
dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to
drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He
told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out
one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.

The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father
that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led
him to the fence. He said, "You have done well, my son, but look at the
holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say
things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put
a knife in a man and draw it out. It won't matter how many times you
say I'm sorry, the wound is still there."

A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one.

~ author unknown ~

(This is a series of articles I wrote to show a Series of Emotional and Verbal Abuse your hear, feel, and see.  Click to see the different topics we have covered)

Now watch how Super Nanny is attempting to show Phil Davis the same lesson the father did, but in a different way.

You can see that this man does love his family, but he isn't capable of showing that love in the proper way. He needs help to show him how NOT to place more nails in fence...more darts in their soul. The rest of the family needs different types of help as well. We need to stop denying the damage that words can cause.

James 3:1-18 CEV My friends, we should not all try to become teachers. In fact, teachers will be judged more strictly than others. (2) All of us do many wrong things. But if you can control your tongue, you are mature and able to control your whole body. (3) By putting a bit into the mouth of a horse, we can turn the horse in different directions. (4) It takes strong winds to move a large sailing ship, but the captain uses only a small rudder to make it go in any direction. (5) Our tongues are small too, and yet they brag about big things. It takes only a spark to start a forest fire! (6) The tongue is like a spark. It is an evil power that dirties the rest of the body and sets a person's entire life on fire with flames that come from hell itself. (7) All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and sea creatures can be tamed and have been tamed. (8) But our tongues get out of control. They are restless and evil, and always spreading deadly poison. (9) My dear friends, with our tongues we speak both praises and curses. We praise our Lord and Father, and we curse people who were created to be like God, and this isn't right. (10) (SEE 3:9) (11) Can clean water and dirty water both flow from the same spring? (12) Can a fig tree produce olives or a grapevine produce figs? Does fresh water come from a well full of salt water? (13) Are any of you wise or sensible? Then show it by living right and by being humble and wise in everything you do. (14) But if your heart is full of bitter jealousy and selfishness, don't brag or lie to cover up the truth. (15) That kind of wisdom doesn't come from above. It is earthly and selfish and comes from the devil himself. (16) Whenever people are jealous or selfish, they cause trouble and do all sorts of cruel things. (17) But the wisdom that comes from above leads us to be pure, friendly, gentle, sensible, kind, helpful, genuine, and sincere. (18) When peacemakers plant seeds of peace, they will harvest justice.

The damage of emotional and verbal abuse is real.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Compare church approach verus Super Nanny towards domestic violence

4 comments Posted by Hannah at 12:27 PM

Mr. Davis feels that using his belt, and smacking the kids is the proper approach to child rearing. We aren't talking spankings that you hear about. We are talking a man that throws his anger around, spanks with the belt, and demands the respect he is due.

Here is a comment I got earlier about this portion:

Spanking for everything without any training in why or how to develop personal character is just abuse, even when it isn't meant to be. This is very critical in Christian circles because churches tend to teach spanking and parental domination as being equivalent to good parenting.

Another thing, this man mentioned growing up in abuse. I have observed several times now in talking with someone who grew up in abuse, they are oblivious to the boundaries of abuse. They would never dream of treating their family the way they were treated (though sometimes we know they will also do that too) but they fully accept this type of "discipline" as being both normal and right. Because it is so much different and "less" than what they grew up with they think it isn't abuse.

(This is a part of a series of articles I have written using segments of the show Super Nanny.  In this series we use scenes from this family to show the Series of Emotional and Verbal Abuse your hear, feel, and see.  Please see this link to view the different topics of discussion)

He knows the way he spanks those children with the belt is unacceptable, but he tries to show justification for it. Remember they are called 'little bitches', and spoken to like he did Morgan. He uses those tools along with a belt. Can you see how his spankings may not be the ones that are used by other parents? I don't want to get into a spanking debate here, but look at his behavior so far. Would he be the type that could discipline in the proper manner?

If you notice at the end of the video their daugther Morgan also doesn't know how to approach her sister after getting popped in the mouth.

Teaching the children right from wrong is part of being a parent. If you have one that uses this type of punishment instead of sitting down to talk about bad behavior it will break the spirits of the children.

Abusers have short fuses, and they don't talk about things. They must have things a certain way or you can expect them to lash out if they don't get it. They don't have the patience parent skills, but instead use other tools like fear. That is where walking on eggshells is used. You never know what will set him off!

He is NOT showing them how to deal with life. He is showing them you need to smack others to deal with it. You need to lash out, call names, hit, humiliate,etc. He will admit its not the best way, but that doesn't stop him does it?

This second clip is the Super Nanny letting them know how she feels about what she has seen so far:

Lets see how Super Nanny approaches things, and compare what most are told when asking the church for help.

Here is another comment I received:

The woman is focused on keeping the family together - that is very typical. She's "fighting" for the family unit the best way she knows how and without making him madder. What she doesn't see but the nanny does is that she's hurting the family unit by doing that. That is so common in abusive situations! And giving people a very visual wake up call about this reality is significant. Sometimes people will act for their children where they would not stand up for themselves - and realizing what is really best for their children can be huge. What is best is NOT staying together at all cost. What is best is training these children to be responsible adults, and to love them. Neither of those is possible in an abusive home. No matter how much you may feel you love your children that is not the message they are getting loud and clear. They are learning that the abuser is more important than everyone else in every way. Their feelings, needs, emotions and personal development are secondary always.

Phil is very aware that he will put in his place the next day. He knows he deals with things incorrectly, but doesn't stop him from doing it anyway does it? This is very common as well. When they are confronted they will admit things at times, but that doesn't mean they will stop the behavior.

If you remind them that they have admitted this before, and didn't stop they will start a fight with you. He won't start a fight in front of the cameras, but he would do that with his family. He feels he is entitled to that. Remember do as I say and not as I do? It ticks abusers off when they are reminded of the double standards.

You notice that Super Nanny says if the behavior isn't dealt with a repeat of history will happen over and over again. She is correct! Their children will continue the cycle as well. They were not brought up to know what healthy is.

Most of the time victims are told they need to communicate things to their spouses, and to basically kill them with kindness. We are told that the bible states if you have chaste behavior you could turn the other parties behavior around. I can see that happening in alot of different circumstances, but this one is different. She is correct it needs to be nipped in the bud. Its not to often 'nipped in the bud' when churches when they become aware.

Super Nanny tells Phil that his "I'm the man' attitude is appalling. She contributes to this family as well, and they have pooled their resources to raise their family. Phil will tell you its HIS contribution that truly counts. He is constantly minimizing other's contributions. I do feel this is due to insecurity, but unless you call it out as such you won't change a thing. Churches tend to push 'don't hurt the ego' in men, because that is something that is important to them. That's their makeup! Show honor for them at all times!

I have seen so many times that this type of thing brought up, and the definition of biblical roles is brought into the picture. Maybe he doesn't feel honored enough. You may not give him the encouragement he needs. Calling out the behavior for what it is doesn't happen within the church to often.

We are always looking to the other party to see what might have caused this. The responsibility for their own behavior is never recognized, because we are always searching to see what the other party might have done to cause it. The church encourages people NOT to take personal responsibility, and similar to abusers look for the EXCUSE part in every scenario.

When he was called out for calling his daugther a slut and whore the day before he attempted to correct Super Nanny about what he really meant. He was attempting to justify his behavior. You hear alot about, "WELL if you didn't do this I wouldn't have to react like this!"

When Super Nanny reminded him she was there he finally backed off. He isn't going to fight like he would at home with the cameras on. Abusers like to rewrite history, and I will tell you that he wouldn't admit it to his wife if she approached him in this manner. He would get mad at her, and attack her for attempting to put words in his mouth. If you remind him that isn't the proper way of handling it he will give you the 'whatever' attitude. You can't resolve things when this happens can you?

I think at times the church just can't wrap their minds around the fact that people do act like this. They certainly don't realize the damage it does to the parties that live with it!

Phil will admit certain things to Super Nanny because the cameras are on, and she was there. Most of the time abusers aren't going to admit things. Chances are most of them will act as they should around others, but at home they act the immediate opposite. Home isn't a safe place for anyone, and yet the bible states it should be.

Phil knows what he is doing, but he isn't capable of stopping himself. The church has a really hard time seeing this, and constantly does things to give benefit of the doubt. "I can't believe he acts like that! He is such a wonderful man when we had dealt with him!" Abusers can act nice for short periods of time, but its like a pressure cooker. He will start by letting off a little steam, and if you have him hold on to it to long? He explodes!

'I don't think you know what you say when you are angry! You fly off the handle and you act like a bulldog!"

You notice how he attempted to divert the conversation by switching gears to how Morgan is? He wasn't expecting the response he got, and if it was his wife saying this? He will tell her that she is half the problem! She doesn't live in the real world!

Phil breaks the spirits of all the family members due to his behavior. That is part of the reason why mom seems to enable him to continue. No matter what she does, How she approaches him - it will always be wrong. You don't tell Phil anything. He is KING!

Can you see how this behavior and the encouragement of submitting and reminding others show he is the leader the home could enable his bad behavior to continue? He should care less about the spirit in which people speak about it. He uses what he hears against them, and he will not acknowledge his part in this.

You notice that Phil is surprised to hear how he is breaking down his relationships, and his family, and his marriage by his behavior? Notice how he looks at her a bit surprised and maybe even scared at this point?

Mrs. Davis wants her family to be together, and that is the reason that most victims come to the church for help. The Churches uneducated and paranoia about divorce stops them from handing out that help. This is the price that families do pay when the church places the union before the people within it.

The cycle of behavior will continue when those children grow up. They don't know what healthy looks like, and yet we expect people to know. Families like this don't have the tools, but are told they should have them. They reach out because they know they don't, and yet they are handed simplistic advice instead. 'Just walk away!' 'Get yourself a new cookbook, and get on his favorite dress! Show your love for him, and he will respond!'

Super Nanny along with others assume that both partners in this relationship have equal footing. They should be able to tell their spouse to stop - wait a minute, etc. Abusers won't allow that, and they will bite back like a wounded animal.

They aren't equal partners because of fear. Fear without punches. Fear without bruises. The longer this goes on the more broken the family gets, and the less likely they are to be able to defend themselves. They give up. They are lost, and feel completely powerless.

This is why I feel counseling separately is needed. Phil has abuse issues, and she has issues of her own. They are completely different issues, and both need to be dealt with. He needs to be brought down a couple of pegs, and she needs to feel its safe to be brought a couple of pegs. She wouldn't be able to be completely open and honest in couple's counseling, because she knows what will happen when she gets home. She will pay for it. He will rewrite history! He will show her how crazy she is! Remember we don't have 'cameras' before or after the sessions.

The bible says sin loves the darkness, and fears the light. We need to educate ourselves enough to see the signs so we may lead people to the light. We need to stop stating that emotional abuse isn't a powerful weapon! What does God say about that? Read James 3, and you will see he does speak about this. Direct approaches like Super Nanny is needed more than the spiritual pixie dust used as the church's approach. They are all broken, and unless we want to admit what is really happening...we can't change a thing!

How does your church approach this? Is it like Super Nanny?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Abuser tears down the children as well.

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 10:38 AM

This shows how abusive people can't let things go. Normally if you walk away they will find something else to fight about. Morgan walked away in the earlier clip, and you heard what he said. Things have calmed down since then. Remember how we are told to approach people AFTER they calm down? There isn't a good time for that because they aren't capable of calming down to that level we think of.

Now remember in the previous video he 'felt bad' about calling them names, and acting as he does. It doesn't stop them from continuing. It does show they KNOW, but that doesn't mean much!

(This is a series of articles using segments of the show Super Nanny, and with this family we have a Series of Emotional and Verbal Abuse your hear, feel, and see.  Click to see the different topics written on this program using this family as the example.)

Again remember some topic questions, and statements about identifying abusive behavior before watching this next clip. He attacks Morgan again, and then walks away with the 'whatever' attitude. Look for signs in this list below as well when realizing Mom's behavior in this clip:

avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner?
feel emotionally numb or helpless?
humiliate, criticize, or yell at you?
treat you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your friends or family to see?
ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments?
blame you for his own abusive behavior?
see you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?
have a bad and unpredictable temper?
You may think that physical abuse is far worse than emotional abuse, since physical violence can send you to the hospital and leave you with scars. But, the scars of emotional abuse are very real, and they run deep. In fact, emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse—sometimes even more so. Furthermore, emotional abuse usually worsens over time, often escalating to physical battery.

Remember MOST churches say you truly need to wait until they hurt you physically in order to seek safety. This type of thing isn't as damaging as 'real abuse'.

Fear of the partner, references to the partner's anger
Personality changes (e.g. an outgoing woman becomes withdrawn)
Excessive fear of conflict
Submissive behavior, lack of assertiveness
Depression, crying, low self-esteem

Remember these videos can trigger people!

When things aren't safe at home boys and girls will look for others to fill that need of comfort. I agree with the mother that a 14 year old girl shouldn't be with a 17 year old boy. As a teenager you have alot to deal with, and if you don't have the environment that is safe to ask questions?

The correct thing to do is NOT instigate things by asking about the necklace in the fashion he did. Dad says he is concerned because he isn't going to marry her. He attacks her appearance in a way that doesn't make conversations very easy to deal with. He tells her she dresses like a slut. Can you imagine how that child felt?

Is he acting like the proper role model when he says, "I should let you run with the dogs so you can get fleas!" How she is now not just LOOKING but ACTING like a whore! So now he has gone from how he doesn't like the boyfriend - to - she dresses like a slut - in addition - acts like a whore.

The reason mom may have NOT got involved is that she knew it would make matters worse. Since the children are her responsibility it will be her fault the girl dresses like a slut, and acts like a whore. He will then begin to tear mom down. You can't resolve things when you have someone acting like this. You can't have a decent conversation when he is looking to nail everyone to the cross for anything. You can't tell him to stop, because if you do it will blow up on you!

Making things bigger than they are is a common trait for an abuser. Remember he demands respect for his role in the family, and he is going to put people down to make sure they know how much they need him. He will point out everything he feels is wrong, and what started as a question about the necklace from the boyfriend? It now has turned into bigger things! She is now labeled as being a slut and whore.

Don't kid yourself if you think mom gets any better treatment. It effects people mentally, and they can't always take about a different approach. He will have issues with every approach. The key is power and control, and not resolution!

They know they can't stop him from doing it.

You can't reason with him when he is like this.

This child loves him, but he isn't safe to her.

They tell you they do this because they love you. Its for your own good. They aren't going to hold back to spare feelings. You need to see reality. COME live in the real world! Can't you handle the truth?

YES abusers tear down children as well. It would much harder to explain to them if they would 'change themselves' how the abuse would stop wouldn't it? Think about the younger children - do you think they would get it when asked to change? He will always have no problem telling you WHY he is justified! Its truly a hard dynamic to change when they feel entitled to this behavior.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Do as I say and NOT as I do!

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 1:32 AM

Namecalling is justified, and demanding respect is very common. Abusers own this Do as I say and NOT as I do very much so!

(This is part of a series of articles I did using segments of the program called Super Nanny that showed a family in the throws of Emotional and Verbal Abuse.  Series of Emotional and Verbal Abuse your hear, feel, and see to see the different topic titles.)

Points to remember:

Domestic abuse, also known as spousal abuse, occurs when one person in an intimate relationship or marriage tries to dominate and control the other person. An abuser doesn’t “play fair.” He or she uses fear, guilt, shame, and intimidation to wear you down and gain complete power over you. He or she may threaten you, hurt you, or hurt those around you.

Once you view the video you will see abusers don't just target the spouse! They target the children as well!

Reasons we know an abuser's behaviors are not about anger and rage:

He does not batter other individuals - the boss who does not give him time off or the gas station attendant that spills gas down the side of his car. He waits until there are no witnesses and abuses the person he says he loves.

If you ask an abused woman, "can he stop when the phone rings or the police come to the door?" She will say "yes". Most often when the police show up, he is looking calm, cool and collected and she is the one who may look hysterical. If he were truly "out of control" he would not be able to stop himself when it is to his advantage to do so.

The abuser very often escalates from pushing and shoving to hitting in places where the bruises and marks will not show. If he were "out of control" or "in a rage" he would not be able to direct or limit where his kicks or punches land.
Insults, name-calling, shaming, and public put-downs are all weapons of abuse designed to erode your self-esteem and make you feel powerless.
Denial and blame — Abusers are very good at making excuses for the inexcusable. They will blame their abusive and violent behavior on a bad childhood, a bad day, and even on the victims of their abuse. Your abuser may minimize the abuse or deny that it occurred. He will commonly shift the responsibility onto you: Somehow, his violence and abuse is your fault.
Guilt — After the abusive episode, the abuser feels guilt, but not over what he's done to the victim. The guilt is over the possibility of being caught and facing consequences.

Rationalization or excuses — The abuser rationalizes what he's done. He may come up with a string of excuses or blame the victim for his own abusive behavior—anything to shift responsibility from himself.

"Normal" behavior — The abuser does everything he can to regain control and keep the victim in the relationship. He may act as if nothing has happened, or he may turn on the charm. This peaceful honeymoon phase may give the victim hope that the abuser has really changed this time.

This is a good example of 'do as I say NOT as I do!' We hear alot from spouses about being called names, demeaned, and humiliated. From the video you can see that it goes much further than that! As you can tell from the video Morgan walked away, and he cuts her down and her mother as she does.

Phil claims he knows better, but he does it anyway. You can tell that they do know right from wrong, but aren't capable of NOT going there! He says it makes HIM feel bad, but he doesn't recognize the damage he is doing to his family that receive it.

His feeling awful about calling names doesn't stop him from doing so does it? Do as I say and NOT as I do is a very common trait of abusers.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Entitlement, Minimize and Divert

2 comments Posted by Hannah at 8:01 AM

I'm going to continue a series I wanted to do on visuals of emotional and verbal abuse. Please keep in mind that some of these scenes could be triggering to some parties.  We are using segments of video from the program Super Nanny.  It's sometimes easier to see and feel the points when you are able to visualize them.

(I did a series of articles on this program to point out different aspects of abuse.  Series of Emotional and Verbal Abuse your hear, feel, and see to view the complete series of topics)

Points to remember:

Your abuser’s apologies and loving gestures in between the episodes of abuse can make it difficult to leave. He may make you believe that you are the only person who can help him, that things will be different this time, and that he truly loves you. However, the dangers of staying are real.

Domestic abuse often escalates from threats and verbal abuse to physical violence and even murder. And while physical injury may be the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic abuse are also severe. No one deserves this kind of pain—and your first step to breaking free is recognizing that your situation is abusive. Once you acknowledge the reality of the abusive situation, then you can get the help you need.

Abusing Authority:
Always claiming to be right (insisting statements are "the truth"); telling you what to do or not to do; making big decisions; using twisted "logic"

Do they expect and/or demand that individual family members follow their orders or wishes? Do they become angry if their wishes are not fulfilled or if what they want to do is not anticipated?

Now watch the video, and watch for the diversion to get OFF the subject using a cereal bowl.

At the beginning of this video you can tell that Mr. Davis can be very nice and charming when he wants to. I'm sure thoughts crossed his mind about whether or not maybe he should have kept the chauvinist comments to himself. "I wonder what she is thinking about me!"

Now within a women's christian setting the wife's comments would have got a tongue lashing from the group. Chances are very good the wife may not bring up the chauvinist attitude, and if she did? Well they do ask HOW he is chauvinist. They ask for examples, and with each example they tend to tear it apart about how she must be perceiving this incorrectly. "Well most men don't do as much housework, and we always do more with the children! According to the Proverbs 31 woman isn't that our goal?!" I have seen women ripped to pieces over mentioning this type of thing, because they see it has dishonoring their husband. "I would NEVER be caught talking like that about my husband! You should be ashamed!" We need to break the silence, and not ask people to stuff this unhealthy dynamic.

Granted her attitude may not be appropriate with the christian setting, but we are talking a party that came to their house to help them. It could be pretty normal to be voicing these complaints in some counseling type of settings. lol I'm not saying super nanny is a counselor okay? I was talking generally!

Once again we notice that Mr. Davis doesn't have an issue with telling Super Nanny that his responsibility is to go to work. She works as well, but per the previous video he feels its not much of a contribution because, 'she sits on her rear end all day'. She has a office job, and I guess he is a laborer of some sort.

His job is physically demanding so he really needs the quality time, and since her job is NOT - she needs to take care of things once he gets home. I dealt with this attitude myself. "You sit at a desk all day! I actually WORK!"

Now keep in mind one of the tactics when the heat is on is to divert! Divert attention off this subject, and move on to the next! You don't get resolution that way do you? Resolution isn't something you get when you deal with an abuser.

He moves on the cereal bowl that was left out for his diversion, and she tries to keep them on the same subject. Its gets louder and louder because both parties want to be heard. He doesn't want to talk about giving up his quality time, and she wants him to admit things. Diversion is a very important trait, and they do this very easily at times. They can do it the loud way - per the video - or they have softer and calmer ways.

I can hear some people say, "Just walk away!" I will show you the response to that in an upcoming video. I'm not saying this is a proper form of communication okay? I will tell you that their sense of entitlement does rear this type of frustrating conversation, because as you can tell from the previous video they walk away and say its NOT their job! In an upcoming video you will see how 'walking away' doesn't solve things either.

Now we see that this couple has already separated over some of this behavior already. I cut out part of the first of this show, and their daughter Morgan has mentioned it has been more than once. They have separated more than once over this type of thing. Each time he mentioned he would 'step up to the plate'! She loves him, and she wants this family together. She isn't certain where their future would bring them.

If we look at how most churches approach it: 'we need to stop the possible divorce'! You notice she doesn't WANT the divorce, but she wants the abusive dynamics to stop. Most victims want this, and yet when you go for help it isn't perceived like this. Because it Matters has a post about this dynamic between the couples and the church.

Abusers do tend to make promises when they KNOW they have gone to far! "I will change! You need to give me another chance! Can't you forgive me?" They wail at alter calls, and say they have fully repented...please talk to her to give me another chance! I'm SURE they mean it at the time, but the problem is they don't have the tools to stick to their promises. They slowly turn back into the demon behavior that got them into the doghouse to begin with. Alot of times they get worse, because they don't want their families to speak out again! They tend to tighten their control! You could miss your opportunity to help the WHOLE family if you aren't familiar with the traits about domestic violence within the church!

Once again I want to remind you their behavior is mellow, and I'm SURE its due to the cameras on them. If they can get this out of control on camera - can you imagine in private? They will be on better behavior due to the cameras, and it gets alot worse when the attention isn't on them.

Does his behavior teach his children skills that they will need to lead a healthy life? Would the dynamic change if the wife 'changed herself', and he didn't do his part? How do you make the children realize that this isn't proper behavior as far as a man goes without being seen as dishonoring her spouse? They have had conversations before about how this needs to stop, and they might stop for a while...but they continue as soon as the heat is off.

Abusers may be very sincere at the time, but they don't have the tools or capability to do this on their own. Their spouse or partner isn't the one that should be handling that part with them. They have their own habit patterns they must break in order for the relationship to get on healthy footing. Remember they are frighten of the abuser's behavior if they bring up something that he doesn't like to the surface. If they know they will be punished for it some how - HOW are they going to be helpful to their spouse at that point?

The victims and their children need a different type of help. They also need time once the abuser has committed to getting their own help to learn to trust again. Abusers will be very impatient at that point. That is a clear sign they have more work to do. Its called consequences, and they can learn from those. Don't guilt the family into being more open with the trust in order to encourage them. That is something they truly need to earn back, and pressure from the outside to SHOW trust as encouragement will hinder the victims growth. They need to realize its OKAY to voice their feelings and reactions. They haven't been able to for a long time, and you are asking them to stuff them again. The abuser gets the encouragement, but at what price for the victims?

Remember abusers feel an unhealthy sense of entitlement towards their family. They minimize their damage, and divert off subject matters that make them uncomfortable.

If you missed part one see below:

Visions of Emotional and Verbal Abuse - Can you feel the humilation

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Waneta Dawn and her Award Winning Book "Behind the Hedge"

1 comments Posted by Hannah at 10:51 AM

domestic violence

Waneta Dawn got a really NICE write up in the Kalona News this last week about her book, "Behind the Hedge". It also announced her awards that she was given for her peice of literature!

Google has a really nice introduction into "Behind the Hedge" that you can check out for yourself! You can read a portion of the book, and then I know you will want to buy it for yourself to see how the story ends UP!

The newspaper story describes the two awards that Waneta Dawn was awarded for her book "Behind the Hedge".

Kalona author Waneta Dawn's "Behind the Hedge" was named first runner-up in the 2008 Xulon Christian Choice Book Awards, a contest that awarded certificates and prize money to 66 Christian authors for outstanding literary achievement in 22 categories.

Dawn's novel also was awarded the top honor in the Christian Fiction division. "Behind the Hedge"

Each of these books was selected by the judges to be highlighted in this shortlist of favorites. The contest, which was open to all self-published authors who released a Christian book in 2007-2008, received a record 407 entrants in a variety of categories that ranged from Christian living to poetry.

domestic violence Its so awesome that a book regarding domestic violence within the christian home is actually getting some NICE attention! You can get her book "Behind the Hedge" at Amazon or your local bookstore.

Behind the Hedge Description:

Yearning for a warm and loving marriage, Yvette works hard as a housewife and on their Iowa dairy farm to satisfy her husband, Luke, and tries to motivate him to be a loving and caring husband and father. But hidden behind his charming public facade, Luke is critical and demands more submission. With the help of her friend, Delores, Yvette grapples with the meaning and application of Biblical submission to her husband, changes how she relates to her husband, and endeavors to correct the misbeliefs of their teenaged sons, Greg and Kyle. Luke indoctrinates his wife and children on the meaning of submission and obedience. But one day he goes too far. Will their marriage survive the storm? Will Luke become the warm and loving husband Yvette craves? Will their daughter, Tanya, learn to trust her father? And will their sons become loving and respectful young men? Waneta Dawn grew up on a dairy farm in Kalona, Iowa, and was raised in the Mennonite faith. She currently lives with her daughter and next door to her mother in Iowa. She has researched domestic violence, particularly dominance through verbal, emotional, psychological, and spiritual abuse for over ten years. For two of those years she used curriculum from Duluth, Minnesota to facilitate the Batterer's Education Program, a men's group, which met one evening a week and operated through the Iowa Department of Corrections. Ms Dawn hopes Behind the Hedge will help heal and strengthen relationships to the glory of God.

Waneta Dawn has website for your review:

Waneta Dawn.com

Waneta Dawn also has a blog that is available:

Submission Tyranny, in Church and Society

Congratulations Waneta we look forward to watching your continued success!

Visions of Emotional and Verbal Abuse - Can you feel the humilation?

3 comments Posted by Hannah at 12:27 AM

From time to time I watch some brainless TV, and this last week I watched Extreme Home Makeover. ONE of my favorites! I was in the mood for a bit more feel good television, and the ABC program I was using suggested Super Nanny. I have never watched the show, but I had heard about it. I figured what the heck!

(This is part of a series of articles I wrote using this program.  Series of Emotional and Verbal Abuse your hear, feel, and see. to view the different topics)

I watched this show, and I realized this was a great example to show others about emotional abuse, and verbal abuse within the family. Keep in mind I will not show the entire show, but have broken it up in pieces to show different points.

I want to remind you that as most of us would - they are going to place their best foot forward since the cameras are on them. As with most people their behavior will be tame compared to what its like without the cameras present.

I'm not doing this to demonize anyone, and keep in mind this is mild...and this type of behavior is common among people that commit this type of domestic violence. Remember gender doesn't apply. It will show you how words can tear apart a family, and give you a hint that fists aren't the only weapon that can do the job!

Watch this clip below, and see if you can identify the following behaviors that are signs of possible domestic violence. Remember domestic violence is a pattern of behavior!

Keep mind these videos could trigger some people!

Dominance — Abusive individuals need to feel in charge of the relationship. They will make decisions for you and the family, tell you what to do, and expect you to obey without question. Your abuser may treat you like a servant, child, or even as his possession.

Humiliation — An abuser will do everything he can to make you feel bad about yourself, or defective in some way. After all, if you believe you're worthless and that no one else will want you, you're less likely to leave. Insults, name-calling, shaming, and public put-downs are all weapons of abuse designed to erode your self-esteem and make you feel powerless.

You notice how she is acting towards the end? She turns red, and his scratching herself. You can tell how many times she has heard this speech before.

He doesn't have problem thinking it is MORE than okay to humiliate his wife on national television. Her job is minimized because, "You don't do that much! I mean you sit on your rear end all day!" He feels entitled to his role, and also feels entitled to tell her what her job is. This type of attitude is very common, but most people aren't going to show it in this fashion. Abusive people do know that most of the world isn't going to accept this type of behavior.

Her contribution isn't the same as his. She giggles because she is nervous. Could it be shame? Humiliation? Beaten down, and doesn't want to go there anymore? I don't know which, because it could also be a fear of retaliation once those cameras leave if she stands up for herself.

Remember some of the signs to watch for in people that come to you for help!

Submissive behavior, lack of assertiveness
Excessive fear of conflict
Personality changes (e.g. an outgoing woman becomes withdrawn)

Questions to her that you can see the answer to in her behavior!

Feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner?
Believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?

This is our first introduction to the Davis family, and I will try to take this step by step. I want people to see things so maybe they can recognize it when someone comes to them for help.

Please don't think that this doesn't happen in Christian homes, because they aren't exempt! This is very mild behavior compared to what your contact could be experiencing within their home. Abusers do know they have to act a certain way around others, and they aren't likely to cross a personal boundary that is widely accepted when company is present. Phil Davis is different in that way, and I'm sure a bit more agressive behind the scenes.

Someone told me years ago that if an abuser doesn't have a problem with showing his abusive nature to the world it could be that he is a bit more dangerous than most. I have to agree with that statement. We do have stereotypes in our heads of WHAT an abuser looks like, and how we could point them out with time. They have spent their lifetime hiding that part, and showing the world the opposite for a reason. They want people to think they are good person, and don't want to call attention to that part of them. Its motive on their part. Remember they don't call this the silent killer for nothing!

The next couple of days I will be breaking up this show to point out certain behaviors, and show the pattern. Remember men aren't the only ones that do this.

Part Two Entitlement, Minimize and Divert

Part Three Abuser Tears Down the Children as Well

Visions of Emotional and Verbal Abuse - Can you feel the humilation?

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