A Cry For Justice

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

Don Hennessy Digest

1   Don Hennessy says domestic abusers are like pedophiles – and there’s not much proof they’re redeemable.

 “How He Gets Into Her Head” — an introduction to Don Hennessy’s book

 How the male intimate abuser selects, sets-up & grooms a target woman

4   The male domestic abuser is as ‘psychephile’ — a sexual offender

5   Offending and re-grooming: the skills men use to abuse their female partners

6   Re-0ffending: the increasingly dangerous culminating phase in male intimate abuse

7   Society has been hoodwinked by men who abuse their female intimate partners

8   Video interviews of Don Hennessy and two other Irish DV professionals

9   Domestic abuse survivors and two DV professionals speak on Irish Radio

We created this Don Hennessy Digest so you can find all the posts in the series easily.

As each post is published the title above will become a link to that post.

Who is Don Hennessy?


Don Hennessy’s work in the field of domestic abuse spans nearly three decades and at the age of 72 he says, “I continue to work a full week as I know that I enjoy my work.”

As a relationship counselor, Don Hennessy was one of six founders of The Cork Domestic Violence Project which was initiated in 1991 by the Cork Marriage Counseling Centre in Cork, Ireland.

He later became the director of the National Domestic Violence Intervention Agency in Ireland.

His experience includes interacting directly with both victims of domestic violence and 1000+ abusers. As a result of his personal experience and research he has acquired profound insights into the deliberate and effective tactics some men use “to enslave the women who love them.” His research and insights are supported by fellow colleagues and have been considered on the national level in Ireland.

His book Steps to Freedom will be coming out in March 2018. It will be different from most ‘sympathy’ and ‘support’ books which rely on the target woman to protect herself. Instead it talks directly to the target woman while she is being controlled and hopes to give her the permission and the skills to protect her mind and her soul.

Hennessy’s Bio Details

  • 6 years studying to become a missionary priest
  • 25 years in various sales roles including 20 years of car sales
  • 28 years and ongoing relationship counsellor
  • Director of Ireland’s National Domestic Violence Intervention Agency (NDVIA) since 2003
  • prior to the NDVIA he worked at the Cork Marriage Counselling Centre

The NDVIA was set up in 2003 with government funding, forced to close in Jan 2003 when funding ceased, then re-started in May 2003 and continues to run on a voluntary basis.

He is currently 72 years old and has been married for 48 years. He and his wife have five children (2 girls, 3 boys, who are now aged 38–47) and five grandchildren.


We have added Don Hennessy’s book to our Gift Books Offer for victims who can’t afford to purchase it for themselves.

In our Don Hennessy series, all quotes from Hennessy and Irish media articles use British spelling to retain authenticity.

Don Hennessy has very generously allowed me to quote as much as I like from his book to pass on the message to others. Thank you Don!


  1. Neveralone

    Thanks, Barbara, you are doing a superb job! It is very clear, neat and organized for all who wants to read and revisit this valuable and precious material. May God bless you and Mr Hennessy for making this freeing knowledge available to all of us who have been tormented with so many questions and fog and very few answers and sound teaching. I treasure each post. It is life, light, balm and comfort to my soul. Please continue the good work.

    • Thanks Neveralone. It is the comments that come in on this blog that keep me going. All the comments from survivors and their supporters. The way our readers interact with each other, how they support each other, how one reader says something that sparks empathy or new recognition in another reader …. all those things (as well as the thanks people give me) are what keeps me going. 🙂 🙂

      I do sometimes get tired, but the Lord renews my strength.

      The more survivors and victim-advocates get wise about how to rightly divide the Word of Truth (the Bible) in regards to abuse issues, the more effective our cries for justice will be.

      And the more Christian survivors and victim-advocates get savvy in using social media to keep educating the public, the more effective our cries for justice will be.

      • Anonymous Woman

        And your moderation of the comments keeps us safe as well as this website being a safe space for us survivors. A truly safe space is really hard to come by because there are so many abusers trolling about, spewing venom, manipulating, deceiving, etc online, just like in real life, only more so as anyone can spew anything online without consequences…..(which also mirrors real life for so many victims whose abusers are rewarded instead of punished)

        So, all in all, a big thank you to Barbara and TWBTC. 🙂

  2. Spiritually abused

    I have read “How does he get into her head”. I had read many books on this topic including “why does he do that” but when I read Don’s book it really opened my eyes to the grooming (or testing) that these men do. When you really think about these relationships we need to realize that there are not really any “good times” because the “good times” are all about information gathering.

    • romans818

      “The “good times” are all about information gathering.”

      Yes, yes and yes! And luring her back into the cycle so he can ratchet up the abuse. I didn’t have the vocabulary to articulate this during the marriage and abusive “biblical” church counseling, and was faulted, coerced and threatened with discipline even more because I couldn’t say there were positive things. I wasn’t “hoping all things” and being thankful and trusting in the Lord and willing to demonstrate sacrificial love. I was “bitter” (oh my gosh, endlessly bitter. The abuser got so much mileage out of that one!) and full of judgment not grace and only wanted to talk about his sin, not mine. I can’t wait to finish Henessey’s book.

  3. Beloved

    Reading this book is literally a watershed moment in my life. My last abuser was a domestic violence counselor and now I understand the WHY and my own vulnerability to grooming..the subtlety of it…better than I ever have. I understand that it is the evil intellect, deception, and understanding of the target (her needs, wants, fear, past) that enable them to craft a satanic plan to keep me/her in bondage.

    I never understood why I was so high functioning in so many areas of life, esp intellectually, but kept falling prey to these types. Now I understand how early sexual abuse and grooming in childhood has created a vulnerability in me to grooming. God is really bringing clarity and freedom through these materials.

    I have a few essays up my sleeve now…this leads to so many connections, questions, and aha moments. I really feel God is doing a huge work of freeing many of us from the lies and tactics that enable predatory intimate relationships to continue.

    Who the Lord sets free is free indeed.

    You will know the truth- and the truth shall make you FREE!!!

  4. Debbie

    I am 4 years out of a 32 year nightmare of a marriage and I still follow this blog faithfully! I am so grateful for work you do and for the strength it has given me to forge a new life. It has been the most painful and intense struggle of my life but I am free and independent and am able to help numerous women through the hard-won wisdom and insight I have gained. I regularly share your blog posts and pray for this ministry.
    Thank you!

    • Thank you Debbie for your encouragement!

      And thank you for your prayers. I know I can speak for Barbara when I say that we both very much appreciate your prayers for ACFJ!

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