Friday, August 26, 2016

When Abusers Follow Their Victims to Church

What can we do to protect women and children when abusers show up at church and pose a threat to everyone or deliberately create fear and chaos as they attempt to regain control of victims who have left the abusive, and often physically dangerous, environments of their homes? 

One thing not to do is evict victims of abuse from our churches. And let's not kid ourselves, that does happen.

Shame on Pastors who allow such things to happen.

Rather, show support and love for church members who are trying to escape lives of abuse. Encourage them to participate as fully as possible with their church communities while taking steps to keep them and everyone else safe. 

Because of the dangerous climate due to terrorism these days, many churches already have added security with security guards present at church services. Why not assure women whose lives are filled with terror because of abusive spouses, that their presence is welcome in our churches, that their safety is important to us? Why not ask them if we can allow our security personnel--whether  they are volunteer staff or professionals--to keep an especially close eye on them and their children, so they can relax and enjoy their church experience along with the rest of us? 

Take the time to assure these women that instead of being kicked out of church if their abusers show up to make threats or cause scenes (especially designed to control, humiliate, and cause them to be ostracized by their church families), that we will rally around them, more determined than ever to show how much we love and support them. 

At the same time, be aware that these men can often pose significant threats to others, besides their immediate families. Domestic violence calls rank high on the list of the most dangerous calls police officers take, in terms of danger to the officers themselves. Call 911 immediately if an abuser shows up in violation of a restraining order to disturb the peace. 

Reach out to, and affirm, victims of spousal abuse as they move forward in creating more stable, peaceful, and safe lives for themselves and their families.

Woman Submit! Christians & Domestic Violence, is for anyone experiencing domestic abuse or violence, and also for those they are most likely to turn to for help--family, friends, pastors, etc... The evangelical Christian woman whose spirit is being crushed and life possibly endangered by domestic violence is faced with a unique burden. 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.

1 comment:

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