Friday, December 08, 2017

She Says Abuse is Going on? Give Her the Benefit of the Doubt

   One protective battered mother wrote that she wanted the court to order a mental health assessment for her abusive ex-husband. She believed this would show that he needed help, and that he would be court-ordered to get the help he needed. She naively believed the Judge would see that he was not safe for their children to be alone with until he received help for his abusiveness. 
   But the court refused her request.  
   Unless things have changed, this was probably just as well, as it is a sad fact that many batterers score within normal ranges on mental health assessments, and judges know this. 
   This is but one of the symptoms of patriarchal influence that has governed the laws and psychological "norms" of our culture. 
   Pray that this will change.
  Unless another, more easily diagnosable problem exists, wife-beaters  /abusive husbands almost always present normally, not only on psychological assessments, but also to friends and co-workers. Knowing someone for years, does not mean we really know them, and spouse abusers are very good at hiding their abuse, isolating their victims, and even influencing friends and acquaintances to suspect their wives may be liars or mentally unstable.
   Abusers are master manipulators of their self images. 
  Among other things (fear, economic and child custody concerns), often because of loyalty, hope for things to get better, and also to avoid social censure, abused Christian wives almost always collude with their abusers [at least for a while--sometimes for years] to hide what is going on. 
      Only about 25% percent of abuse claims prove to be false, and this usually happens in child custody disputes with the lying parent going to the court with the fabrication--not to their pastor or friends. Statistics show that fathers suing for custody are just as likely to make false claims as mothers, so discounting the story of a woman who finally becomes desperate enough to escape her violent or abusive situation is not an option when dealing compassionately and biblically with the sin of domestic violence
   When she approaches her pastor, friend, or family member, seeking help, give her the benefit of the doubt--even if you know her husband, and the story seems unbelievable. 
   Her life, safety, and the safety of her children could depend on it.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Domestic Violence: Jocelyn Andersen Talks about her Experience and Insights

Added this interview to Hungry Hearts Radio to play once every day. I don't know of another  Christian Radio station that streams as many resources to help those trapped in abusive relationships or for those they are most likely to turn to for help (Heads-up, there is a glitch in the audio a few minutes into it, but hang on for a few moments. It corrects itself and comes back loud and clear for the rest of the interview [also, my apologies for the Geico ad--couldn't remove it).


Click HERE to Listen

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Mommy Fight for Us! Children of Abusers

 Proverbs 24:10-12 kjv says, If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. If you neglect to deliver them that are drawn to their deaths, and those that are ready to be slain; If you say, Behold, we knew it not; does not he that knows the heart consider it? And he that holds your soul in his power, does not he know it? And shall he not hold you accountable?


   Women die from domestic violence. Children handed over to abusers in the name of "justice" are killed—and not just a few. Those who do not die or suffer permanent physical injuries, carry internal scars that affect them for the rest of their lives. 
   As humans and as Christians, this is our business! 
   He who searches the hearts tells us clearly that it is our business. It is also part of the way that we, as Christians, respond compassionately, effectively, and biblically to the sin and crime of domestic violence. It is part of the way we obey the command of Christ to bear one another's burdens, and be light and salt in our world.
   The Battered Mother's Custody Conference addresses what this writer calls a Family Court Holocaust. This issue has become an international crisis of battered women, abused children, and child custody litigation abuse. It is a secular conference with many suffering Christians in attendance. Our churches are full of protective mothers as well.
   If pastors and leaders cannot or will not attend this annual conference, which provides an education [on this issue] that is available nowhere else, then finance the trip for financially overburdened protective parents, who would otherwise be unable to attend a conference that puts practical tools in their hands for going through the very expensive, completely exhausting, legal nightmare of trying to protect their children.

   You’ll pray for them? That’s a good thing, a wonderful thing, now take the next step and put hands, feet, and wings to your prayers, add physical time, effort, and money to them. Hear the cry of one 2010 conference attendee’s daughters, who pleaded, “Mommy, fight for us. Do something every day to try to get us back, and don’t ever stop.”
   The Battered Mothers Custody Conference is held every January, in Albany, New York. Plan on attending next year’s conference and, if you can, help send a protective parent as well.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Personalized Domestic Violence Safety Plan


SAFETY ALERT
If you are in danger, please use a safe computer, or call 911, your local hotline, or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.

If you do not have a working phone but have an old cell phone with no service plan, do not discard it, It may still be used to call 911. Keep the battery charged and keep it in a quickly accessible location. "Any old, decommissioned cell phone can be used to make 911 calls, as long as the battery is good. The Federal Communications Commission requires all cell phone service providers, like Sprint, AT&T, etc., to accept 911 calls from any wireless phone"  ( http://www.nytimes.com/2000/03/16/technology/old-cell-phones-can-still-call-911.html ).

Your safety is the most important thing. Listed below are tips to help keep you safe. Call 1-800-799-7233 to get help with your safety plan, if you need to.
 

If you are in an abusive relationship, think about...

  1. Having important phone numbers nearby for you and your children. Numbers to have are  police, hotlines, friends, and local shelters.
  2. Friends or neighbors you could tell about the abuse. Ask them to call the police if they hear angry or violent noises. If you have children, teach them how to dial 911. Make up a code word that you can use when you need help.
  3. How to get out of your home safely. Practice ways to get out.
  4. Safer places in your home where there are exits and no weapons. If you feel abuse is going to happen try to get your abuser to one of these safer places.
  5. Any weapons in the house? Think about ways that you could get them out of the house.
  6. Even if you do not plan to leave, think of where you could go. Think of how you might leave. Try doing things that get you out of the house - taking out the trash, walking the pet or going to the store. Put together a bag of things you use everyday (see the checklist below). Hide it where it is easy for you to get.
  7. Go over your safety plan often.

If you consider leaving your abuser, think about...

  1. Four places you could go if you leave your home.
  2. People who might help you if you left. Think about people who will keep a bag for you. Think about people who might lend you money. Make plans for your pets.
  3. Getting a cell phone.
  4. Opening a bank account or getting a credit card in your name.
  5. How you might leave. Start doing things that get you out of the house (taking out the trash, walking the family pet, or going to the store). Practice how you would leave.
  6. How you could take your children with you safely. There are times when taking your children with you may put all of your lives in danger. You need to protect yourself to be able to protect your children.
  7. Putting together a bag of things you use everyday. Hide it where it is easy for you to get, or leave it with a friend.

ITEMS TO TAKE, IF POSSIBLE

 Children (if it is safe)
 Money
 Keys to car, house, work
 Extra clothes
 Medicine
 Important papers for you and your children
 Birth certificates
 Social security cards
 School and medical records
 Bankbooks, credit cards
 Driver's license
 Car registration
 Public Assistance identification
 Passports, green cards, work permits
 Lease/rental agreement
 Mortgage payment book, unpaid bills
 Insurance papers
 Protective Orders, divorce papers, custody orders
 Address book
 Pictures, jewelry, things that mean a lot to you
 Items for your children (toys, blankets, etc.)
     8. Think about reviewing your safety plan often.

 If you have left your abuser, think about...

  1. Your safety - you still need to.
  2. Getting a cell phone. At the very least, keep one that is programmed to only call 911. These phones are for when you need to call the police and cannot get to any other phone.
  3. Getting a Protective Order from the court. Keep a copy with you all the time. Make copies and give a copy to the police, people who take care of your children, their schools and your boss.
  4. Changing the locks. Consider putting in stronger doors, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, a security system and outside lights.
  5. Telling friends and neighbors that your abuser no longer lives with you. Ask them to call the police if they see your abuser near your home or children.
  6. Telling people who take care of your children the names of people who are allowed to pick them up. If you have a Protective Order protecting your children, give their teachers and babysitters a copy of it.
  7. Telling someone at work about what has happened. Ask that person to screen your calls. If you have a Protective Order that includes where you work, consider giving your boss a copy of it and a picture of the abuser. Think about and practice a safety plan for your workplace. This should include going to and from work.
  8. Not using the same stores or businesses that you did when you were with your abuser.
  9. Someone that you can call if you feel down. Call that person if you are thinking about going to a support group or workshop.
  10. Safe way to speak with your abuser if you must.
  11. Going over your safety plan often.
WARNING: Abusers try to control their victim's lives. When abusers feel a loss of control - like when victims try to leave them - the abuse often gets worse. Take special care when you leave. Keep being careful even after you have left.
 
This personalized safety planning is adapted from the Metro Nashville Police Department's personalized safety plan.

 http://www.domesticviolence.org/personalized-safety-plan/

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Christian Counsel on Restraining Orders



   Battered Christian women are sometimes discouraged from seeking orders of protection against abusive husbands, by being told that restraining orders are of little to no value as far as protection goes.    
   But this is not true.

Listen to audio of this post here....
   While it is true, injunctions are often not helpful in the immediate midst of an attack (unless the police just happen to already be there), without a restraining order, the police will not answer a call for help until "after" the physical attack has occurred—by which time the victim may not be able to call for help at all, possibly being too severely injured or even dead.
   With a protective order in place, potential victims can call for help the moment they see the danger coming—before an attack takes place.
   This, is the life-saving value of injunction. It is protection by prevention.
   So, if you are being threatened by a violent spouse or significant other, do not listen to anyone who tries to discourage you from protecting yourself. Get that Restraining Order, now! 


Woman Submit! Christians & Domestic Violence, is for anyone experiencing domestic violence or marital abuse. It is also for those they are most likely to turn to for help—family, friends, pastors, etc.... The Christian woman whose spirit is being crushed and life possibly endangered by domestic violence is faced with a unique burden, and she needs straight answers—not unrealistic expectations or clich├ęd, stereotypical platitudes. In this book, she will get straight answers, clear scriptural direction, and some tough challenges from one who has been there but is there no longer.

Jocelyn Andersen, is Founder and Pastor of Hungry Hearts Ministries, since 1992. She strives for obedience to Christ's command to win souls and make disciples, and teaches biblical truth without the filters and limitations of culture or tradition. Her outreaches include: preaching, teaching, books, blogs, and her 24/7 Bible Talk Radio station, HungryHeartsRadio.com. Andersen is the author of several Christian books, including the short but powerful booklet entitled, Jesus, God of the Burning Bush: Eternal Father & Beloved Son. Follow her author page on Amazon, on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn. Links are located on her website, HungryHeartsMinistries.faith.