Saturday, October 20, 2012

Christianity and domestic violence

Posted by Hannah at 2:20 PM

In Recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month:  Articles of Domestic Violence in the ChurchDomestic violence and the Church Links and the World


As we all know abuse is not a gender issue, but a human one.


Family + False Religion = Violence

The very agent that was designed to bring healing and comfort--the church--must then reexamine its teachings, traditions, and practices that support the baser passions and drives for greed of power and control. The church can be and should be the most reliable agent for healing and restoration. The church must be a loud voice against family violence. – Sounds of Encouragement



Domestic Violence Documentary

Sin By Silence

is a documentary of women in prison in California.   

Sin by Silence is a domestic violence documentary film by Olivia Klaus that offers a unique gateway into the lives of women who are the tragedies living worst-case scenarios and survivors - women who have killed their abusive husbands. Based on the first inmate-initiated and led support group in the entire United States prison system, the film reveals the history and stories of the members of the group Convicted Women Against Abuse created by inmate Brenda Clubine in 1989. By following five women's abusive experiences that led to their incarceration, the film take viewers on their journeys from victim to survivors, reveals the history of the Battered Women Syndrome in the state of California, and shatters misconceptions. This documentary is a production of Quiet Little Place Productions.

In 2011, the film had its television premiere on Investigation Discovery to over 2.2 million viewers.

Within the last couple of months Governer Brown signed the “Sin By Silence’ bills into law.

Investigation Discovery Channel is now reairing this program on October 24, 2012.  You can check out their website to see clips, and check which channel and time it will be available in your area.


No Way Out But One 

In 1994 Holly Collins became an international fugitive when she grabbed her three children and went on the run. It all happened because a family court had ignored Holly’s charges, the children’s pleas, Holly’s broken nose, Zackary’s fractured skull, and other medical evidence of domestic violence. The family court in Minnesota gave full custody of Zackary and Jennifer to Holly’s ex-husband. It was at that point that Holly came to believe she and the children had No Way Out But One.

In September of 2011, Holly and her children returned to North America.  All Charges were dropped, except for the ‘contempt of court’.

Documentary Channel is airing this program on 10/29/12, and you can check to see if your TV provider is available on the site.

Here and Now have an interview with this family, and what they are doing presently.


Domestic Violence and the Church

Video I found that interviews a woman, and a reformed man. The husband in this case stated that the Christian counseling wasn’t what they needed, because they were more concentrated on authority of the husband. He speaks of how he wasn’t served well by the church counseling, although I’m sure it was well intended.


Domestic Violence Facebook Pages


Break The Silence Facebook Page presents stories of people that are effected by domestic violence.  It also has resources for victims and their families.


Church Survivors Facebook Page


New Book on Domestic Violence

Should I Stay or Should I Go? New Book by Lundy Bancroft.

Here are two sample chapters for Lundy’s new Book.

Resources for the man that is serious about his change

and Chapter Two as well. What’s it All About


Domestic Violence and the Church articles

A open letter to John Piper about his view on divorce is written from a man’s prospective regarding the domestic violence he lived with, and how John Piper’s love of powerteachings on abuse, marriage, and divorced effected his life.


Your teaching has dangerous consequences: people like me read your words and take what you say very seriously. When you leave no room in your church for abused and broken divorcees, that has real world effects. I am such a broken person, and I do not know where I’ll end up. I am fighting the guilt and shame of divorcing my wife and I have to remind myself every day that my guilt and shame are not real – that there is no condemnation because I am in Christ. What I feel is based on how men like you view me, not how God views me. I hope that I can find believers with whom I can some day open up and have a trusting  relationship again. Right now I am scared to talk to any believers at all, for judgement is just a few words away. I know for certain I will never end up in your church and I will cringe every time you are quoted. It is difficult to respect a man who would call me to endure torture in a situation he does not understand.


Abuse and God’s Mercy: Martin’s Story is written by another man – also a victim of domestic violence in the church.  He was divorced, and remarried to a wonderful wife.  He speaks of his journey that God has place him on, and the rejection of him in ministry due to his remarriage.  Its an inspiring story of how faith helped him overcome, and learn to do God’s will for his life.


To the best of my knowledge, no church exists that would ordain a pastor with my background.  I rejoice in my service at the Mission and will wait on the Lord for the next opportunity.  At least now there’s no quit left in me.  God has given me enough trial to know – there’s no option besides perseverance for me.

There is a God in heaven that is more powerful than the nastiest group of Deacons, Elders, or Pastors.  He will show each of us His path for us to go, and He loves each of us no more than the other, that is without limit.

Less important than a pair of socks

Biblical Personhood writes a short story of over the top submission, and leaves everyone in the dust besides the father.

I was a teenager at the time. I was crying as I told my mother of my problem.

Then he bursts in. He does not await his turn to speak. He bellows: “There should be eight pairs of socks in my drawer and there are only seven!” My very submissive mother leaves me in the middle of my sob story, to go and find my father’s 8th pair of socks.

It is not like he needs those socks right now, mind you. He is not on his way somewhere and desperately need the black socks to match his clothes. He simply dislikes the thought that not all his things are in the right places.

Silence and violence in the church is an article by Theological Curves

For five years I asked the seminary where I was teaching if we could have a chapel service that addressed family violence and abuse. I was dreaming of a service that offered hope for survivors and solidarity from those who had been impacted by violence directly or indirectly. For five years I was told in a variety of ways that abuse was not our concern nor an appropriate issue within a seminary. Some years it was a direct verbal message, other years I would be politely listened to and then would never hear a follow up or was told after the fact that all chapel times were already scheduled.

All of this despite the fact that recently one of the graduates from this seminary was convicted of murdering his wife and that every semester I had students in my office discussing their own past and current abuse.

The Issue at the Heart of Domestic Violence By Danni Moss – a friend of mine that has passed away.  I’m blessed that her family decided to keep her blog up, and her ministry alive by her words even after she passed.  We still miss you Danni!


Domestic Violence and Fundamentalist Christianity

The religion they practiced tended to focus on the darker aspects of Christianity. They focused on the sufferings of Christ on the cross, His torments. They focused on the torments of hell for unrepentant sinners. They focused on how BAD people were, how we were all born in sin and would die in sin, did we not repent, and suffer the torments of hell in the lake of fire forever!

There was no carrot in front of the donkey's nose: it was the devil with a pitchfork prodding the donkey from behind, all the way.

They also blamed EVE, for letting sin into the world. We were all children of Eve. They also had a peculiar relish in eschewing the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the Whore of Babylon, and the adulterous woman that Jesus saved from stoning. It was impressed on us as girl children that any immodesty on our part, the least bit of natural human curiosity about the opposite sex, was shamefully our fault and could lead to dire consequences here on earth in addition to damning us to hell forevermore. My mother was excessively modest, appearing to be frightened of and uncomfortable inside her own body. I think she wished not to have a body at all, and wished no one else did, either.


The Girl Effect, part 4  On this blog (Yeshua, Hineni!)there is a series of articles, and they are all worth reading!  I wanted to link to this one, and to point out the resources at the end.

I Want you to know, if you know someone, or if you are currently experiencing domestic violence - This is not what G-d calls you to. Find HOPE.  G-d wants you to have health and healing. He wants you to thrive. YOU ARE NOT CALLED TO BE "submissive" to abuse. This is not at all what G-d designed when the mandate after the Fall was given.  This is not what was given to us at Sinai. This is not the freedom that Y'shua brings, and that Paul heralds. It simply is not.

John MacArthur discounts the seriousness of abuse 

Barbara writes about YET another pastor that claims he ‘gets it’, but YET AGAIN clearly has noPastor has his head in the sand clue what he is talking about.


She starts her article off by quoting John MacArthur:

“If a violence-prone husband becomes agitated and abusive, the wife should remove herself from danger, by leaving the home if necessary. God has promised that He will not test us beyond our ability to endure, but will always make a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). Sometimes escape is the only way. If you have children and they are in danger, take them someplace where you will be secure until you feel you may safely come back.
If you are not truly in any physical danger, but are merely a weary wife who is fed up with a cantankerous or disagreeable husband–even if he is an unbeliever who is hostile to the things of God–God’s desire is that you stay and pray and sanctify that husband by your presence as a beloved child of God (1 Corinthians 7:10-16). The Lord will protect you and teach you in the midst of the difficult time.

Just as John Piper, and many other pastors they never tell you to call the police.  They tell you to stay away until you feel it is safe to return.    The ‘deal with it’ attitude is what is killing the trust between Christ Followers, and the so called ‘leaders’ of the church.  Its irresponsible for pastor’s to speak of domestic violence in the church when it is clear they have NOT educated themselves on the issues, dangers, and damage.


Poems and Prose about domestic violence


The Last Straw lists poems about domestic violence. 

Poetry about children and domestic violence


What It Means To Be A Victim


Will you love me to death?




You Can't




These are just some of the awesome sources that I have found within the last week, and I honestly can’t remember them all.  There has been so many good articles that cover this topic, and I know I’m missing SOME!


I also have many other resources on my Emotional Abuse and Your Faith resource links page that I try to add to regularly.


If you have any articles, facebook pages, videos, poems or prose about domestic violence and the church…or the world?  I would love for you  to share them here in the comment section!

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Virginia Knowles on 4:47 PM said...

I just posted about domestic violence on one of my blogs today so I was glad to see yours pop up in my Google Reader. I'll add your post to my list of links. Mine is here:

Hannah on 10:29 PM said...

Thank you Virginia!

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

What I don't understand is why this information/education doesn't filter through the churches. I have read some brilliant articles on this blog that date back a while, during a time which I was totally in the fog and unaware that such information existed. It took a lot of googling and searching to finally find the answers to the problems of domestic violence in my home. And now I find that the information has been there for quite a while! What does it take to make this part of the mainline teaching and understanding in churches? i don't ask that in a sarcastic way, but in a seriously curious sort of way.

Hannah on 3:37 PM said...

Anonymous 4: There are some churches that do take it seriously, but sadly not enough of them. It doesn't seem to be the norm.

I think they are afraid of the subject, because they do not know what to with the circumstance. They maybe seen as encouraging divorce (if that happens) - as another excuse I heard.

Truth be told if they did educate themselves loads of those fears should go away. A local church in my area as partnered up with the local domestic violence shelter. Kuddos to them!

There are faith organizations that handle this - like Focus Ministries - but again I think they are afraid of them as well.

I think the more people place resources in front of them, and request their churches get educated? the better off their congregation would be - as well as the church.

I don't think there is any easy answers.

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