Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Domestic abuse

Domestic violence - how do we break through the 'wall of silence'?

I was impressed by a recent account (Church of England Newspaper) of the Rev Eleanor Hancock, who has described her experience of domestic violence. She writes:

'I lived for many years as a victim of domestic violence and abuse. Very much in love with my partner, I made countless excuses for his behaviour and, instead of feeling sorry for myself, I felt sorry for him. ... I escaped from my abusive situation many years ago and was lucky enough to have a good friend to go to. I also had the support of my family.'

She talks about how she was able to work through the hurt and guilt when welcomed by a church fellowship, and 'found the love of God personified'.

After explaining how she found healing and transformation, she writes, 'I believe that the Christian community has a big part to play in supporting families through sharing the love of God in practical ways and in helping to bring about long-term healing and acceptance.'

Some years ago I wrote a booklet called Home is Where the Hurt Is, because I was concerned that many individual Christians and churches were unaware of how common domestic violence was, and how to respond to it.

  • Have you heard sermons or teaching on domestic abuse?
  • Would women find a welcome in your church, and help in dealing with an abusive situation?
  • What can we do to offer God's love to those who have suffered, or are suffering, from abuse?

1 comment:

Hannah said...

I have been searching for years for material on the internet, and sadly it is few and far between! Some of the material I have found is downright deadly to victims. There is however some good material, and in the future I hope to find more.

Some churches are better than others when it comes to this issue. The ones that wish to educate themselves verus the ones that wish to parrot scripture are normally difference. Its okay to say its scarey, and may not have answers.

Listening to a victim of domestic abuse, and telling them that they are believed is the first big step to healing. To many times the blame is shifted back to them in questions and assumptions. What they do is basically shut up, and back off because the people they came to are also unsafe in their minds.

Education of this issue isn't hard, and at times the actions don't make sense. Its not rational or logical. WHen you use that education while you deal with the issue with other parties...the puzzle pieces start to take place.