A Cry For Justice

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

New Users’ Information

Getting Started

Our Resources page, found on the top menu, has an abundance of information regarding multiple aspects of abuse.  If you do not know where to begin we suggest the following four resources (affiliate links*).   They will give you a solid start in understanding the dynamics of domestic abuse whether you are a victim of domestic abuse or a supporter of a victim.

*A Cry for Justice: How the Evil of Domestic Abuse Hides in Your Church by Ps Jeff Crippen
*Not Under Bondage: Biblical Divorce for Abuse, Adultery and Desertion by Barbara Roberts
21 Sermon Series entitled Domestic Violence and Abuse  by Ps Jeff Crippen
*Why Does He DO That? by Lundy Bancroft

Commenting on this Blog

Confidentiality

Be mindful when making comments that this is a public blog so your children or family members may see your comments either now or in years to come.  This blog is not a like a forum where passwords are required.  For those who want a password protected forum, we have some links to FORUMS which you find by scrolling down and looking at the right hand side bar.

The blog is in some ways like a support group for survivors but without the promise of mutual confidentiality that you have in support groups where everyone promises “What is said here, stays here.”  We encourage readers to be aware of balancing risks and benefits when using a blog like this.

Also, bear in mind that on the web there is no such thing as complete immunity from hackers. We wish there were!

Submitting a Comment

You can submit a comment either anonymously, with a screen name or your real name.  When you hit the “reply” icon, a comment box appears.  Under the comment box it says “Fill in your details below/click an icon to log in:”  There are three lines:

1.  a line for your email address
2.  a line that says “name”
3.  a line that says “website”

What you write in the second line will be your “screen name” when the comment is published. You can write any name you chose in the second line.  If safety is an issue, choose a name that is not identifying. You can write pseudonym, or “Anonymous” or your real name.  It’s totally up to you. Though we don’t recommend using your full name.

Your email address will never be shown publicly on the blog; only the Administrators and Editors of A Cry For Justice will be able to see your email address from the ‘editorial back-room’ of the blog. They can also see you ISP (the internet provider you use); this is the default way WordPress works.

Your may like to read our Publishing Policy to learn about how we moderate comments.

Following Comments on a Particular Post

To be informed about new comments that come in on a post, you have to comment yourself at that post and then tick the little box that says “notify me of follow up comments via email”.
It’s quite okay to just write as your comment  “I’m ticking the box”  if that’s all you want to say. You don’t have to wax lyrical!

Commenting on Older Posts

Feel free to submit a comment to any post, no matter how old the post is.

Nesting of Comments

The blog is set to nest up to three levels of comment within a thread. Visually it looks a little like this.

THE POST ITSELF

Person A’s  comment is set to the left margin  (a level one comment)
reply

Person B comments on A’s (a level two comment)
reply

Person C comments on B’s comment  (a level three comment)
There is no ‘reply’ option after a level three comment.

Handy tip:   If you have commented on the thread and ticked the ”notify me of follow up comments via email” box, you will get an email for each new comment that comes in on that thread. If you click on the REPLY box in the email notification, your comment will be published underneath the comment you are replying to.  

If you comment at the bottom of the thread in the box where it says “Leave a Reply” your comment will be a level one comment. It will not be nested inside previous comments.

It doesn’t matter much if your comment ends up in the wrong place in a thread. But to clarify things, it’s helpful to refer to another comment by the person’s name or by quoting some of what they wrote. Readers can usually make sense of things and put two and two together. :)

We try to stay on topic in a thread, but we don’t always manage it.

Gravatars

When you submit a comment, WordPress adds a gravatar for you  – a little square box with a symmetrical colored pattern in it. These colored images are generated automatically by WordPress. Some people have a photo as their gravatar:  to do this you upload a photo to your WordPress account.

If you comment anonymously or by using a screen name rather than you real name, you may occasionally wish to submit a comment without your usual gravatar showing next to the comment. There are two ways to achieve this:

1. You can email the comment to Barb, Jeff, or TWBTC telling us which post you want it added to. So if I (Barb) add your comment on that post, it will appear with my gravatar (my photo) but I will say, “This comment was sent to me privately and I’m submitting it here on behalf of the commenter who wished to remain anonymous.” Some of our readers have done that when commenting on sexual abuse matters because they didn’t want their normal gravatar to be linked to such a personal disclosure.

2. You could create an entirely new WordPress account (call it account Y) using a different email address. WordPress will generate a different gravatar for your Y account. If normally you are logged in to your WordPress account X and comment from there by default, you would have to log out of your X Account and log in to your Y Account, then make the comment on our blog.

Language to avoid

Kindly refrain from using language that would be offensive to our readers — any word that people like school teachers would consider a swear word or a vulgar term, and use of the Lord’s name as an expletive or a simple expostulation.

Removing comments that you have made

If you want us to remove or modify any comment you have made, please email TWBTC (the woman behind the curtain) at twbtc.acfj@gmail.com and she will handle that for you.

Please give your email a descriptive subject line when emailing us. 

“Please change my comment” is not very descriptive. Neither is “From Susan.”   A descriptive subject line would be “Please change my comment on the ‘Gaslighting’ post.”  A good subject line helps us sort through our inboxes and keep track of things. And if you can give us a link to the page or post you are referring to that helps even more.

* Amazon affiliate link — ACFJ  gets a small percentage if you purchase via this link

36 Comments

  1. i am very interested in this website, can i link into it, i am currently involved in a situation where i am talking about abuse, only to discover the person i am discussing it with may also have been abused. can you advise me

    • Dear Christine, Sorry I only just saw your comment here!
      We welcome people linking to our blog. We also are happy for you to re-post our posts.

  2. However I will say to the world of bloggers in general (not you, Christine) that we have had one or two people re-post stuff from our blog onto their own blogs, and when we’ve checked their blogs we find we don’t approve of what they seem to be on about.
    We can’t stop perpetrators of abuse from re-posting our stuff, but we don’t give them any oxygen for doing so, so we trash the automatic notification that says “Re-posted on blah-de-blah-wordpress.com.”

  3. Patti

    I wish I had known then what I know now 7 years post divorce. What I have seen on this site is so right on the mark. When I tell anyone what I went through in my marriage, it even sounds unbelievable to me. Even post divorce it tooks me years to fully grasp what I experienced and the denial I had been in to deal with it. The Church and Christian friends were not helpful. They couldn’t possibly understand even while they said they did and condemned me to a life alone because I divorced. In effect, I was to be punished for my husband’s sins. I so wish I had had this site to come to then before the life within me had died. Maybe someday….

    • MeganC

      Patti — We are so glad you landed here on our blog today. I think you will find much support here from those who have walked a similar journey with you. I have to believe that the life within you had not died, or God would not have brought you here. Please stick with us . . . read with us . . . converse with us. You have a story to tell. Big hugs to you.

  4. Question: wordpress has a function where you can ‘like’ a post, but it has to be enabled, and it appears not to be enabled here, or at least, I can’t find it. Is it turned off for some reason, or am I really blind again? I would like to be able to like certain posts because then they are automatically bookmarked on my wordpress profile for me to find again.

  5. Thanks Kagi,
    I’ll ask our anon helper (who has been re-doing all our tags and categories) to look into this and see if we can get a like button up for our readers.

  6. Thanks very much to both of you for the quick attention and clarification, that was nice. I find a lot of times I don’t have a lot contribute, or what I wanted to say has already being said, but I thought this particular feature might be a tremendous help for the ones who love reading this kind of thing and would like to throw in their two cents but don’t want to leave a comment that’s basicallly ‘yeah, sure, everything they said”….in an argument or even discussion it doesn’t actually get you very far. XD

    • Jeff Crippen

      You’re welcome, Kagi.

  7. Eyesopen

    I just found this site! What a God-send to read other stories like mine. My husband of only three years hass been sexually abusing me and after reading the “why does he do that?” book and highlighting and noting examples almost every chapter, I feel as though my eyes have been opened. I am not crazy! I confronted him Friday over the phone and he is desperately trying to get me to couples counseling next week so we can work on “our” issues
    Thank you for this site

    • Hi Eyesopen, welcome to the blog! Yes, you are not crazy. We have a tag for ‘couples counseling’ if you want to read more about its dangers, but it sounds like you are well and truly aware that couples counseling is not recommended in domestic abuse because you’ve read Lundy’s wonderful book. If I had let myself use a highlighter I would have highlighted most of the text in Why Does He Do That ! So I know what you mean :)

    • Barnabasintraining

      Hi Eyesopen.

      I found Lundy’s book profoundly helpful too.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Eyesopen -and as you probably already know, couples’ counseling is not for abuse cases. It is his issue to deal with – you aren’t the problem.

  8. Joanne

    Hi there, I am new to this sight and almost lost all sense of self until I began reading the messages, by Jeff, and hearing the stories of women, who are living as I have been for 18 years. I took myself out of the relationship two months ago as things were getting worse in the home. All of the signs, thought’s of (crazy, craziness) feeling of abandonment, each day wondering, who will walk through the door, or who will wake up in the morning. My understanding of Passive/Aggressive behavior was so like my husband to a tee. With the verbal abuse, he would stand up and come towards me and I would just sit there and take it. And the emotional abuse, I can’t even start with that because it is so sick. I have never experienced anything like this. I know the one who was abused stay’s in the relationship for so many unhealthy reason’s with an abuser, and I was one. You never knew what hit you, or what’s going on. Your brain just takes you to so many places that you forget how to take care of yourself. Your taking care of this man. Placing him first in usually all things, “The Help Meet”, as his wife, you do everything you can to make it right. Yikes, little did I know what I was actually doing to myself, and what I was feeding into this
    marriage. I just didn’t understand it, but knew that something was very wrong.
    It wasn’t until my husband started to verbally attach my daughter and son in law that I knew that this will end now. There were events that were very apparent to my sister and her husband that were going on in the home. My husband was not able to control situations in the house, and when this happens he goes way off the chart. Unable to make it a better situation for him, his verbal abuse and emotional abuse became very direct towards me where he demanded that I sit on the couch and make a phone call to a family member to discuss a decision I had made that he did not like. It was like a 5 year old being yelled at by the dad for not doing his chores. VERY uncomfortable. I am 61 yrs, yup, and I took it like a little girl. So it was within the next few days that I went to prayer, as I have done all my life and asked the Lord for his Love, and comfort and direction. It was then that I asked my sister and brother in law to come over and be with me when I tell my husband that I will no longer stay in this house any longer. I am now in a place of safety, clear mind, gentle heart, calm, and being under the protection of my Lord and Savior. I am thankful for the strength that he has provided, I could not have left with out his continued love and his Holy word.

    • Dear Joanne
      It sounds like the Lord has guided you well and that circumstances have all come together like beads on a necklace, one by one, to bring you to clarity and resolution. That picture of you sitting on the couch realizing you felt so uncomfortable with your husband’s controlling and belittling treatment of you. . . that tells a thousand words. I am glad, very glad, that your sister and brother in law are supporting you. Welcome to the blog, and thank you for sharing. :)

  9. Anonymous

    Hi I just recently found multiple porn sites on husbands iphone and a couple of weeks ago we argued and in the argument he violently damaged property in our home. He has just started to act like this and the porn is getting worse. I do now want this to develop into something worse.

  10. Dear Anonymous,
    unfortunately, the situation you have described is one we hear about quite a lot. We are not professionals but those who work professionally in the domestic violence field all say that when violence has occurred once, it is likely to occur again and to become more frequent and more serious. Sometimes violence occurs only once or a few times per year, but that violence can still condition the whole relationship and keep you in an underlying state of fear.

    I understand that you don’t want it to develop into something worse. I understand that this may be the first indicator you have that your husband is practising some serious sins, and that he is entrenched in that.
    I want to affirm that porn is sinful, and when a husband is using porn it deeply hurts his wife, even if he is not pressuring her to join him in the porn consumption or exposing the other family members to it, or pressuring her to act out porn-like behavior in the bedroom. So your horror about finding the porn on his phone is a healthy response.

    I also want to suggest that you contact a domestic violence support service or advocate. The advocate can give you information about what you can do but she won’t tell you what to do: she will encourage you to make your own decisions in your own time. And she should validate and support you, without controlling you in any way. An advocate can also work with you to develop a safety plan, which is helpful even if you choose to stay in the marriage. Please do consider this idea of contacting an advocate. At least find out a phone number to call if you need to. We have hotline numbers on our Resources page (look at the top tabs on this blog). You might also like to do the online Risk Assessment called the MOSAIC METHOD ( look under ‘Safety Planning’ in our Resources).

    I hope you continue to come to our blog if you find it helpful, check out the Resources page and also check out the tags ( in the top menu) to find topics that are of interest to you.

    Hugs and love

    Barb

  11. Kathryn

    Hi! Love this site. I was in a horribly abusive marriage for 30 years. The abuse was mental, emotional, and sexual. I kept hoping for the best or that he would one day keep a promise, any promise. I knew we were roommates but I thought we were friends. He pretended to be a Christian. He doesn’t pretend anymore. He now cohabits with a married woman. Her husband is a minister.

    God put a desire in my heart for children so I sought adoption for 12 years. Then God opened the door and I adopted 4 children at birth then a 17 year old girl. The 17 yr old was my husband’s idea. And the easiest adoption I ever did. Three years after I brought her home on June 25, 2006 at 1:15 am I asked the right question. Then he told me he was having sex with her.

    The judge in the divorce didn’t care about the incest & aggravated statutory rape & gave my 4 minor children & home to him. My ex as of 10/4/10 then used child protective services & Juvenile court against me. I then went to Chancery Court & filed a motion. I was pro se for 14 months. I presented witnesses that testified that he had sex with our daughter. Sept 13, 2013, I won on my original motion but lost on my amended motion for full custody. The judge said what juvenile court did to me was wrong. Also, he told me to stop all efforts to rescue my children & be happy with what I have. He said I was just trying to get one up on him. How does a Mom stop?

    I am seeking a way to go forward as I wait for God to fulfill His promise that my children and I will be reunited without any influence from my ex. I have tried the Governor of this state along with any one that would listen. Well, they don’t really listen and I have been called many names. If anyone reading this knows someone I can contact that may help, please let me know. Please use my name and email address. I am also on fb. I have pictures of my children posted on fb. Thank you to anyone who reads this. Please remember my precious children. Kathryn

    • Jeff Crippen

      Kathryn- Thank you for telling your story. Incredibly hard. How could any court ever grant custody to an admitted child rapist? Is the age of consent only 16 in your state? If it is 18 then it is bizarre that he wasn’t prosecuted. But even apart from that, the fact that she is his adopted daughter should be enough to void any of his rights to custody. But then, that is what is right. Courts don’t always seem to know what is right.

    • Kathryn, I am appalled at the injustice you and your kids have been delivered. And not only the injustice but the comment by the judge that you stop trying to protect your children and just ‘be happy with what you have’ and his assumption that you were bent on payback rather than safeguarding your children. How outrageous! How appalling! How hurtful to you! How unfair! How untrue!

      If anyone emails us saying they have advice or tips for you, we will give them your email address.
      Here is our Legal Resources Page, but I expect you already know about the links we have on it because it sounds like you’ve turned over all stones in your fight for justice.

  12. Kathryn

    Thank you Jeff. In the divorce I was stunned that this judge did not care about the incest When I went back to Chancery after being abused in juvenile court I had another shot at the same judge, I was hoping that I could make him care about the incest. I actually did much better on my own than when I had a lawyer. I think this judge expected me to lay down. My ex’s lawyer lost to me. BUT, as I always said, she didn’t come against a little nobody, she came against a great big God. She resigned before the final hearing on Sept 13, 2013. I don’t think she liked losing. Amazing how God got me through that 14 month ordeal. In this state it is aggravated statutory rape and incest. She was 17 and he was 47. There is no statute on these crimes either. This is hard because I live it over and over and over as I seek help. I am working on a book about this called WE WERE EXPENDABLE. Again thank you for your comment.

    Thank you Barbara. I will check out the link. I may not find anything new but it might not hurt to revisit some sites. Yes Barbara, I was stunned by his comment that all I was trying to do was get one up on him. He heard my witnesses. The sheriff’s office never investigated and I gave them all the information on who knew, what they knew, and how to contact them. Three professional people that my ex confessed to, NEVER reported his crimes. Mary Ann Barlow from Hope Christian Counseling told me she didn’t report his crimes because he said he had repented. Licensed counselor, male, said it was understandable because she was young and firm. Then there was the pastor who made my ex a teacher and leader two months after my ex confessed to him. This Pastor was unknown to us until we met him so my ex could confess and get help. My ex tried to steal his church and did take some members to a home church group with him as the paid Pastor. And so it goes… I know our God has the final word. His final word will reunite me with my children and remove my ex’s negative influences. I appreciate your comments, Sometimes I have thought I was the one who was wrong and all of them are right. Y’all’s comments help me to continue the fight. TY!

  13. And your reply to my comment, Kathryn, is a very good example of how important it is, when supporting survivors, to state the obvious: you were abused, it is not your fault, those who lay blame on your are lying, and their treatment of you is outrageous. These simple messages can almost never be overstated or repeated too often.

    It’s so easy to do this once you get the hang of it. Supporting victims is actually a really easy thing to do. Listen and validate; listen and affirm; listen and honour the victim’s creative responses to the maltreatment; listen and express outrage at the injustice; listen and say “It is not your fault you are not to blame.”

    I know you know this, Kathryn; I’m saying this for others who might be reading this little thread. :) Bless you Kathryn.

  14. Kathryn Beneda

    Barbara, you are so incredibly right. I have been involved in some sort of ‘ministry’ since Jan 1979 when I dedicated my life to the Lord. I started with a bus ministry. Didn’t know that was what I was doing as I just began picking up children to take to church. When I had 11 children in my Maverick and the children complained of the tight quarters, I told them if they didn’t like it to pray for God to provide something larger. He did, a van then my church bought me a 60 passenger bus which was filled for every service. I worked at the 700 Club and God Blessed that venture taking me from a nothing position to a manager 4 steps down from Pat. Pat gave me the presidents award of excellence along with $1000 cash. First manager in history of CBN. I also had The Freedom House coffee house in Norfolk, Va. I was known at CBN as the one who took in strays. I say all this to let you know that God has Blessed me in so many ways and put me in places for Him that not many of us experience. One of the first things He taught me with this horror was to validate someones pain. That the pain life brings people should never be glossed over but always addressed and validated. Not that I didn’t do that, but I now know even more how important it is. I spend more time on that when God brings me to someone in pain. Dear, dear Barbara, you know this and it makes me cry. Thank you! My ex had 2 witnesses in court who heard that he indeed had done this to our daughter and then they still lied on the stand to protect him. Professional people. Golly GEE! I had 3 churches who had divorce recovery groups turn me away because my story was too awful. I don’t blame them, I understand. Legal Aide would not help me because I had too much sexual abuse to deal with. I still have trouble with that one. But, I can’t get bogged down in it. I keep going on for my children no matter what names I am called. No matter how many people hang up on me or tell me to stop. I know my ex is a monster. I also know the scripture, don’t ask me where it is, that says NOTHING hidden shall stay hidden, but all things shall be revealed. When it all comes to light, no one will ever be able to say I knew it and did nothing. LOL I know I go where God sends me and when people attack me they are attacking Him who sends me and He will deliver to them what He deems appropriate. I am glad I am out of that part of this. My focus is to trust Him in all I do. Even if I make a mistake I trust Him to fix it for me. Who gave me the soapbox??? Sounds like I am getting preachy. Sorry, I just know that I know. I would like for any one who reads this to know that we cannot get to far for God to reach us.
    Bless you Barbara. Thank you!

    • Thanks Kathryn.

      For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. Ecc. 12:14

      Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops. (Luke 12:1-3)

      Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household. So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. (Matt 10:21-28)

  15. anonymous

    Thank you. thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have been exploring the articles on this site that I “stumbled” upon a few days ago, and I know God directed me here because it is just what I need. I just..I cant put it into words as I sit here it tears. Thank you for your tireless work. GOD BLESS.

    • :) :) :)
      Thanks for the encouragement, Anon.

      • Anonymous

        “For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil”. Ecc. 12:14
        Luke 12:1-3
        Matt 10:21-28
        “Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.”

        Thank you for once again reminding us of God’s faithfulness amidst the confusion and turmoil. As previous Anonymous stated, “Thank you for your tireless work. GOD BLESS.”

  16. Kathryn

    Thank you! Wonderful reminders from the Word. God provides encouragement to me over and over. I found it here. I told my Mom in November, 2010 that sometimes I feel like getting in my car and leaving and not looking back. She said stay and fight for your children. Had I left, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself for betraying my children. I love this site. God Bless!

  17. anonymous

    Hope this is the right place to ask..is there a way for me to search for older posts I have commented on? thank you!

    • TWBTC

      Anonymous,
      I don’t know of any way for you to search posts that contain comments you have made, but that is something that can be done on the back-end of the blog. Please feel free to email me at twbtc.acfj@gmail.com and we’ll see if I can help you.

      • anonymous

        TWBTC, thank you! I wasn’t so much needing to find a specific post, but wondering if someone else could come on and search. Knowing they cant makes me feel better. thank you.

  18. Lyn

    Hi. I did a search on your site for word translations but couldn’t find anything specific. I’ve been doing some personal research into how specific words/concepts like “mind”, “shame”, “sin”, “forgiveness” are translated from Hebrew or Greek. I think it is important as issues that are in contention (especially related to word games abusers play), are often about interpretation, and those who take the literal meaning often don’t seem to grasp the fact that the translation can have multiple words or overlapping meanings. Is it possible to start a new thread on this? (If it is a helpful tool)

    Thanks for all the hard work you put into bringing this to light in a balanced and biblical way, it is actually hard to find sites that haven’t turned into some form of revenge advocates, or spend time bitterly attacking those who are ignorant (wilfully or not) or blind to the realities of abuse.

    these are some of the links I found helpful… [sin] http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Meditations/Chata_ah/chata_ah.html… [forgiveness] https://www.ministrymagazine.org/archive/1963/04/forgiveness-in-the-light-of-the-hebrew-language…[redeem] http://judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/11142/two-words-for-redeem-whats-the-difference… [shame] http://skipmoen.com/2014/02/25/shamed-or-ashamed/

    • Hi Lyn, while a thread on word translations might be useful, I don’t think we have time to do it at present.

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