A Cry For Justice

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

Thursday Thought — Honouring Resistance by Dr. Allan Wade

On the blog we have praised Allan Wade who, along with his colleagues, originated the response-based approach which has taught us how to elucidate and honor victim’s resistance.

In this clip from a counselor-training DVD Dr. Wade shows us how the response-based approach to therapy exposes violence, clarifies the perpetrator’s responsibility, elucidates and honours the victim’s resistance, and contests the blaming and pathologizing of victims.

Further reading 

Respecting & Listening to Victims of Violence — a handbook from Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter

The Myth of “Stockholm Syndrome” and other labels which are used to discredit and pathologize victims of abuse.

The Myth of “Stockholm Syndrome” and how it was invented to silence an indignant young woman

Thursday Thought — Victims invariably resist violence and other forms of abuse.

9 Comments

  1. Stronger Now

    If you hit someone with a frying pan, it isn’t ‘cooking’; if you whack someone with a 2 X 4, it isn’t ‘carpentry’; if you run into someone’s car with your car, it isn’t ‘body work’ – if you assault someone with your genitals, it isn’t sex.”

    Brilliant!

  2. I have learned so much from Allen Wade.
    And I’ve put Valerie Hobbs and him in contact with each other and Valerie has been using some of his ideas to linguistically decode sermons 🙂

    And as an Aussie who still loves British English, but who concedes to using American English on this blog, I have to say how delighted I am whenever we run posts about Honouring Resistance… and we can spell ‘honouring’ with a U!

    Allen and his colleagues who developed the honouring resistance ideas are all Canadians, so they use British English! Happy days 🙂

    • Here are two posts by Valerie Hobbs

      In both these posts, Valerie uses ideas from Linda Coates’ and Allan Wade’s 2007 paper entitled ‘Language and Violence: Analysis of Four Discursive Operators’ and she uses her linguistic skills to apply these ideas to analysing sermons.

      In this post she analyses sermons that conceal violence, obscure and mitigate offenders’ responsibility, conceal victims’ resistance, and
      blame and pathologize victims:

      ‘Thus saith the Lord’: When pastors talk about intimate partner violence

      In this post she analyses a sermon that defies convention by exposing violence, clarifying offenders’ responsibility, and contesting the blaming and pathologizing of victims:

      ‘What Christian is it that beats his wife?’

    • And Valerie says that her two posts on the discourse of divorce only scratch the surface. She says:

      If you are interested in hearing more, please consider attending the inaugural Lydia Symposium, [and it’s a free event!] where I will present my findings in much more detail and where we can discuss these matters in person. And with a glass of wine in hand even!

    • Lea

      “Allen and his colleagues who developed the honouring resistance ideas are all Canadians”

      I picked that up when he kept saying ‘eh’ on one of his presentations! I had never watched the Stockholm syndrome talk. It was very good!

  3. hope

    I am battling to explain why a 14 year old girl would go meet up with her adult male abuser. I am trying to avoid using stockholm syndrome type of explanation. I have seen this over and over. Other people observing the same situations want to say it is because she “wants it” and that it isn’t child sexual abuse. How can I explain this better so they clearly see that it is still child abuse and wrong? How can I keep them from blaming the victim? Do you have any articles on this? How can I highlight any forms of resistance she may be demonstrating?

    • Without knowing more info about the background to that case, I can’t say why she might do that.
      But here are some possible reasons that come to mind:
      He has deceived and enticed and charmed her so fully that she doesn’t realise he is or has or will be abusing her.
      He has so intimidated and threatened her that she is afraid to say no to him when he wants to meet up with her. She might easily think that if she says No, the trouble he would cause her would be worse than the trouble he would cause her if she meets up with him.
      She may be wanting to meet him to tell him what a %#%#%# she thinks he is.
      She may be wanting to meet him to test whether he has changed for the better.
      She may be wanting to be (or feel herself to be) strong and grown up; she may think that she can handle whatever he dishes out to her. There is lot of social pressure on teenagers to be ‘grown up’. And teens themselves often don’t like listening to the wisdom of adults; they think they know all about life and how to handle it.
      She may not want to admit to herself that he really hurts and scares her, because if she admits that it may be devastating… kind of like how we adult women victims of abuse are often hesitant to say to ourselves or to others “I am being abused”.

  4. KayE

    I’m not an expert on this, I just have a teenager who is frequently subject to a very controlling, abusive, deceitful father. Child abusers are skilled at manipulation and mind control. Many adults are taken in by their deception, so what chance does a 14 year old have? In a situation with an adult abuser and a young teenager, it’s never the young person’s fault.

    • standsfortruth

      That is true Kaye, although sometimes the children may get glimpses of reality, with the abuser, It is too painful for many of them to come to grips with the truth.
      I give my kids a wide birth while they stay with the abusive parent.

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