A Cry For Justice

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

How Cowardice Enables Abusers

The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:7-8)

No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. (Joshua 1:5-7)

Evil must be named. Abusers must be exposed and called to give account. Victims must be believed and protected. The cry of the oppressed must be heard. And all of this requires — courage. Why?  Because those who stand with the oppressed and against the wicked will become the evil man’s enemy and thus a target for his wicked tactics. Most of our readers know this full well. Just tell an abuser “no” or draw some boundary with him, and watch the fangs come out.

The enemy of courage is, of course, cowardice. As you can see from the Scriptures quoted above, the Lord does not take kindly to cowards. In fact, you cannot enter the kingdom of Christ if you are a coward. Cowards will not be found in the New Heavens and Earth. Cowards are grouped by the Lord along with the faithless, the detestable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and liars. The whole batch of them are headed for hell unless they repent and turn in faith to Christ. In contrast, Joshua was courageous. He courageously obeyed God’s Word. He courageously led God’s people against the enemy and by faith took possession of the inheritance. He was very courageous. He was a man of faith.

Lately I have seen courage and cowardice in action. Sadly, more cowardice than courage. One of the chief reasons that pastors, church leaders, church members and Christians in general quite consistently fail the abuse victim is simply and bluntly put — they are cowards. They are not willing to pay the price of standing for righteousness. Are they Christians at all? Time will tell, but apart from eventually repenting of cowardliness, well, as for the cowardly, their portion is in the lake that burns with fire. True religion, true Christianity, says James, is:

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. (James 1:27)

Cowardice permits the wicked to flourish. It stands by when it should run to. It hesitates when action is called for. It remains silent when it is time to speak. Cowardice, you see, does not trust in Christ. Cowardice refuses to take up its cross and follow the Lord. Cowardice is evil and it allies itself with the wicked. Cowardice denies Christ, and this is what Jesus has to say about that:

So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.
(Matthew 10:32-33)

Cowardliness is the fertile soil of evil. Cowards permit the wicked to take root and grow. In any human society, wicked men will inevitably come along seeking power and control for their own self-glory. Unless Christ’s people courageously stand against this kind, the oppressor will take the reigns of power and enslave others.

I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church. Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God. (3 John 1:9-11)

“I will bring up what he is doing.” There it is. John names names. John openly writes to the whole church — nowadays he would hit “reply all” so everyone could see it — and announce that Diotrephes is doing evil and must be called to account. Cowards don’t do this. Cowards remain silent. Cowards let Diotrephes take over and lead Christ’s flock astray. Many, many local churches have long ago failed to do battle when battle was necessary and the whole church now remains under the evil power of Diotrephes.

Cowardice fosters abusers and their evil. Cowardice throws victims to the wolves. Cowardice claims that Christians must always be “nice and loving” when they long ago distorted the biblical notion of love into some monstrosity Christ knows nothing of. Cowardice refuses to acknowledge the real nature of the wicked, insisting that they are just “misguided brothers in Christ.” The cowardly are quite happy to sit back and let others shed blood doing battle with evil, not having to pay a price themselves, all the time quite ready to give “advice” and “criticism” to those who are actually in the frontline trenches.

Cowards will not inherit the kingdom of God. A Day is coming when we will never have to see them again.

43 Comments

  1. a prodigal daughter returns

    What a powerful message. A sociopath is defined by their lack of empathy. I marvel at the lack of empathy that allows a leader or a person in a position of authority to give a tepid or indifferent response to someone reporting abuse. Worse, some of them actively support the batterer, active support involves nothing when you know about the abuse and are in a position to step in but won’t. I believe that the cowardly are expressing the darkness in their own faithless heart and they are an accessory to a crime.

    Why is it a sin? It takes faith to expose and stand against abuse in a culture of silence. Faith that God will protect you from the blow back of saying no to evil among all those that say yes to it. Faith that God’s opinion is more important than mans–the coward reveals their faithlessness. In fact, they shouldn’t be in a pulpit when they are so faithless. This is what God says about “shepherds” or ministers that don’t take care of the people in their congregation

    Jeremiah 23:2 Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for and feed My people: You have scattered My flock and driven them away and have not visited and attended to them; behold, I will visit and attend to you for the evil of your doings, says the Lord.

  2. Timely post here as I have been considering cowardice the past few days. I find I, myself, was a coward (and still am to a degree). I ALLOWED the nonsense in my home. I was weak to stand against it because of fear. I did take a stand on many occasions only to be pushed back and silenced with more fear and intimidation from my ex. I finally gave in to feeling I would not be heard and my stands against what I felt was wrong would only bring more wrath. So I shut up. I shut down. I watched from the sidelines and did nothing. Inside I was angry and full of frustration at the idea that I couldn’t do anything. I was locked in by my marriage vows to have to stay and put up with it. I recall my then husband actually calling me a coward just before I left. He said I didn’t have the balls to leave him. (pardon the spicy word…it was the one he used)

    I blame myself for not taking action. I could have called the police or even left way sooner than I did. But I didn’t out of fear. FEAR, YOU SUCK. I HATE YOU! You have no place in my life.

    I am learning I have to fight my battles. I can’t keep hoping some knight in shining armor is going to come and save me. I have to be involved. I posted recently about David fighting Goliath. He had an army of Israelities (GROWN MEN/MOST LIKELY TRAINED SOLDIERS) around him who could have taken the challenge, but he put them all to shame as a young boy who had enough faith that God would give him the victory. He took action trusting God. God brought the victory.

    I was NOT a David in my home. I was an Israelite “soldier,” fearful, cowering, waiting for SOMEONE ELSE to fight my battle for me. I was a bystander watching as evil happened in front of me. I shouted back insults and curses to my Goliath, but would not hold my ground with him. I consistently retreated in defeat with a weaker resolve to face the giant the next time.

    When I left my marriage and walked through divorce, I forced myself, scared and shaking in my shoes, to go get legal help and counseling. The voice of my accuser was strong and loud and scary. But the voice of TRUTH was my comfort and encouragement. I had people who offered to go with me to court, etc. I allowed it a couple of times, but I made myself go alone in the end. I was facing my fears and doing it afraid. Mostly afraid that God would punish me for breaking my vow to Him.

    I have not conquered fear, but I am learning how to master it with Jesus on my arm. He says:

    FEAR NOT FOR I AM WITH YOU
    DO NOT BE DISMAYED FOR I AM YOUR GOD
    I WILL STRENGTHEN YOU, I WILL HELP YOU
    I WILL UPHOLD YOU WITH MY RIGHTEOUS RIGHT HAND

    Isaiah 41:10

    God is our protector. We need to first and foremost depend on him. The church, our families, our friends, and the law are our earthly allies. I think we have to seek our fearless strength first and foremost from God. These other sources are our reinforcements in the battle. My tendency was to let others do the battling for me while I observed from the back row. God is showing me I need to be a front row fighter in my battles. In a book I am currently reading the author says there can be no progress without confrontation.

    On another note, this understanding has only come to me after a year of being out of my situation. But if I can impart this to anyone still in the struggle, it will certainly help you. There will most likely be no knight in shining armor who comes to your rescue. You will surely have to play a part in your liberation, and you will have to do it afraid. Standing your ground is a terrifying thing when you have been under oppression for so long. No doubt. But remember, if you are a believer in Christ, HE is with you. You are NOT alone. You do have a choice and a voice and a might resource in JESUS!

    Without faith it is impossible to please God. I am finding that fear is the absence of faith. I have been a weak-faithed Christian. I am so thankful the Lord is enlightening me to show much about myself. It’s not fun, but it’s good for me, and I am growing and coming in to the Light and newness of life. Hebrews 11:6 Without faith it is impossible to please God.

    • Wow what a powerful comment Freeatlast8 🙂

    • a prodigal daughter returns

      Thank you for this great post about getting courage. A strategy of some abusers is to create a sense of hopeless helplessness. Mine had me frequently questioning my sanity as I grew smaller and weaker. I turned to the “knight in shining armor” at least in my view at that time, without discernment that I’d just landed in a predatory system of “help”. It wasn’t and further convinced me that something was terribly, horrible wrong with me. Some churches do this, some mental health systems do this. When a friend held a mirror to my face and said “see this woman? she is very powerful” things began to shift. She told me “they are scared of you telling the truth, you terrify them” I began to understand that the truth roars, it cannot be stopped even if for a time it may appear to be submerged beneath the lies
      There comes a day when a former victim sees their abuser for what he is, small, weak, powerless. In reality, for believers, the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in us, this is unlimited power to expose darkness. However, ignoring the indifference, the accusations of those that benefit from the lies of abusers calls for great courage. Fortunately God can supply this. May we live in courage, speak in courage, inspire courage

      • There comes a day when a former victim sees their abuser for what he is, small, weak, powerless.

        This reminds me of Isaiah 14:13-17

        You said in your heart,
        ‘I will ascend to heaven;
        above the stars of God
        I will set my throne on high;
        I will sit on the mount of assembly
        in the far reaches of the north;
        I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
        I will make myself like the Most High.’

        But you are brought down to Sheol,
        to the far reaches of the pit.
        Those who see you will stare at you
        and ponder over you:
        ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble,
        who shook kingdoms,
        who made the world like a desert
        and overthrew its cities,
        who did not let his prisoners go home?’

        I added the bolding for ‘this’ because that’s how I always hear that passage in my head.

      • Still Reforming

        a prodigal daughter returns,

        This is powerful what you wrote here. I believe there is much truth in it. Thank you.

        I have found that the (US) legal system (in addition to some churches and mental health systems as you cited) in my case at least to also be a predator. I am learning, however, as I did with stbx, how to stand up to that as well.

      • Jayne

        Thanks ….

    • Jayne

      Lots of insights to ponder there that others can glean from. You have blessed me

  3. KayE

    Thank you for speaking the truth so strongly and clearly. It is a bright light in the darkness.
    As Freeatlast8 says, there won’t be any knights in shining armor, and usually the victim alone has to find the courage to stand up to an abuser. All the same, no victim should feel bad about not being able to contend with an abuser. Sometimes that’s not cowardice, it’s wisdom, needed to stay safe.
    The people who are really cowards are the ones who sit comfortably in their pews and pulpits and turn their faces away from others who are oppressed and suffering.They are not just innocent bystanders, because the abusers could not operate without their silence.

    • The people who are really cowards are the ones who sit comfortably in their pews and pulpits and turn their faces away from others who are oppressed and suffering.They are not just innocent bystanders, because the abusers could not operate without their silence.

      ^ That!

      • Scarlett

        I have seen that cowardice and collusion first hand, when the entire church threw a 13 yr old boy under the bus after it was discovered he was molested by their “youth minister”. That’s when I lost total confidence and respect for the church…including the pastor, who did nothing but allowed the pervert right back into his “ministry”. which allowed him to continue on molesting other teens.

      • Jeff Crippen

        Scarlett: That kind of cowardice is thoroughly evil. We have heard reports just like yours over and over again. Such places simply cannot be true churches

      • Scarlett

        I know Jeff, and I have heard so many stories similar to it myself, and that’s why I started my blog, Spiritual Abuse Sanctuary. Thank God though, because of blogs like “A Cry for Justice”, the word is getting out, and has proven a godsend for the abused who now have a voice, whereas before they suffered along. God bless ya!

    • HisBannerOverMeIsLive

      Thank you for this.

      • Dear HisBanner
        We will need to disidentify several things in your latest comment before we pubish it. And I don’t have time to do that yet. But please let me encourage you to stop listening to and reading things from all those other ministries and ‘c’hristian people who DO NOT GET IT about abuse (Focus on the Family, New Life Ministries, the women in your church, etc.) Every thing they say to you just puts you into more confusion and self-doubt.

        Their advice is not right for domestic abuse situations. They are naive, ignorant, silly, and foolish when it comes to domestic abuse — and therefore what they are saying is dangerous for victims of abuse.

        I urge you not to blame yourself for having confided things to those people who do not properly know how to help a victim of domestic abuse.

        Instead, I encourage you to focus on not reading their drivel from now on and not listening to them from now on. I suggest you just focus on reading the stuff we recommend at this blog and seeking support from victim/survivors who REALLY get it. And if you want to, also seek support from professional domestic abuse workers in the secular field. Have you ever considered contacting your local women’s centre that specialises in domestic abuse? They are usually a lot better at this stuff than the vast majority of Christians are.

        We do not judge you for disclosing and confiding to people who turned out to be unsafe. All of us have probably done that kind of thing ourselves. You are not alone here. 🙂

  4. AMEN!!!

    • I am so convicted to speak out. My voice is only just returning after becoming so weak and quiet under the abuse. I pray for a voice to speak out against evil. A voice as strong, unwavering, and respected as a lion’s roar–and the discernment to know when to use it.

      I will make a confession, one small act of rebellion against anti was to write “coward” on the back of the tag of his favorite tee shirt before I packaged his things up. I don’t know what prompted my doing that, but it certainly is who he chooses to be.

      Praise God for the spirit of courage He grants us when we are His!!! Even when we despair He knows how to kindle the flames in our hearts. ❤

      • Writing ‘coward’ on the tag was a bit like Nathan’s confronting David. Nothing wrong with pointing out a sinner’s sin, when done judiciously. Maybe God will use that little word to prick his conscience. Though what he does when his conscience is pricked is of course his choice. . . and we have a fair idea what that will be. . .

      • Yes, I imagine him folding that shirt years from now, the word coward suddenly piercing his conscience and the past rushing back. Maybe it will hit him before he can dodge the pain…because the pain he caused me hurt him too–he’s just unable to feel it on the spiritual drug called pride.

        Thank you for your encouragement, Barbara! You are an inspiration and a model of courageous, bold-in-the-Lord womanhood. 🙂 Your presentation of scripture helped to lift the fog of confusion after anti left me so abruptly.

  5. I just wrote this on another thread but since this thread is also about cowardice I’m putting it here too.

    I watched an incredibly inspiring program on TV last night. It was a documentary about Kurdish soldiers who are fighting ISIS. I’ve known for years that hard-line Islamist teaching says that when men die in jihad, they are guaranteed 70 dark eyed virgins in Paradise. But I learned something new from this doco:

    The ISIS fighters believe that if in battle they are killed by a woman they do not get this blesssing in Paradise. This means that when faced with female Kurdish soldiers, the ISIS fighters actually flee! The documentary showed some captured ISIS soldiers saying that.

    The following is copied from http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2015/04/27/4222860.htm

    Meet the women taking up arms against Islamic State.

    “We are ISIS’s nightmare.” Ahin, female Kurdish guerrilla

    “They should fear me… What I have and they don’t is a purpose worth fighting for… I’m here to protect my existence.” Zozan, female Kurdish guerrilla

    These highly effective female fighters are taking on Islamic State forces in northern Iraq and Syria as part of the Kurdish guerrilla army.

    No Free Steps to Heaven [is] a film that takes you right into the conflict zone as these women take charge during tense fire fights.

    Through the camera of Israeli film-maker Itai Anghel, we meet young women giving up any prospect of a normal life to train and fight in tough conditions.

    Sitting fireside at night in the mountains, 20-year-old Zozan says: “I am fighting to live, they are fighting to die.”

    Then there’s newly trained Ahin on her way to join two siblings on the frontline. Anghel asks if she is afraid of ISIS. Her reply: “On the contrary they are afraid of us.”

    These female guerrillas also engage in psychological warfare. As they go into battle they taunt the ISIS fighters, who believe dying in combat will lead them to heaven and 72 virgins, but not if they are killed by a woman.

    NO FREE STEPS TO HEAVEN, reported by Itai Anghel and presented by Kerry O’Brien, went to air on Monday 27th April at 8.30pm on ABC Television (Australia). It is replayed on Tuesday 28th April at 10.00am and Wednesday 29th April at midnight (Eastern Australia Time). It can also be seen on ABC News 24 on Saturday at 8.00pm, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners

    • Lost

      Wow…these women! They are armed truth and fearlessness and these viscous cowards flee exposed like rats in the light. What strength and resilience. Who trains them?

      Sitting fireside at night in the mountains, 20-year-old Zozan says: “I am fighting to live, they are fighting to die.”

      Yes, I believe the same can be said of facing abusers, their many allies, and the “judicial” system.

  6. Round*Two

    If a pastor testifies against a youth pastor who was molesting boys in a youth group, that would make that pastor a hero? But, that very same pastor knew his own son was abusing his wife, that makes that pastor? To this day he is still enabling his son, my stbx…

  7. Round*Two

    From what I was told that event of that youth pastor happened
    about 10 years ago. fYI.

  8. Still Reforming

    Thank you, Pastor Jeff, for this encouragement. I’m finding – as I imagine you have time and again – that courage often finds itself standing alone. Or so it feels at times. Of course, we are not truly alone.

  9. twbtc

    I am submitting this comment on behalf of an anonymous reader. Thank you!!

    “And many of these women, after the LORD God lifts the fog created by their abusers, courageously take the step to escape, rescue their children, and charge forward through a maze of legal and ecclesiastical challenges. The battles are raging, and yet our Savior leads and guides them and provides for all their needs. These are some of the courageous believers, of whom the weak and cowardly are not worthy.”

  10. Anonymous

    We need to keep in mind that fear itself is not cowardness and in fact the ability to FEEL fear is necessary in order to come to the Lord. Psalm 19:9 “The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever.”

    There’s a video on YouTube titled “The Psychopath Next Door,” and in it they interview Dr. Robert Hare who explains that people who have no conscience learn from a very early age to identify people who can feel fear because people can be contolled and maniplated by their fears. When I was thinking about this it occured to me that those people who have the ability to feel fear ALSO have that oh-so-necessary thing that separates us from those without a conscience–the ability to love God and others.

    That’s what’s so incredible about standing up against evil and injustice for those of us who feel fear–we do right even though we may be afraid. How amazing is this? Here we are , in many cases, emotionally destroyed yet we still stand up, try to escape, try to help others and we do it while we are still afraid! “Perfect love drives out fear.” Notice that God tells us here that he knows that we have fear but that he will drive that fear out. That HE will do this and as we stand up to evil we will start to build a solid history, a strong relationship with God so that when we come up against our latest foe we can look back at our lives and know that we CAN trust in the Lord, that he has put us here in order to show once again that he is good, that he loves us individually, and even perhaps to drive out a stronghold of evil. (Keep this in mind as you become stronger in Him, that he may be sending you in to defeat an evil regime because he desires to help you and others through his strength and with his love.)

    Those without a conscience don’t feel fear, not in any significant way and they NEVER feel fear on behalf of others. Think about this. They don’t fear for thier childrens emotional or spiritual well-being, or for the neighbor we can’t shovel the driveway and therefore leave to pickup a prescription , or fear for someone who is in danger of losing their home due to an accident that’s left them disabled. The ability to fear and to love are fundamental and necessary in order to serve the Lord but they are also the traits evil ones use to exploit us so we need to learn how to guard our hearts an our minds in the Lord. This website is a great place to start because it talks about hidden evil and teaches us how to drive it out. Thank you again Jeff for giving us a place to write this.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Good stuff, Anonymous. Right on.

  11. loves6

    Am I cowardice?

    Last week I comfronted my husband on the situation that happened at the hotel. He was dropping me off somewhere and was complaining about a certain friendship and likened it to how bad his marriage is. I took the opportunity to tell him what he did was disgusting and I was still reeling with anxiety from it.

    He was very annoyed at me and said … What did I do? …. Duh?! Really? I thought. He drove off in a huff. Later that day he dropped in to work with a coffee for me… Feeling sorry for himself … I said nothing, except for thanks and bye.

    That night he apologized … 1am actually. I Then took the opportunity to tell him I needed to separate. I said I needed space either he had to go or I was going to go with the kids. Nothing more has been said the past week about this. He is being very nice… Kind sweet loving…wants to give me a kiss goodbye (yuk) … He is going the extra mile, cleaning up outside and doing certain things inside the house, nothing major but things he knows annoy me.

    Thing is I feel like the wind has gone from my sails. I was ready to go. I had found somewhere to go, I had been to see an abuse Organisation last week. I have options and a lawyers name. Am I a coward? Am I now being a coward because he is being nice?

    One of my kids are saying I have to leave and what my husband has done is not ok. He is annoyed at me that I’m not moving. I feel stuck. I feel like I cannot move … I hate that I’m feeling like this!!

    • Dear Loves6
      what your abuser is doing is TYPICAL of what abusers do when they know the game is up and their target is about to leave. They play nice.

      His playing nice is deliberately calculated to take the wind out of your sails.

      But stand back a minute and think Big Picture. He denied anything was wrong about the big incident of abuse he recently did to you. Therefore, he is not reforming. Not changing at all from his abusive ways. His ‘nice’ ways now are just another facet of his abuse: he is trying to manipulate you into changing your mind and backing down so he can keep you under his roof and under his control.

      You are free to leave, whether he’s being ‘nice’ or ‘nasty’.

      Why let his conduct determine your choices?

      I don’t think you are so much being cowardly, as being sucked back into self-doubt and second-guessing …. because of his crafty attempts to manipulate you.

      only you can really answer the question how much your present frame of mind is cowardly.

      But whether you are being cowardly or not may not be important to discover right now. I suggest you consider this: Maybe it is more important right now to stop trying to work out whether or to what extent you are in some way wrong (i.e. being ‘wrong’ by being cowardly) and instead take your eyes off your own defects (real, imagined, or exaggerated) and put your eyes on planning for and executing your plan for a life of safety and wellbeing in the long term.

      hugs to you

    • Jeff Crippen

      Just give it a bit of time, loves6. Abuser operate in a cycle. The abuse will come round again.

    • Moving Forward

      I think I understand the mental struggles when nice follows mean. Sometimes you have to do what needs to be done, like leave, even if feelings, which cannot be trusted, are responding to the temporary reprieve. I think it is important that you follow through on what you said, that you need space, you need to separate. Think of how you are responding to his advances; its not good. Once you are gone, you will find out where he really is at. Even if nice continues for a while after, give it the test of time. As stated, chances are strong that mean will surface again. I have followed your trials and struggles, and my heart aches for you. I know about the second guessing, but it is time. Let God show you what He has for you! I, too, have had a horribly stressful event with stbx, which he refuses to acknowledge my feelings on at all. That is hard, but God has been faithful, and now that we are separate, the reminders of that awful morning are not being constantly triggered by his presence and actions. It is worth it, hard as it may be. Your child knows; I believe in considering their health and well-being, too. I pray you soon have peace and space.

      • loves6

        MovingForward thank you… and thank you for taking to heart my struggles.

        I have been thinking today how I just have to go anyway. A part of me feels excited about the freedom. A huge part of me is fearful. God has made a way and I can see what he wants me to do. I think one of my struggles is that I love my home, the comforts of my home and I’m struggling with having to give it up because my husband won’t leave.

        I can get emergency housing where my children and I can stay. I can then decide if I then will have an order of occupation of the house sent to my husband through the courts. I have some big decisions to make. I also have a place I can stay in with the kids….free of charge. I have a few things to organize to get to stay there.

        When my husband is in a nice place life is bitter sweet… bitter because I’m still reeling from all of the abuse I have suffered and sweet because I’m not walking on eggshells quite as badly.

        One thing a friend challenged my on today is how I am an honest straight up person but with my husband I have stopped speaking up. I have done this, I don’t challenge him like I did last year….I’ve lost my fight it seems or I don’t care or I’m numb I’m not sure.

      • I can get emergency housing where my children and I can stay. I can then decide if I then will have an order of occupation of the house sent to my husband through the courts.

        Loves6, you’ve probably already canvassed this option so forgive me if I’m telling you what you already know. Since your jurisdiction allows you to apply for an order of occupation through the courts, could you apply for this right up front, now, rather than go into temporary alternative accommodation leaving your abuser in the home? If he is in the family home on his own he has free reign to trash it and all the items in it. Just an idea.

        Where I live, in Victoria Australia, it is possible to apply for a protection order which as part of its conditions bars the offender from the home. That way the victim can stay in the home, and the abuser is made to leave. Have you asked your local DV support service whether this can be done in your case?

        Some abusers of course will not respect the conditions of a protection order at all and if the victim remains in the family home the abuser knows where she is and regardless of how the order forbids him to come within so many metres of that address, he comes anyway and threatens/ attacks/ damages/ intimidates, etc. For cases like that, it is safer for the victim to leave and go into hiding for a while in a safe house (high security refuge) where it’s harder for the perpetrator to track her down. But some abusers do have a fear of the courts and are thus more restrained by an order and less likely to breach it by coming back to the home to attack/intimidate the victim.

        Not sure what type your abuser is, but your local DV support service could help you assess this by doing a personalised risk assessment and safety plan with you. 🙂

      • Still Reforming

        loves6,

        When I researched options in initial interviews of attorneys, one mentioned a “motion for temporary relief” (read: court orders the guy out of the house) which can be filed when one petitions for divorce. I don’t know your exact situation and particulars so I don’t know if that would make sense for you, but it’s one of the reasons I retained that attorney at the time. I wanted that relief.

        These motions, however can take time being delivered and then getting before a judge. In the end, it was my husband who left us and filed the initial petition for divorce (aka “dissolution of marriage” as it is now referred to), and on the paperwork it showed that from the time of his signing the petition to the time of delivery to me via sheriff’s deputy, it took one full month. That can be a lot of time in a situation of abuse.

        If you end up making inquiries with attorneys you could ask about that motion and/or time frames. Maybe it’s possible to get these things sped up in your case.

      • loves6

        Hi Barb I can get a protection order, day to day care of my children order, possession order (get my possessions) , occupation order.
        My husband would not respect a protection order. He would stalk me. He doesn’t respect authority. .. never has. He fears nothing except for losing me.
        It would be easier on the kids if he left.
        I need to see a lawyer next week… this is a scary thought.

        The local DV place said they could get me into a safe refuge. Three of my older children now know some of what I’m dealing with. One child said if dad hits you stay with us… sadly this child doesn’t see that I’m dealing with other forms of abuse … he thinks dad is being a man sexually and just needs to get help with it. I don’t agree.
        Two of my other older kids are feeling protective of me and if my husband hassled me they would deal with it or I’m would have to call the police.
        My husband would be in total shock and devastation when served orders by a baliff. He wouldn’t believe I would go to that extent of getting him out if my life.

      • I’m glad you’ve researched your options and found out what orders you can get, Loves6.

        None of this is easy, eh? (understatement of the year 😦 )

        One last suggestion/reminder, if you do get a protection order, it’s important to report any and all breaches of the order to the police. That way you are giving the police all the information they need to pursue the abuser.

        And yes, it will be a ‘shock’ to your husband, whatever you do in regards to leaving/ getting orders against him / having him put out of the house / or whatever combination of things you choose to do in the quest for your freedom from abuse.

        But the ‘shock’ to him will be nothing compared to the shocks you have suffered year after year from his violating your boundaries.

      • Round*Two

        Please, loves6, when you get your protection order , do not make the same mistake I made. I dropped the protection order and I’m told because I did drop it, it will be even harder to get another one, even more so, because stbx has not been harrassing me (thank God for that!). But my understanding is he has been lurking in FB of friends and relatives.
        As I mentioned in another post, I dropped the restraining order, that was a mistake I made. I was trusting and believing my stbx loved me and wanted to reconcile, but he had his own agenda!
        I just wanted to inform you of my situation… the more we know about abusers tactics the more empowered the ‘target’ becomes against these tactics…

      • I hope someone reads this ASAP.

        This morning I woke up to an emotionally stressed husband. Certain things are happening today and I have to go out for a short time this morning. All brings on his stress of feeling abandoned by me and that he is a single parent.

        He started to talk about how there is no us anymore. I said I don’t want to talk about it. I said I’ve talked enough … now is not the time and i have nothing more to say. Jeff said the cycle would come back around .. well this didn’t take long. I’m in for a bad night tonight after today’s events.

        Advice I need …. do I enter into conversation about our relationship? I feel I have said what I’ve needed to say so many times, even just one week ago. Do you think I should discuss? Am I being fair?

        I feel like I’m in labour giving birth … I feel like I’m about to leave.. right on the verge … such a strange feeling.

        Would it be best to leave, write a letter? Maybe I don’t want to discuss because I know what will happen. I’ll say one thing he will take as criticism and next thing I cop verbal abuse.

      • do I enter into conversation about our relationship? I feel I have said what I’ve needed to say so many times, even just one week ago. Do you think I should discuss? Am I being fair?

        I think in this you have more or less answered your own question, so at the risk of sounding simplistic, I’ll quote your words back to you. 🙂
        You have said waht you needed to say so many times, including as recently as one week ago.

        Therefore, I think it would be pointless to discuss your grievances with him once again. He does not listen when you do, does not heed, does not care.

        He’s only asking you to ‘discuss the relationship’ because he hopes that will make you tarry, and in a discussion of that sort he can corrode and undermine your resolve.

        You do not have to write a letter. You don’t have to discuss your choices in any way. He long ago lost the right to be treated like a person who is open to reasonable negotiation.

        if you enter into any such discussion with him, you will say one thing he will take as criticism and next thing you will cop verbal abuse.

        ((hugs to you))

  12. Survivor

    I have to confess-i have been a coward most of my life. I decided to stand up for myself and others because im dying and physically ill.

    I have seen sociopathic leaders all thru my life. They dont know the real Jesus.

    And i have been a heartless, Satan and demon(yes demons do exist) worshipping sociopath myself.

    Jesus never used abuse nor condemnation to get get fallowers.

    Not much fear anymore. Each day is a gift.

  13. Round*Two

    Loves6,
    my stbx played nice too. He played nice (manipulated) me into dropping everything during our first round of divorce. Once that was done, he played nice again and took my dog away from me, he played nice while hoping I would tell others abuse did not happen.
    OK, he did this for about a month and a half. Then things changed. What he was actually doing was building his case! He filed for divorce less than a month of me dropping the restraining order, and he said I verbally abused him (he provoked me), and he said he was afraid of me! This man IS a martial artist! Loves6, my son said to me “nobody changes that quickly”, when I told him we were trying to reconcile. In my case, he was right! There is wisdom in what your son/daughter said to you!
    I pray the Lord gives you strength and wisdom to what your next move will be.

  14. KayE

    Loves6-I think you are showing great courage. Having been in a similar situation myself, I would say be very,very careful. It is a red flag that your husband doesn’t respect the courts, that can mean that a protection order is not enough, and could result in angry retribution.The best people to advise you about these things are the DV workers and your lawyer. And if you do have to talk to the police, don’t back down on your story.You are the person who knows your husband best,so trust your own insight.
    Personally I don’t trust nice.My ex has continued to communicate in a “nice” tone after he left, all throughout his prolonged court action against me, and whatever harassment he can still manage.
    Praying for you.

  15. savedbygrace

    Dear Loves6, stay strong- the space you are in at the moment is stressful, there will be stress for every one. But staying doesn’t take away the stress really – it just shifts it – and likely heaps it squarely on your shoulders. The stress you are feeling sounds like constructive stress- ( ‘labour’ is a good picture- no one wants to go thru it but it’s worth it in the end ) you have reached out for help, you have some options, yes it will be messy and strange and there is a lot of upheaval- but -think, what’s the alternative? Can you keep living the way you have been?
    I would love to see you get safe, stay safe and regroup – there is hope and healing ahead. You deserve better.
    This is probably the hardest thing you will ever do- but you can do it! Have courage and take some deep breaths:)
    A few things that helped me finally take that step:
    * trust your instincts eg you sense the conversations don’t lead anywhere and that he uses them to manipulate you
    *build up your support network eg take a friend with you to meet with the lawyer
    * ask yourself what would I advise my best friend/sister to do faced with this abuse in their relationship?
    * about leaving, some people will ‘get it’ and some won’t- but that’s OK, we can’t control other peoples opinions
    God be with you
    Take care-
    Holding you in prayer x

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