Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Are Good Parents Losing Custody to Abusers?

 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. 

Research indicates that that custody litigation can become a vehicle whereby batterers and child abusers attempt to extend or maintain their control and authority over their victims after separation. 

Although, research has not found a higher incidence of false allegations of child abuse and domestic violence in the context of custody/visitation, officers of the court tend to be unreasonably suspicious of such claims and that too often custody decisions are based on bad science, misinterpretation of fact, and evaluator bias. As a result, many abused women and their children find themselves re-victimized by the justice system after separation. 

~~ Stephanie Dallam

Friday, August 20, 2021

Trigger alert for the book: Woman Submit! Christians & Domestic Violence


 As the title says, this book is written by a Christian author for Christians experiencing domestic violence or abuse [and for those they are most likely to turn to for help]. So, there is plenty of Bible in it

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.

Woman Submit! Christians & Domestic Violence: Andersen, Jocelyn: 9780979429309: Amazon.com: Books

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Separation and Divorce


Excerpt from Chapter 7 of, Woman Submit!. "My Journey from Fear to Peace:"

"...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.

    Did that understanding solve the problems within my marriage? No. Did I immediately run out and file for divorce? To my family’s dismay, no, I did not. It took some time for me to grasp the fact that I had to let go of the wheel. I had to give up control. I had to stop trying to figure everything out.

    Is that a surprising statement coming from one who was trying to escape being controlled? It shouldn’t. Everyone has to have some sense that they are in control of some portion of their lives. One of my ways of feeling in control of that chaotic situation was by not admitting defeat. I simply refused to give up. I was constantly trying to figure out ways to fix things. I was even using prayer to try and control the situation. That was wrong.

   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:"


 A book that saves lives.

Woman Submit! Christians & Domestic Violence: Andersen, Jocelyn: 9780979429309: Amazon.com: Books

Monday, August 16, 2021

Marriage, Divorce, and Re-Marriage Among Christians

 Guest post by gifted speaker,  minister, and advocate Loes Tam:


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.

 Loes Tam is a minister of the gospel blessed with ministry opportunities in the Philippines, Malaysia, Myanmar, India, and more.  She is relentless in her 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. 

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Debunking 10 Myths About Domestic Violence and Custody Issues


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. 


1.) Domestic violence is rare among custody litigants
 2.) ill effects of domestic violence on children are minimal and short term 
3.) Mothers frequently invent allegations of child sexual abuse in order to win custody 
4.) Domestic Violence has nothing to do with child abuse 
5.) Abusive fathers don't get custody 
6.) Fit mothers don't lose custody 
7.) Parental Alienation Syndrome is a scientifically sound phenomenon 
8.) Children are in less danger from a batterer once the parents separate 
9.) Parents who batter are mentally ill, or parents with no evidence of mental illness cannot be batters. 10.) If a child demonstrates no fear or aversion to a parent, there is no reason not to award custody or unsupervised visitation

1.) According to the S. L. Keilitz National Center for State Courts, up to 50% of disputed custody cases involve domestic violence
2.) Even without myriads of studies proving the ill effects of domestic violence on children, common sense dictates that domestic violence would have devastating effects on the healthy development of any child
3.) There will always be those who lie and abuse the legal system in order to gain personal advantage, but some evangelical political activists in tandem with male supremist groups and abuser advocates, propagate the unsubstantiated claim that millions of women lie about domestic violence and child sexual abuse in order to gain advantage in divorce/custody situations. The substantiated facts of the matter are these, that where false allegations are concerned, fathers are far more likely to make intentionally false accusations than mothers. The truth is that false allegations are no more common in divorce or custody disputes than at any other time.
4.) Domestic violence is child abuse! Anger and violence are terrifying to anyone subjected to them. Can anyone argue that it is abusive to create such an environment in a home with children? In addition to common sense, studies have shown a strong correlation between domestic violence and child abuse.
5.) Abusive fathers are far more likely to seek sole custody than non-abusive ones...and according to the American Judges Foundation, they are successful about 70% of the time.
6.) Mothers who are victims of domestic violence are often depressed and suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. As a result, they frequently present poorly at court, to custody evaluators, and best interest attorneys.
7.) The American Psychological Association rejects PAS (Parental Alienation Syndrome) as lacking data support. The official position of the APA on PAS is that it is an unscientific concept.
8.) Batterers are often more strongly motivated to control and abuse through the children after separation or divorce due to loss of other methods.
9.) Psychological testing cannot always distinguish between a batter and a non-batterer. The sad truth is that men who are batters, often test normally in psychological testing--a case in point would be Darren Mack who tested normally in psychological evaluations during divorce proceedings between him and his wife, Charlotte. He was administered these tests on advice from abuser advocate DEAN TONG, because during the proceedings his wife claimed to be frightened of him. It turns out Charlotte Mack’s fears were justified. One year later, Darren stabbed her to death. Mack is also charged with shooting the Judge who was handling their case—unless they have been updated, so much for the validity of tests purporting to reveal propensity for domestic in men. In truth, mental illness is found in only a minority of batterers.
10.) Children of batterers or children who are being abused often show no outward fear or aversion to the offending parent. In fact, most of time they demonstrate just the opposite. Traumatic Bonding and Stockholm Syndrome are common but unhealthy survival techniques used by children of batters or child sexual abusers.

Christians should be leading the charge in protecting women and children who are victims of domestic violence and a hostile family court system. Reading this booklet, published in 2006 by the American Bar Association is a good start.

The book, Woman Submit! Christians & Domestic Violence, is available free with Kindle Unlimited. Gifting print copies to church libraries, spiritual leaders, police departments, and shelters is a great way to participate in Domestic Violence Awareness month in October. But why wait for October when three women will die today from DV, and another three will die tomorrow, and another three....  

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Myth-understandings about Domestic Violence & Abuse

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.

 The book, Woman Submit! Christians & Domestic Violence, is available free with Kindle Unlimited. Gifting print copies to  spiritual leaders and shelters is a great way to participate in Domestic Violence Awareness month in October. But why wait for October when three women will die today from DV, and another three tomorrow, and another three....   

Monday, August 09, 2021

Why would a battered wife grieve the loss of an abuser?


   "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.