A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Honouring Resistance – a wonderful resource for understanding abuse

Honouring Resistance: How Women Resist Abuse in Intimate Relationships (34 page PDF)  explains that every person resists abuse and that abusers choose their behavior.  (Note: the link to the PDF will take you to a page at the Calgary Women’s Shelter website.  You will need to scroll to the bottom of the page and then download the pdf for the whole publication.)

Choosing to Change is a companion document to “Honouring Resistance.”  it is a handbook for men concerned about maintaining their relationships that might be threatened by abusive behaviour towards those they love.

Both these booklets are produced by the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter  Canada, and can be downloaded from their site for free.

We have had a link to publications from the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter on our Resources Page for some time, but I thought it would be good to highlight Honouring Resistance in a special post, because I think it’s such an excellent resource. It gives a victim’s story of domestic abuse, and then explains all the ways she resisted the abuse. Victims find that when they look at their experience from the framework of how they resisted the abuse, rather than the “effects” the abuse had on them, it can be very empowering.

And when supportive family or friends view the victim’s story through the lens of resistance, rather than the lens of “effects”, they understand her much better and are able to support her more effectively. I would guess this would apply to supportive pastors too.

Now I’d like to throw this open for you comments. Please tell us and our readers what you think of Honouring Resistance .
(and by the way, honouring does have a “u” because the document comes from Canada and they spell like us Aussies! )


  1. no name please

    That was a wonderful piece in Honoring Resistance!! So close to home! Thank you!


  2. Just last night I watched a replay of a tv show. In the story, two different people slid a knife into the back of someone’s neck and killed the person silently. In my first marriage, my husband repeatedly told me how he could kill someone instantaneously and silently, and nobody would ever know how it happened. He had learned this in military training. He told me this story when I objected to things he wanted me to do. Needless to say, it was a terrfying thought. I could be killed, nobody would know he had done it, and my children would be left to whatever he wanted to ask of them. I became compliant and submissive over the years. One day God gave me the courage and strength to leave, but only after my children had grown up and had safe homes of their own. I could only leave when they would not be left defenseless. I have never regretted that departure.
    My husband never demonstrated that he could pull off this maneuver, but as I watched that movie last night, I though about the threat that hung over my head for 26 years as I reared my children to adulthood, waiting and hoping and praying for the day when I could safely run away from this threat. I did a lot of things during those years that were shameful and humiliating. I accepted a lot of insults and abuse that I did not deserve. I was a complete sham, putting on an act for a lot of people. I am deeply gratefull that one day God told me it was time to go, and God went with me through the whole experience, leading me to a new relationship with a good man who treats me with respect and love. It is wonderful to go to sleep at night without fear.


    • Dear Qathy, what a story! I imagine you might have had quite a few emotions running through you as you watched that movie and reflected on your marriage. And I’m so glad you eventually got free – thanks be to God – and have found a loving relationship. Women who are married to men who have had military training can have a whole other layer and twist on their experience of abuse. I have heard of a woman who was married to a man who had received the best sniper training the world has to offer. Her experience was somewhat similar to yours. I hope you have recovered well from that trauma. Thanks for commenting on our blog and sharing your story.


  3. no name please

    Exactly, Jeff,” true Christians should be able to work the thing out themselves”


  4. M&M

    http://www.calgarywomensshelter.com/learn—publications-2 “Respecting & Listening to Victims of Violence” is also great for understanding victims. However, the scariest part about that document is the true story where a guy was normal for 15 years and then turned abusive. It’s less shocking to hear that some guy was abusive from the start and more shocking to hear that anyone anywhere could turn abusive without warning. I’m sure that’s the exception rather than the norm and that most good people stay good……but the exception is scary!!!!


    • Wow, thanks M&M !

      I haven’t been aware of that publication before, but anything that comes from Calgary Womens Shelter would be excellent!


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