High conflict families are disproportionately represented among the population of those contesting custody and visitation.
These cases commonly involve domestic violence, child abuse, and substance abuse.
These cases commonly involve domestic violence, child abuse, and substance abuse.
Expect to find scriptural answers to the perplexing problem of domestic violence and marital abuse among professing Christians. If scriptural answers are not what you are looking for, if you find the Bible offensive, then this may not be the book for you. That being said, non-believers and those of other faiths have stated that they found this work helpful.
"...That passage helped me understand that when I became willing to see and do things God’s way instead of my way, I would be cared for by God and would no longer be at the mercy of abusive treatment or threats of abandonment.
It was with great difficulty that I reached the painful conclusion that my efforts to change my beloved abuser might be fruitless. And I finally, reluctantly, became willing to accept the consequence of divorce or permanent separation if that became necessary."
Excerpt from Chapter 7 of, Woman Submit!. "My Journey from Fear to Peace:"
THOUGHTS ON THE SUBJECT OF CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE, DIVORCE, RE-MARRIAGE, AND THE BOOK, WOMAN SUBMIT!.
Jocelyn Anderson has written a very honest and compelling story of her experience as a victim of domestic abuse and how she was rescued out of it.
One of the topics Jocelyn addresses is that Christ as Creator is the One who understands the human condition more than any psychologist. This makes sense, of course, since He as part of the Godhead created the first two human beings as we can read in Genesis 1:26-28
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, in Our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
Jocelyn spends as well some time focusing on Adam and Eve, the first two human beings that were created by God. From Genesis 1:26-28 we know that they were created to rule over creation together as a team on an equal basis. Sadly that perfect situation did not last for an event took place which we call the Fall. At that time both the man and the woman disobeyed God. This caused a change in their relationship as foretold by God in Genesis 3:16 when God warned the woman that she was turning away from Him to the man to have her needs met and that the man would rule over her. That sinful pattern has continued throughout the centuries. However, in Christ this pattern has been reversed so in the Church men and women once again are called to serve alongside each other in accordance with their spiritual gifts as given by the Holy Spirit.
Another subject that is touched upon by Jocelyn is marriage, divorce and re-marriage.
God honors marriage but also, because of peoples’ hardness of hearts, provide a framework in which the ideal cannot be realized.
In Biblical times the woman had no right to divorce. A man could divorce his wife for burning food. God’s Law gave protection to women and limited a man’s right to treat his wife capriciously or with cruelty. In Genesis 2:24 we have the clearest revelation of the original intent of God in marriage. Unfortunately, sin entered God’s world as we know form Genesis 3. Divorce became an issue after the Fall because of sin. One of the verses from the Old Testament that is often quoted is Malachi 2:16. In most translations it reads as if it is God who hates divorce. However that is incorrect. It is, in fact, about a man who hates and subsequently divorces his wife. A better translation would, therefore, be:
“For he (any man) who hates (his wife) (to the point that) he divorces (her),” says the Lord, “covers his garment with violence.”
For a man to “cover his garment with violence” speaks of the act of violence and an abusive inner state, which violates the covenant of marriage.
I would like to point out as well that, in fact, God Himself divorced Israel at some point in Isaiah 50:1.
Deuteronomy 24:1-4 is a foundational passage to prove that divorce can be sought for serious moral reasons which would have included issues such as adultery, abuse, cruelty, humiliation, persistent refusal to provide food or clothing, willful conjugal or emotional neglect (Exodus 21 -22) Though it is never desirable, divorce is acceptable in these circumstances. And a husband was not allowed to simply send his wife away. He must give her a certificate of divorce, a document that legally established her freedom from the marriage and opened the door for her to re-marry.
No debates about the validity of neglect and abuse as grounds for divorce can be found in Jewish literature because these principles were unanimously agreed on. Jesus’ silence on the subject highlights the fact that He did accept it, like all other Jews at that time. It is, of course, confirmed in His Words in Luke 4:18-19
“The Spirit of the Lord is on Me…. To release the oppressed….”
Paul writes in 1 Timothy 5:8 that a husband who does not provide for his wife and others has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever…. Such a person has clearly broken the marriage covenant. His wife can, therefore, seek a divorce from him on grounds of neglect. She can afterwards re-marry.
As for any young woman who has been forced into having sex with a boyfriend, that is called rape. In the Old Testament times the best way to deal with such a situation may have been for her to marry him. However, today there are better ways to deal with such a situation. This is clearly a criminal situation and God has provided proper authorities who are to protect citizens. In the case of a rape, the victim should, therefore, report the abuser to the police so that proper action against him can be taken.
Needless to say, I highly recommend Jocelyn’s book for anyone who would like to have more understanding on the topic of domestic abuse.
advocacy of women's autonomy both at home and in the ministry. She is editor of the Praying and Prophesying blog and the Ministry to Silenced Women website. She recently started a Facebook group that reaches out to women who have experienced spiritual abuse in their churches.
Why expend energy in attempting to prove that women are primary aggressors and men are the real victims of domestic violence, or worse yet, that domestic violence isn't much of a problem at all? Hard to believe, but some expend great effort in trying convince others that domestic violence is nearly non-existent, or at least not as prevalent as it really is.
They make the fantastic , malicious, claim that millions of women are simply lying about the abuse in order to gain legal advantage in divorce and custody litigation.
Their propaganda includes denouncing the booklet, 10 MYTHS ABOUT CUSTODY AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND HOW TO COUNTER THEM published by the American Bar Association (ABA). The booklet educates attorneys in how to best serve the interests of clients who are victims of domestic violence. An influential activist group once issued a special report debunking the booklet. Some Christian leaders also debunked the booklet.
The real facts are that a travesty is taking place in this country as a result of domestic violence and related custody litigation. Too many Christians allow fear of radical feminism and a narrow view of acceptable behavior for women, to color their perception of the issue. The following is a listing of the 10 Myths contained in the booklet. Following that are a few facts correcting each myth.
Domestic abuse and domestic violence are rare. Not according to the department of Justice which claims 3 of every 100 American households is effected by domestic violence. According to the National Census Bureau, 3 of every 100 households adds up to approximately 37 million Americans, primarily women, who are experiencing domestic violence.
What is domestic abuse? Simply put, domestic abuse is WAR. It turns the home, which should be a sanctuary of peace and safety into a battlefield filled with destruction and misery--with the abuser waging psychological warfare, and sometimes physical warfare, against his or her victim(s).
Only women are victims of domestic abuse and/or violence. The Department of Justice figures show that men comprise 5% of domestic violence murder victims.
Studies prove that women violently abuse just as much or more than men do. Department of justice statistics do not back those studies up. As one supporter of those studies so succinctly put it, "With a U.S. population of 297 million, it's possible to cherry-pick a small, non-representative sample to prove nearly anything."
Substance abuse is a major cause of domestic violence. Although substance abuse is often used as an excuse for domestic violence, and can exacerbate and intensify incidences of abuse (and substance abusers certainly do need to address the issue), it is not the cause of domestic abuse or domestic violence. Abuse and domestic violence are inflicted on victims by those who have an excessive need for control. In the case of men against women, the root cause of abuse often stems from a deeply rooted sense of male privilege. Treatment for substance abuse will not cure domestic abuse or violence.
Anger management will prevent abusive behavior. Anger management will not cure abusive behavior, because anger is not the root cause of abuse or domestic violence. Although controlling anger is always helpful, it will not prevent recurrences of abuse if the core values of the abuser are not challenged and changed.
Submitting to the demands of an abuser will stop or prevent abuse from continuing. Not according to research. Studies have shown that the more submissive a victim is, the more likely the abuser is to continue and even increase the abuse. It is not recommended, however, to directly challenge a violent abuser.
Finding a good couple's counselor will help resolve abuse issues in a relationship. Couple's counseling will not prevent abuse. Abuse is a personal issue as well as a choice on the part of the abuser. Although abuse can cause problems in a relationship, abuse and/or domestic violence does not stem from problems in the relationship. When it comes to domestic abuse or domestic violence, the saying, “It Takes Two to Tango,” does not apply. One of the reasons couple's counseling is not recommended in the case of domestic violence, is that it increases the risk of physical violence and potential harm to the victim.
"I remember how relieved I was to get away safely after that final brutal assault. But I was completely unprepared for the devastating sense of loss I experienced. My husband, who I genuinely loved, and my marriage, along with all my hopes for it, was just… gone.
It was sudden. It was complete. And it was irrevocable. In one fell swoop, the circumstances of my life, and how I perceived those circumstances, completely changed.
In a very real sense, widowhood had descended. And I wept… and almost no one wept with me.
Yes, it is a good thing when a battered wife is finally in a safe place. That usually only happens when she is away from her husband. But few realize she has just experienced a painful amputation. And her grief is compounded by the fact that she usually has no one who can bear this burden with her..."
This is an excerpt from chapter two of, Woman Submit! Christians & "Domestic Violence."
The book is written from my personal perspective in chronicling my journey out of abuse, mapping [what was for me] uncharted territory in a landscape littered with explosives, in hopes that someone else might find my map useful.