A Cry For Justice

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

All who are intent on doing evil will be cut off (Isaiah 29)

Most of our readers are suffering under abusers and if they’ve left their abusers they’re still suffering from their abuser’s conduct — the abuser’s slander, the court battles, the long-term health effects of living under constant stress, the abuser’s allies in the church, the social isolation, financial problems, trying to manage kids who are manipulated by the abuser on visitation, trying to maintain relationships with kids who are living with the abuser, trying to rebuild relationships with their adult children who are blaming the victim rather than the abuser, the list goes on and on.

So most of our readers are suffering a lot. My guess is that only a minority of our readers have got their lives to a place where they are safe and happy and not living in crisis mode the majority of the time.

This post is written particularly to encourage those who are still under the pump of abusers. Those who long for it to stop. Those who long for peace and freedom and the joy of the Lord. Those who long to see their abusers exposed and brought to justice.

Isaiah 29:13-23 (NASB)
Then the Lord said,
“Because this people draw near with their words
And honor Me with their lip service,
But they remove their hearts far from Me,
And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,
Therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous;
And the wisdom of their wise men will perish,
And the discernment of their discerning men will be concealed.”

Woe to those who deeply hide their plans from the LORD,
And whose deeds are done in a dark place,
And they say, “Who sees us?” or “Who knows us?”
You turn things around!
 
Shall the potter be considered as equal with the clay,
That what is made would say to its maker, “He did not make me”;
Or what is formed say to him who formed it, “He has no understanding”?
 
Is it not yet just a little while
Before Lebanon will be turned into a fertile field,
And the fertile field will be considered as a forest?
On that day the deaf will hear words of a book,
And out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see.
The afflicted also will increase their gladness in the LORD,
And the needy of mankind will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
For the ruthless will come to an end and the scorner will be finished,
Indeed all who are intent on doing evil will be cut off;
Who cause a person to be indicted by a word,
And ensnare him who adjudicates at the gate,
And defraud the one in the right with meaningless arguments.
Therefore thus says the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob:
“Jacob shall not now be ashamed, nor shall his face now turn pale;
But when he sees his children, the work of My hands, in his midst,
They will sanctify My name;
Indeed, they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob
And will stand in awe of the God of Israel.”

Does anything stand out to you in this passage? I love where it says “the ruthless will come to an end and the scorner will be finished, indeed all who are intent on doing evil will be cut off.” Won’t that be wonderful?

And notice this powerfully insightful line as well — “And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote.” We have written before about this. How pastors and churches and popular “christian” authors perpetuate false teachings that claim to be the Word of God when in fact they are the traditions of men, created by men. God hates this kind of religion and He is going to cut it off forever one day.

All the abusers, serial pedophiles, stony-hearted church leaders who scorn the victims when they come forward and disclose…will all be finished on that Day. God will cut them off.  Come quickly Lord Jesus. And until You come, in the ‘just a little while’ before You come, give strength to those who are afflicted by the wicked.

***

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Related post:
Vengeance and vindication: what is the difference?

34 Comments

  1. Fellow traveler

    This is why I long for heaven …

    • GypsyAngel

      Me Too.

  2. GypsyAngel

    Boy your blog seems to hit home with me so often. I’m struggling with dealing with my adult children and false memories that they have. I’ve been counseled that one of the things I need to do in an effort to healing their wounds is to just accept full responsibility for every thing that happened, in regards to dealing with them. But my soul keeps crying out for truth. My primary reaction is to say ” but that wasn’t me!” I’ve been told that by taking responsibility for everything that that will eventually open the door to the truth. And while I know that I am responsible for my bad choices…I also know that I wasn’t the abuser. I can’t seem to reconcile what I’m being counseled to do and the fact that my psyche is demanding that the truth be fought for.
    The question that my counselors ask me, and its a valid pertinent one, is; “would you rather have a relationship or be “right.” well frankly I want both. My counselors are good Christian people, with degrees in Christian counseling and some understanding of abusive relationships, and direct knowledge of my marriage, but I cant help but feel that they are somehow missing the mark. Or is it me?

    • H

      Oh my… GypsyAngel, I’m nervous to offer thoughts because I don’t want to say the wrong thing, but I really disagree with your counselors. I think it’s a good idea to value relationships over “being right,” but I also think healthy relationships are founded on truth, and that God loves the truth and blesses us when we commit to displaying the truth with our words and lives. The problem is when we so desire to be right that we are willing to discard truth to be right. It doesn’t sound like you want to be right at the expense of truth, you are in fact craving truth to be known. That’s a good thing and righteous in God’s eyes!

      I don’t think it’s really helpful to your children, or most glorifying to God, to take responsibility for things you are not truthfully responsible for. Perhaps a very gentle but determined, “I realize you remember things this way, but that is not what happened. I will continue to love you even if you don’t believe me right now,” type thing would be helpful whenever that comes up.

      The advice your counselors are giving sounds like very standard marriage type stuff, not people who understand abuse and take it seriously. If I applied their “would your rather have a relationship or be right” advice to my own abusive marriage, I’d still be with him and allowing him to assault me and terrorize me. It would keep me in bondage and chains and let my abuser off the hook for everything. They may be well-meaning, and most likely they are just parroting things they’ve heard before, but that advice seems to be enabling evil.

      • GypsyAngel

        @H Thank you for your kind words. I agree that it sounds like very standard marriage stuff. Thought they were the ones who called the abuser out on his lies and manipulation. They are also the ones who have stood by me in the church and told the elders what was really going on (with my permission) so while I will continue to go to them with other things, I think perhaps Ill have to go directly to God with this one, and ask Him to enlighten my counselors whom I dearly love.

      • Momof3blessings

        H, you’ve said exactly what I believe. I’ve come to realize that denying the simple truth of what happened is actually sin, because it presents a false picture of events to the God of Truth. In addition, the personal cost of denying the truth is high; it damages us spiritually every time we have to go along with others and pretend that events were different than they really were.

        Living for years in the special hell of an abusive marriage forces us to present a false picture of our lives to others, the picture our abuser wants us to portray that puts him/her in a good light. This deception is a necessary survival tactic of living in abuse, and sadly we even deceive ourselves for a long time, buying into the abuser’s heartfelt belief that we are the reason for their anger/bad behavior/whatever, and that they in reality are the wonderful person they seemed to be when they were wooing us.

        But it gradually annihilates our soul to live a life based on lies, especially the lie that we are the cause of the abuse. Because we come to believe it as true, and therefore we not only accept as valid all of the disgust and disappointment and rage that our abuser showers on us as in a million different ways each day, but we also turn it all inwards and heap it onto ourselves. Sometimes for years after we’ve escaped the abuser even, if it’s been so ingrained in us and if current family members demand we continue to accept the abuser’s point of view as reality.

        I think this may be why a counselor who has never lived through the utter destruction of personhood of an abusive marriage might be able to see it as a “need to be right” vs. “valuing the relationship” issue. Because in normal human interactions, she’s probably right, but she’s not realizing that the stakes here go way beyond disagreeing on a political issue or something else outside of the relationship.

        Instead, the stakes are whether the abuser’s false version of reality gets to be accepted yet again as the hurtful truth, denying the victim her voice and forcing her to either continue to accept blame for the abuser’s mistreatment, or to pretend yet again that it never occurred.

        Doing either destroys us inside, throwing us back into the victim role and negating any efforts we’ve made to finally tell the truth of what happened. It’s a complete invalidation of what we suffered, perpetuating the damage to our personhood long after the actual events occurred.

        Being able to finally talk about and accurately describe the horrible truth of what the abuser did is absolutely essential for us to be able to reclaim our trust in ourselves and start to heal. The simple right to tell the truth of what happened is a right we as abuse victims were denied far too long, and NO ONE should ask us to give that up ever again. Any relationship we have now that requires us to do so is one that will be harmful to us, and WE MATTER TOO.

      • GypsyAngel

        @Momof3Blessings, That’s it..You have hit the nail exactly on its head ! That’s why their counsel sticks in my craw. Its not about being right at all, its about being allowed and able to speak THE TRUTH. Something my abusive mother and my abusive husband never allowed me to do. Its not about “being right” at all…Its about not being silenced anymore and not taking the blame for the choices or actions of others anymore. Its about living in truth, My Truth. Yes I want, need, ache for a relationship with my children, who are all adults. But not at the cost of who I am. I’m just now starting to find out who I am, who God designed me to be. And I really like her, in fact I may even love who He designed me to be. I don’t want to bury her again just when she has begun to feel the warmth of the sun on her face.

    • Song of Joy

      GypsyAngel,
      I’m an older middle-aged daughter of a severe abuser dad and Christian mom (divorced many years ago). My adult siblings still have big issues with false memories / mind control / brain washing from our father.

      The *Truth* is what is always lacking in a relationship with an abuser.

      Part of the evil narrative he spun after the divorce was to blame my dear mother for all of the chaos and abuse we suffered as children, even though he was absolutely a sadistic father (killing pets, mocking, raging, screaming, choking, punching, kicking, pornography, guns, etc.) He very convincingly played the poor, hapless dad, and added big financial incentives to all of his lies.

      I alone withstood the manipulation, but watched the alienation and contempt for our mom from my sibs unfold over the years, while unable to stop it. For their own reasons, they wanted to believe his lies and were willing to obey his commands to diss our mother. *Truth* was no longer important to them and they acted accordingly. It was such terrible heartbreak for my mother because she loved all of us and sacrificed so much.

      My perspective is that there is something seriously wrong with a counselor advising an abused mom to lie and claim responsibility for the evil inflicted by the abusive father. That is playing right into the hands of the abuser AND the alienated children, getting the mother to reinforce the evil narrative that SHE caused the damage to the family.

      Also, the counselor is advising you to give up your integrity and use lying and manipulation as ways to gain a relationship with your children, which is exactly what your abusive ex-husband did.

      Have you considered getting a different counselor, one who shares your values and is far more compassionate toward your needs? I wish you the best on this difficult journey.

      • GypsyAngel

        @ Song of Joy. You have no Idea what your words have meant to me, or maybe you do. I have one daughter who resisted the fog and we have a fantastic relationship. Her other sibs don’t understand. I agree that it smack of lying, while at the same time I understand in part. they don’t exactly want me to say “yes I did it” they are just suggesting that I take responsibility for staying with the abuser and coming back when I left. So I see it as a very fine line to tread. Everyday is a heartbreak for me. I think about them and the abuse that they suffered at the hands of governmental agencies. and they blame me for that too. Birthdays are pure torture. And I have Grandchildren that I haven’t met. So I keep turning to God and believing the promise He gave me. But I see that I will have to do much more praying on how to handle this all. Thank You Dear One.

    • standsfortruth

      I totally agree with the other two posters…
      I was watching a u-tube poster named Michelle that supports victims of abuse…She offers helpful sugestions regarding divorcing an abuser,(using her own story) and helps others by telling her experience.

      She went to two counselors before finding the third one that finally helped her identify the truth about her marriage to an abuser. It took him all but 15 minutes to come to that conclusion. The other two counselors went in a different direction. One was giving her simpathy trying to make her get in touch with her feelings so she could deal with her anger. But neither were willing to identify the problem of abuse in the first meeting.

      So she kept searching until she discovered the one that helped her find the truth and believe in herself again..

      • GypsyAngel

        @ Standsfortruth; Thankfully God’s been doing a great work in me, and I’ve been doing quite a bit myself. I finally believe in myself again and never stopped Believing in God and His miracles. So I’ll hang onto HIS truth and keep mine. Thanks for your input.

    • MoodyMom

      If they’re willing to hear it, truth will set them free – free from all the lies they’ve been fed. My older kids know the truth of their father’s behavior, but small pieces of their hearts still wish it weren’t true. Even at their age, they would still like to close their eyes and make this all go away and have a fantasy “happy family.”

      Thankfully, hearing the truth gently but repeatedly has helped to clear out most of the cobwebs (and I mean WEBS – spider-like and strong) of deceit.

      For me, truth, truth, truth. Truth heals, mends, sets things straight instead of keeping on a crooked path. It has been the foundation of what healing I’ve been able to do.

      It’s so stinkin’ hard though. They might not buy it. They might not want to open their eyes. We have no control over whether they believe the truth or not. Sigh.

      • GypsyAngel

        @MoodyMom…Yes SIGH…But I love them…so I’ll keep praying and trying. They need as much, if not more healing than I do.

      • standsfortruth

        Truth does set free.. And yes some children are more ready to hear truth than others.
        However some become so duped by the lie that they cling to the artificial world of cognitive dissonance…
        But I find that if I keep reminding these particular children of the “facts of the truth”, when timing is right, that it creates cracks in the facade.. And they see more and more why things are the way they are.
        Almost like smelling salts to someone who has fainted…
        It takes much patience, commitment and determination to erode away the false foundation that the abuser creates,- but it can be done..
        That being said, not all children will want to see the truth.
        One of my adult children has proven to be without conscience by matter of intentional repetitive wrong doing.
        These ones we must be willing to let go.

    • crankybeach

      This just feels wrong. No, it’s not you. Go with your gut instinct on this one.

      Reminds me of the time long ago when an elementary school class assignment was to write a thank-you letter to the people at the local newspaper, expressing our gratitude for their accommodating our class field trip, and telling them what we enjoyed the most.

      There was just one itty bitty problem. I had missed the field trip because I was sick, and I told the substitute teacher of the day.

      She said, “Write a letter anyway.”

      So I did, because teachers in those days (the early 1960s) were pretty much one step below God in the authority structure of children’s lives. And I lied through my teeth, saying I especially enjoyed the demonstration of how they laid out and printed the front page. (I got that idea because I peeked at someone else’s paper, and that was what they had written.)

      I don’t remember whether I told my parents about being made to lie, and having to cheat to pull off the lie, or whether I told my regular teacher when she came back from wherever she was. But (obviously) it made enough of an impression on me that I have not forgotten it, more than 50 years later.

      • GypsyAngel

        @ CrankyBeach (love that name by the way) I’m one of those people who can’t lie to save my life I have a “tell” when I try (I cry). Infact the abuser knew this. And would ask me direct questions and then use the answers as a reason to do more damage. So it sort of was messing with me to have them suggest this to me. I think I’ve reasoned it out…but honestly it still smacks of lying to me. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • Charis

      I’ve heard this same advice before – from the court. It is rather standard fare, I think. “Don’t bad mouth the other parent. Suck it up. Accept blame/responsibility. Don’t talk about the sins of the other parent or reveal the past. Don’t throw anyone under the bus. Don’t rock the boat! It’s the only way to keep the relationship moving forward with your children.”

      Bancroft has some similar advice in one of his books. It is his opinion that revealing all the truth or errors of the abuser can (and will) backfire. He has seen this happen numerous times. In our eagerness to protect our child or show them the monster that dad really is – it explodes in ways we might never anticipate. And is detrimental to the mother-child relationship; possibly severing it completely.

      Part of the problem is – no child, whether young or adult – wishes to see their beloved parent painted with such evil brush strokes. They love dad. Always have. They love you – mom – always will. And now, to hear such lorid tales of what one person did to another, they don’t know what to do with that information. Not only is their heart breaking but they are immediately thrown into cognitive dissonance so deep, it is nearly impossible for them to resolve. They may reject the notion. They may lash out. Their memory may be diametrically opposed – that is NOT the dad they remember (whether that is true or not). And, what is worse, they may come to see you as the villain for telling them all this about dad.

      What Bancroft has recommended is this: Talk about character traits (positive and negative) in THIRD PERSON, completely unrelated from dad (movies, billboards, tv, current events, friends, situational awareness, magazine articles – whatever) and allow the child to draw conclusions on their own. This is critical thinking at its best. Then validate any points the child notices about dad as they arrive at the truth on their own.

      For instance, when having a discussion about what “stewardship” was – my son made the off-hand comment that “Dad isn’t a good steward of his stuff.” This is true. I immediately validated his observation. “You’re right, I’ve noticed the same thing. It’s sad that dad chooses not to take good care of his things.”

      In another situation, when discussing lies and trust. My son said, “Dad sometimes lies to me.” I didn’t jump on the bandwagon and tell about the thousands of rotten things his dad had said and hidden from me. I hugged my son and shared in his sadness, “I’m really sorry to hear that Dad lies to you, too. That makes my heart sad, too. It looks like you have some choices to make about what you share with dad.”

      While I agree that sharing truth with my child might feel validating – I limit that experience for my Safe Friends. With my son, we discuss what Respect, Truth, Trust, and other character traits look like (and not). I know that he will notice the lack of these with his father and will arrive at the truth for himself…and then he will have some very difficult choices ahead: boundaries to set and how to navigate those.

    • celestebella

      GypsyAngel,

      I disagree with the counselors. They’re asking you to lie and live with even more pain so everyone else feels o.k. and the counselors can then pat themselves on the back.

      I’m in your shoes too. My children have to face the truth that their father was abusive to me. Otherwise, the sick, secretive behavior will probably repeat itself in their lives.

      And from a legal stand point I would not declare such a falsehood and then have it used against me in court someday.

  3. Sarah

    this is the part that is hard. Because nobody understands abuse well in the courts, church, or in our world, we are left with very little choices. We become the bad guys in most people’s eyes. nobody really believes us and when we tell them we get blank stares. I try to educate people but I probably come off sounding bitter or slanderous. Not quite sure how that works but it does. The Ex comes off sounding like a victim; definitely not fair right?

    I want to encourage women to leave but they look at the fight I still must fight and they look at their lives and they don’t see too many advantages.. some days I don’t either.. although I remember how I was dying and now I am slowly living again. I want to seek justice with all the injustices that were done and are being done to me all the time and yet there is no avenue to take, no accountability to seek.

    I would be changing this world for the better, if I knew how. I’ve been told it takes society to care about something before it does anything. They once disbelieved children who were being molested I tell myself. God will remove our enemies one day or is it that enough people will wake up and take this seriously? Are we waiting for that?

    • Hi Sarah, sorry it took us a while to publish your comment.

      • Sarah

        no worries and thank you

  4. MoodyMom

    Oh, and come quickly Lord Jesus. I love the promises from this section of Isaiah. I would love to see this verse come true in my lifetime:
    Therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous;

    Like Job talked about, I would love to see justice in my life time. But it may have to wait for eternity.

  5. GypsyAngel

    Indeed…Come Lord Jesus Come !
    Thank You all for your considerate responses. ❤

  6. You are so right Jeff, just because I am separated doesn’t mean the abuse has stopped. He is slowly and methodically trying to take over all aspects of our child’s life now. I am hoping once a separation agreement and financial separation are in place, he will move on with someone else and not be after me so much.

  7. May the Lord bring justice

    I need some advice for someone who is a victim of domestic violence and on disability. A divorce would not help her receive support to live on; she would leave the marriage with nothing because prior- owned assets aren’t divided. Her disability check does not give her enough to live on and she can’t afford rent. She needs a place to live for her and her minor daughter from another marriage. She can’t stay in a shelter because of her on- going medical condition. Are there organizations that could help her with a home to live in?

    • Sara

      I am a victim advocate for our local police department, which means we look for help for victims. There are lots of resources out there, she just needs to know where to look. Too many victims of DV think that the shelter only houses people, but they have a wealth of connections. My suggestion is for your friend to contact her local woman’s shelter and ask for help from one of their advocates. Good luck.

  8. healinginhim

    This post and commenters have ministered to me, again. Thank you everyone. This moving forward and healing process is taking longer than I thought. Grateful for God’s wisdom and those who continue to educate on the truth of abuse.

  9. Rambling Rose Inspiration

    May it be so, Lord God, according to your Word, and for Your glory, Lord, confront and confound the plans of all abusers and their sycophants.

    Be pleased, O LORD, to save me; O LORD, come quickly to help me.

    May all who seek to take my life be put to shame and confusion;
    may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace.
    May those who say to me,’Aha! Aha!’ be appalled at their own shame.

    But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you;
    may those who love your salvation always say, ‘The LORD be exalted!’

    Yet I am poor and needy; may the LORD think of me.
    You are my help and my deliverer;
    O my God, do not delay.
    Psalm 40: 13-17

    The LORD foils the plans of the nations [and may He foil the plans of abusers] he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance.
    Psalm 33: 10-12

    Hear the cries of your children, Lord God, and come quickly to the aid of all who’ve been abused by man, for YOUR glory, amen!

    • GypsyAngel

      Amen ❤

    • KH

      The “Aha! Aha!” Reminded me of an old memory from my teenage years- I was driving down the highway with my windows down on a nice day, singing along to the radio. Another car zoomed up to me and the man in it was gesticulating wildly, so I slowed down slightly thinking perhaps he had seen some danger or something. When I slowed down, I realized he was screaming, in a livid, unhinged tone: “you are not as great as you think you are! You are not as great as you think you are!”
      Apparently the sight of a young woman enjoying herself had enraged him. I think of this man when I think of these evil accusers, modeling their father the devil in spewing hateful lies at the beloved children of God.

  10. kim

    “And the wisdom of their wise men will perish,
    And the discernment of their discerning men will be concealed.”

    These were a couple of the verses that struck me. We are at the point in society where those who are wise and discerning are not respected or encouraged to share that wisdom. It conflicts too much with prevailing social norms and “pseudo-religious” teaching. Hence the “concealing” of discernment. In many situations, it is really not socially acceptable to speak the Truth.

  11. KH

    And in the meantime, dear ones, please know that I have learned more about true religion from your hard-won wisdom than I ever learned in a church building.

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