A Cry For Justice

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

6. How Chris Moles works with abusers

Chris Moles says he works with men who abuse their wives/girlfriends because he believes that “The most effective means of reducing violence against women is addressing the hearts of men.” (C 22:45*)

But he didn’t get into working in this field because he believed that. His initial motivation was much more worldly.

He often tells the story of how in his early days as a church planter he was praying for something to do, because he needed help connecting with the community. And soon after that a local police officer asked him if he would work with kids who were under the juvenile crime board (F 01:57; H 02:07). Chris accepted the invitation. After a few years he was asked if he would work in Batterer Intervention Programs for the county parole board. He said no… until he was told how much they would pay him (N 36:00; C 3:22-5:35, B 4:45 to 5:36). He admits he has embroidered the story slightly and giggles because the story is self-deprecating… but it’s obvious that he enjoys getting his audience to laugh.

(side question: Is it right for a Christian to embroider the truth in order to ‘get a laugh’?)

When Chris agreed to work in batterer intervention, the county sent him to training where he learned how to facilitate a Duluth Model Batterer Intervention Program. In these programs, two facilitators meet weekly with a group of abusive men. The facilitators put a lot of energy into confronting and drawing out the abusive men to admit to the specifics of what they have done wrong, and then to acknowledge their mindset of entitlement, i.e., their belief that they are entitled to maintain power and control over their wives/partners. It is a combination of confrontation and education. The goal of these programs is to get the men to renounce their overblown entitlement and their misuse of power and to respect women – especially any intimate partner they might have.

Chris and his co-facilitator Kim have developed a christianized version of the Duluth program and they use this in the groups they run for their county’s probation department. The abusive men are mandated to attend for eight months; they have either been convicted of domestic violence crimes or are subject to protection orders (H* 0:58).

Since he began doing this work for the government, Chris has also started running private programs for men who are willing to pay, which includes doing individual counseling with abusive men.

How Chris Moles works with abusive men

When working with men who engage in domestic abuse, Chris gathers data from whatever sources are available in order to get a picture of the abuser’s behavior and attitudes. He sources data from the man’s pastor (if there is one), from police or court reports, the victim’s advocate/counselor, and the answers the abusive man gives to Chris’s questions.

In his book, Chris gives a case study of Patrick. Patrick had come home late intoxicated and when his wife questioned him about where he had been and his intoxicated state he flew into a rage, screamed, accused her of adultery, demanded dinner, restrained her and slapped her. According to Chris:

“I will ask [Patrick] questions and apply truth in order to help him identify the problem. …Patrick may be struggling to see that he has done anything wrong other than restrain his wife. I’m not merely reprimanding him, I’m attempting to equip him to see, and acknowledge his sinful behavior. Self reflection is necessary at this point. I’m not merely trying to punish him but give him the resources to see and then respond to his guilt.”  (M 31-32)

Chris then does even more work with (for?) the abuser to educate/confront him about his prideful heart and mentality of entitlement, in the hope of getting the abuser to change.

Chris talks about three possible stages (Z 1:35:12) in dealing with the abusive man. Here is my understanding of what Chris teaches about the three stages. Each bullet point is something which Chris teaches —

The Information Stage: Address the abuser’s gross violation of the marriage covenant by bringing to the light his abuse tactics, coercive control and sinful use of power.

  • Use Proverbs 6:16-19 (things that God hates) to uncover and get the abusers to admit to the ways they have done all those things God hates. (C 52:33) 
  • Address the heart. Approach each abusive behavior with a ‘what’-based question. “When you called her that name, what did you want to accomplish? What did you want to happen?” (C 56:45)
  • Teach the abusive men a principle from James 4: “We do what we do because we want what we want. And we want what we want because we think what we think.” (C 44:25.)
  • Tell abusive men that their wrong thinking comes from the pride in their hearts, and the consequences and fruits of pride are:
    • it distorts our view of authority, it inflates our own importance (C 45:30)
    • it leads us to make demands of others
    • it leads us to have unfair expectations in which the price tags are always changing (C 48:00)
    • it allows us to justify inappropriate behavior, it takes us to places that we normally wouldn’t go (C 49:10)
    • it pushes aside responsibility and quickly makes excuses
    • and it quickly voices concerns and opinions.
  • Work to “promote biblical confession” – get the abuser to acknowledge it was wrong and the impact it had on the victim. (C 56:45)

The Transformation Stage: Chris calls this the pivot point (H 17:00). And Chris recognizes that no one can force the abuser to repentance because that is between the abusive man and God. But Chris believes that biblical counselors can play a secondary part in this. 

  • We can lead a horse to water but we can’t make him drink…but we can feed him crackers [so he gets thirsty]. (H 17:30)  
  • Offer hope – that’s the gospel. The only solution for this awful behavior and the guilt shame and pain that it has caused, is Jesus Christ. (C 56:45)
  • Look to see the abuser turning from sin. Look for the abuser to say, ‘I’ve done wrong. I want to commit to being God’s type of person.’ (C 01:02:25)

The Reformation Stage: The abusive man’s admission of sin is not enough, we then need to see evidence of the man’s repentance: we need to look for good fruit on the tree. 

  • For assessing evidentiary repentance, use Ephesians 4: “When do we know a thief is no longer a thief? When he is generous. When do we know an abuser is no longer an abuser? When he becomes an encourager.” (M 92-3)
  • Set concrete goals for the man and share them with the elders, so the elders and any others who are part of the accountability-net can really measure the man’s change over the next six months. This is not just hoops to jump through, but looking for new heart, new motives, new attitude, gentleness.
  • Church discipline and restoration can be part of this (~C 1:03). 
  • Two errors elders often make in carrying out church discipline:
    • When using Matthew 18, the elders often ignore the fact that the wife has already confronted the abuser, so they start the Matthew 18 process from step one. By disregarding the fact that the wife has already confronted her husband, they show no respect for her as a believer in Christ (C 1:04:55).
    • The elders require the parties do something as part of church discipline which would violate a court order like a no-contact order (C 1:06:15).

You may be asking: “What is wrong with this? If abusive men change and become non-abusive men, isn’t that a good thing? Isn’t that what we long for?”

Yes it is…but Chris is working from some fundamental presuppositions that, as a Bible-believing Christian, I must to call into question.

Chris Moles works from faulty premises

1.  He assumes that addressing the hearts of abusive men is the most effective means of reducing violence against women.

2. He teaches that when biblical counselors work with abusive men they should devote a lot of time getting the abusive men to “see their sins” and “have insight into their sins”.

3. He disregards the Bible’s instructions about how Christians are to respond to abusers.

In the next posts in this series, I will explain why I find those points so troubling. Stay tuned!

And if you have not yet done so, let me encourage you to follow our blog  so you will receive an email each time we publish a new post.

***

*Citations in this post are shown in grey, with each item designated by a capital letter.
Our Chris Moles Digest gives a link to each item cited by a capital letter.

 

34 Comments

  1. Melissa

    Oh wow. He has no idea. He is really irresponsible to teach this stuff when he hasnt made the effort to learn from those that are more experienced. Thanks for exposing him

  2. We were contacted privately by a survivor who needs to remain anonymous. She says,

    “My abuser went through a Duluth model intervention program. And in spite of completing that program and involvement from our pastor my abuser did not change. In fact, things only got worse because my abuser then kept saying that he did everything he needed to, and then used that as a reason to prove that me and the older children were alienating him and that the problem was not him. I was targeted by our pastor and guardian ad litem who then used this as fuel against me and the children.

    Thank you for exposing people and programs like this, especially ‘christians’ that support abusers.”

    • Thank you Anonymous for sharing this! Unfortunately, we hear more and more stories like this.

  3. Still Struggling

    It seems that he sees abusers as sheep astray rather than wolves. Sheep are never wolves and wolves cannot transform into sheep. Abusers are not backsliden christians who just need the spirit to convict them of stumbling. They don’t have the Holy Spirit to begin with.

    Time would be better spent teaching boys and girls how to respect one another and not tolerate evil behavior before they adopt attitudes of entitlement. Also, stop teaching men to lord authority over women. Stop the out-dated gender roles teachings in church. Start teaching submission to Jesus Christ, mutual submission and servant attitudes instead.

    As for the elders determining after six months if an abuser has changed, do they move in with him and live with him twemty-four hours a day? Would doing that even make a difference? Only the victim knows if there are any changes and it takes far longer than six months to determine if it’s even real change. These guys are so good at fooling even so-called experts! They can pretend to have insight but it is all an act. They learn the right words and phrases from the counselor and repeat it back.

    Has Chris Moles ever read Lundy Bancroft’s books? Does he come here to read. I’m guessing not.

  4. Helovesme

    It was asked what could be wrong with this? Maybe others saw “good” in this, I saw nothing good to be honest.

    Maybe I am being too harsh, as I have become more and more mistrustful of Biblical leaders over time.

    I love humor. But I absolutely don’t believe it’s appropriate to “dumb down” serious issues like wanting to get paid more than wanting to help people. I’m not saying he’s a terrible person, I just mean that it’s not what I would call humorous.

    I hope this does not offend and please bear with me. As I read his techniques, all that kept coming to mind was our precious beagle, who we lost in 2015. He was a handful! Disciplining him and trying to control him were not easy. I had a lot of learning and growing to do as well!

    I learned that you could not explain or reason with this little guy. Trying to drill a certain level of thinking into him was not possible. What we had to do was set the rules, enforce them and be patience as he slowly got the message: I’m in charge, not you. It’s wrong when you do certain things, because I say so. They may be normal and instinctive to you, but if you’re going to be in this family—you must learn to renounce them.

    Chris came off to me as though he is trying to “explain” why it’s bad to abuse and hurt others and why God is against such things. Trying to drill it into their minds as if they just need to “understand” how they are being sinful—and then they will most likely stop.

    The “Patrick” story shocked me. Why in the world was he being almost soothing and coddling towards him? Not once did he bring up the pain and suffering the wife must have felt.

    I read his tentative three stages. I was not one bit convinced that they will work, and if it does—it’s a long shot for sure.

    What he does not ever seem to acknowledge is how abusers can “fake” their way through these three stages, and fake showing guilt as well (which is exactly what Chris is looking for) Easily. They are marvelous “actors.”

    A good actor in Hollywood is someone who is so convincing in their role, at pretending to be someone that they are not in real life—that the audience is extremely moved and reactive to their performance. That is why such actors win awards and gain fame and prestige and honor and are paid a lot of money. And the public just wants to see more and more of their performances!

    An abuser is much the same. They are extremely convincing. If they know what you want to see, or want to hear—they can put on quite a show for you.

    Chris is so desperate to inspire change in these abusers, that he is giving them exactly what they want on a silver platter: tell me exactly what you want me to be, and I’ll be that—-but it’s only to convince you (and possibly my victim) that I am a changed person.

    AND, when the abuser most likely is done being “good” for a season, they’ll go right back to abusing—maybe even in worse ways—because they can claim that they “completed the program, they have Chris’s declaration that I am cured. If you try to turn me in, no one will believe you, especially now. They all think I’m a changed person.”

    “He assumes that addressing the hearts of abusive men is the most effective means of reducing violence against women.”

    The most effective way to reduce violence is to put them out of fellowship (if they try to claim to be Christians) and to protect and ensure the safety of the women who are at the mercy of these abusers.

    It’s a waste of time, IMO, to try to “convince” these “poor, self deluded, self unaware” people of their sins.

    • Finding Answers

      The fact Chris sees these folks as “self deluded, self unaware” speaks volumes…about Chris.

      • Denise

        After working in child welfare field, my biggest question is this: Where are the children and what are their risks of exposure to abuse while the abuser may or or may not be “in the process of change” ?

        Children in these situations are being damaged by these unhealthy cycles. Sadly, successful outcomes usually depend on helping empower victims to leave the relationship, even if it means a temporary shelter or living with a relative.

        The Duluth model was successful in reducing partner violence homicides in the US substantially because it mandated arrests by police on DV calls where there was clear evidence of abuse. But the truth is, measuring a “changed heart” is difficult, and Christian organizations need to focus on what is in the best interest of children or the safety of spouses. Sometimes marriages cannot and should not be saved.

      • Well said, Denise!

        When a man chooses to abuse his wife, and he and his wife are raising children, that man’s choice to abuse his wife is also a parenting choice he is making.

        These men choose to be bad parents. When they abuse the children’s mother, they are also abusing the children: the kids sense, hear, and often see what is going on between mum and dad. And many of these men abuse the kids by manipulating them to have scorn for their mother,.. and some/many of these men directly abuse the kids emotionally, physically and sexually as well.

        If a man is playing the role of father, his choice to use coercive control is a parenting choice he is making.

        And Chris Moles might understand theoretically how kids suffer in these situations, but his method of dealing with abusive men does nothing to protect the kids from the ongoing abuse while the man is in this long term treatment which Chris recommends.

        Thanks Denise for your contribution. We really appreciate it! 🙂

  5. fostymom

    I think a narcissist is diabolical. When an abuser is at the point of counseling with Chris, keep in mind that he made vows publicly to NOT commit such atrocities against his wife (and therefore was lying), and that his wife (and possible other mediators) have already pleaded with him to change, and he has refused. What makes anyone think that he is going to change now that he’s talking to Chris? He has a seared conscience. He has no conscience and is acting in an unconscionable manner. I think his self-deception is so deep and has gone so far that there is no turning back. He is deluded and has believed the lie.

    • anonymous39

      I don’t believe there is any actual self-deception or delusion on the abuser’s part.

      Abusers know exactly what they are doing, they do it because it works for them and gets them what they want, they are happy with themselves, and they are entirely in control all along the way. Abusers are not wounded ducks! Abusers are predators. Abusers are well aware of the criminality of their assaults, etc. and that is shown by the fact that they take great pains to conceal such, and to ensure their victim’s silence — short of that (victims coerced into silence) they smear the victim so that nobody pays her any attention, affords her any credibility, etc.

      Whenever anyone refuses to call evil out for what it is, refuses to show abusers to be the criminal, predatory, wicked people they are, they are ALLIED with the abusers. There is no room for error here, women’s lives, health, sanity, and souls are on the line.

      If an abuser can hold a job, if the abuser doesn’t abuse the cop who pulls him over and gives him a speeding ticket, if the abuser doesn’t beat up the pastor, then the abuser is sufficiently competent and socialized to know he is doing wrong. He is just wasting the pastor’s time. Chris Moles is a pawn in the abuser’s game.

      Chris Moles shouldn’t be eliciting laughs and charming audiences. His subject matter is too dire, too serious, too weighty to be making jokes. Bancroft said the appropriate response is outrage: outrage at what abusers do to their victims, outrage at what men do to wives and children. Outrage about men’s violence against women. Outrage.

      Just from the content in Barb’s article series alone, Chris Moles (and all the others who share this mindset) makes me sick.

      Perhaps Chris Moles ought to have some man come and beat him, abuse him, break him down into nothing, bring him to the edge of death…..and then, he should see whether his books, presentations, etc., do justice to what he just experienced. Would he want his attacker gently encouraged to re-examine whether or not he was sinful, to do some self-reflection exercises? These abuser men are ADULTS. They are not young children who need to be encouraged and taught to not whack each other or bite or kick one another to get another’s toys.

      Throw the book at violent, controlling, abuser men. They are children of the devil. Jail is about the only response. Short of that, they should be booted from the church.

      Again, abusers are not children. They are not babies. They are grown adults, socialized for at least 18 years. Enough with the coddling, as such is only playing into the abuser’s games.

    • Helovesme

      I think Fostymom and Anonymous39 made great comments about the nature of abusers.

      Thank you so much for sharing them. Anonymous39 especially got very detailed and descriptive as to how the abuser works—and it IS intentional.

      They believe they are 100% justified in what they do and do not believe they are to be held accountable. They do not believe they have to change. Everyone around them is to either enable or endure the abuse, because the abuser sees no reason why they should not do so.

      And they know what they are doing. No one should ever be or become deceived in that department, and it’s a tricky area as well. Abusers are great at playing the victim, setting up people to feel sorry for them, or painting the victim as the abuser. All designed to enable the abuser to keep doing what he loves most: abusing.

      I think we’ve probably all wondered at some point if abusers are self-deceived, deluded or simply mentally ill. We may have different thoughts on the subject (and I love hearing and and all of them).

      “while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:13)

      I believer abusers are some of the best deceivers out there. They are marvelous actors who are well prepped and prepared to deceive, mislead and are ready with an arsenal of tactics.

      The Word clearly indicates evildoers and impostors can be self-deceived, BUT it also does not seem to give any instruction to us to do anything about it. It simply says “they will go from bad to worse.”

      We may want to look at other translations and possibly dive into the original language of the text to dig out more of the real meaning of that verse.

      But the Bible also makes clear in other passages how certain persons are “doomed” because of their choices, and leaves it there.

      Here are some verses I am thinking about: Philippians 3:18-19. Jude 1:12. Romans 1:28. 2 Peter 2:12

  6. Krikit

    I agree with his statement that reducing violence against women lies in the hearts of men. BUT! It isn’t in the hearts of violent men where this reduction needs to happen, it is in the hearts of NON-violent men: those that do and say nothing; that allow widows and orphans (because that is what abused wives and their children are!) to go without protection, support, and help; those that are silent in the face of knowledge; those that choose ignorance because it is easier, less messy, and requires nothing of them.

    It is these men that are the true COWARDS.

    • anonymous39

      Misogyny is alive and well. Plus, if other men don’t want to get involved because the costs are too high, it shows what true terrorists these abuser men are.

      All men benefit from abusers’ violence. The bar is set so low for them. If a woman finds a man who won’t beat or rape or abuse her, he’s an instant diamond because the bar is set so low. Just like power dynamics, all men benefit from some men’s violence. Women fear upsetting men because of the violence of abusers.

      Whereas men fear being laughed at by women, women fear being killed by men.

      • Helovesme

        Anonymous39 wow that blew me away. So well said! Thank you! Same with Krikit.

        I never thought of it that way. The bar truly is set low indeed, when we are simply grateful for how a man DOESN’T treat us.

        I have noticed and protested this for a long time. Men, do not look for a “submissive” woman who simply isn’t a lot of “trouble” or “work” to be married to. You won’t have to put much work into the marriage, because it’s set up so well for you already!

        Women, do not look for a man who claims he would never abuse you, and that is all that matters. There is so much more to love than “as long as he’s not abusing me, I know I am loved.”

        I know the stats are high for women being abused by an intimate partner. Part of me understands why “not being abused” means you have beat the odds, and you are one in that rare minority who can claim to have dodged a very harsh bullet.

        But “not being abused” does not equate with being loved, or what it means to be loved (at least, not by the Lord’s standards).

        I so agree with your last line. I would add that I think men also fear being laughed at by other men, especially close relations (family, co workers, fellow male Christians, etc.) Which is another reason why all men (abusive or not) benefit from men who do abuse.

        In my life, since I was abused by a man—I tend to fear all men now. Which is a huge advantage to men in general. They know the fear factor I carry around makes me more fearful to stand up for myself, not necessarily because I think they will become violent (physically or otherwise)—but because I FEAR that they might become so.

        I do not think for an instant, however, that men fear being killed by women, or even by other men. So again, the bar is set so low for them. They probably don’t live with one tenth of the fear that women tend to.

        I was just thinking this morning about the huge amount that humiliation has played in my life. Either laughing at me or simply not taking me seriously. I “get” that being laughed at or humiliated by other men (if you are a man who dares stand up for women) is no picnic. You do take a risk.

        But if you simply can’t handle paying a price for doing the right thing, then I question what kind of person you are, male or female.

        My suggestion would be to ask God for boldness, because He is a giving God, and He loves it when His children ask for strength to stand for His righteousness.

      • I do not think for an instant, however, that men fear being killed by women, or even by other men. So again, the bar is set so low for them. They probably don’t live with one tenth of the fear that women tend to.

        Actually, it is not that uncommon for men to fear being abused by other men. In one of the @AllMenCanAU podcasts recently, one of the guys said that when he’s walking down the street the guys he most fears are white men like himself. He knows that the chances of him being king-hit or randomly attacked by a white guy or a group of white guys is higher than the chance of him being attacked by any other kind of person on the street.

        And then consider race and other intersectional issues…. Some men have plenty more reasons to fear being killed by other men. For example, imagine the fear felt by an indigenous Christian living in his own country which is predominantly muslim.

    • Yes Krikit! I will deal with this in the next post in this series. 🙂

      • Krikit

        Excellent!

      • Helovesme

        Thank you Barbara for your input!

        I was referring more about fear in the context of abuse; that women tend to fear abuse from an intimate partner more so than men do. Although of course men have experienced abuse in intimate relationships, and boys/young men have been terribly victimized by family or other persons. It is not just a “woman’s issue” for sure!

        Your points are well taken. I have also read that in American jails, male on male sexual assault is common. No matter how “big” you are as a man, one that is bigger than you obviously has the upper hand to hurt you in terrible ways.

        Male on male sexual assault is also an issue in our military. The stats are higher for women in the service, but men too have experienced this atrocity, more so than one might think.

        And yes, believers in other countries, male and female, are under constant danger. So are humanitarian workers who are trying to medically aid or offer any kind of assistance to the weak and wounded. Thank you again for the reminder :-).

  7. Wow…That’s all I can really say about Mr. Moles. I would like to think that in the beginning his goal was well meaning, however I see one of his biggest mistakes is having used the Duluth model as the basis for the intervention program he developed. Confrontation of the abuser in any setting, in my experience, only raises the danger level for the victims and any children involved. I have rarely heard of a good outcome when batterers are made to go through any program based on the Duluth model. In fact I would say that 85-90% percent go on to offend again, based on the numbers of individuals who go through like programs that I am acquainted with (five counties in my state which is well over 200 such programs). Even Christian based programs that I have knowledge of, using the Duluth model, have an extremely high rate of recidivism.

    [note from Eds: DV stands for Domestic Violence. IPV stands for Intimate Partner Violence. They are different terms for the same thing, although DV can also cover abuse of the kids and other family members.]

    DV/IPV is not only a heart issue but a spiritual issue to my sight. All to infrequently do we hear of any batters program directly addressing the possibility of spiritual intervention and directly addressing the demonic influences present in the mind of an abuser. In studying on abuse I have come to the personal conclusion that we need to direct our attentions to the demonic influences and the possibility of demonic possession where abusive individuals are concerned. I do however understand that the world has no true concept of that possibility and it would not go over well in main stream BIP’s. And too, I see the need for a selection of BIP’s to be “in-house” programs.

    To combat the rising tide of DV/IPV I see the need to go back to basics and address the batterer’s core self and core belief system, but not in a setting where the batterer is free to go back out and reoffend, as is so often the case. Once one can help them heal on a soul basis, rebuild from a strong spiritual foundation, can one then address the demonic influence. I see the need as intensive restructuring of the individual’s basic beliefs and I don’t believe that it can be done safely for those whom the abusers would set their sights on, nor do I believe that an effective program can be done in only 6 months. The way the programs are designed at present includes confronting battering behaviors [which only goads the abuser into further abuse, as many interrupt this as a personal attack and will inevitably blame the victim] further they are only giving the abuser the tools [language, what knowledge of what behaviors to hide better, and ammo to use against the victim to blame them for the abusers’ own actions…i.e. “you’re the abuser, as you have done A), B), & C)”, “you are the manipulator”, and so on] to further abuse their targets. I believe it would be accurate to say that BIP’s for the most part create a further problem instead of curtailing DV/IPV.

    This study has been quite the eye opener, and I remain concerned with those who take the information that Mr. Moles produces as “read.” The potential for continuing harm is huge in my opinion. I see a well intentioned man with no true knowledge of abusers and their ways. I see an individual with no understanding of the mind set of psychopaths, sociopaths, and individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (which I am personally convinced a majority of abusers are afflicted with). I see no addressing of the possibility of demonic influence. I do see the same rhetoric delivered in fresh words that give the impression that it’s something new and different. I see a man who reinforces the misogynistic leanings of the church as a whole, while pandering to male egos. I see very little benefit for the field of DV/IPV intervention which is disheartening.

    • Thank you so much, GypsyAngel. 🙂

      I have been thinking along the same lines as you in some respects: there is a demonic aspect to what DV perpetrators do in many if not most or all cases. And woe to the ‘c’hurch which ignores this.

      Many of our readers have testified to seeing demonic-type manifestations from their abusers. Here are some of our posts which talk about this:

      Demons Thrash When They are Exposed – And so do Abusers

      He could hear the voice of the Lord, but he threw it away.

      Domestic Abusers and Demonization

      Porn — the supposedly “harmless” anaconda being allowed to slither silently into homes

      My Own Private Dexter: Insights into the Psychopath – by Deborah

      The Abuser as a Picture of Satan

      Signs of the Dark Kingdom

      The Satanic Nature of the Abuser’s Mockery

      The One Behind all Quests for Power

      And here is a way of thinking about Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs and how they relate to spiritual warfare. In my post Dealing with a spiritual stronghold I talk about the spiritual warfare Paul describes in 2 Corinthians 10:4-6. It is a warfare involving argument, ideas, thoughts, beliefs. We are to demolish false beliefs. Destroy arguments. Cast down imaginations and pretensions that set themselves up against the knowledge of God. That’s how we demolish a stronghold. That’s how we cast down a tightly jointed fortress of lies.

      • Jamie

        Is this list of links posted somewhere else on the blog as a collection like this? If it’s not, I think it would be helpful for it to be listed that way.

        In the meantime, I know there is a way to create a link that leads directly to a comment and I would love to have one that leads here. I have 2 people I’ve tried to refer to it already.

        I’m not sure if that kind of link has to be created by admins or if we can do it ourselves. So I’d also love it if someone could either provide a link or instructions on how to make one. 🙂 (That seems like a lot I am asking for this morning.)

        Thank you so much for this!

      • Thanks Jamie, good suggestion about putting that list of links up. I think I will create a post or perhaps an FAQ page about it.

        You asked how to make a direct link to a comment. I think you can do this easily on a laptop, but you can probably do it on a phone too. Try this:

        When you are viewing the comment that you want to link to, look underneath the commenters’ screen name and you will see in grey a date and time stamp. If you click on that, I think you will then see in your browser the direct URL to that comment. Copy and paste that URL.

        Can you please let me know if this works? I do this quite often at other people’s blogs, so I am guessing readers can do it at this blog too.

      • Jamie

        I see the grey dates, but they are not live links. I am on my laptop, not my phone, but it is still possible I am missing something.

        If other people are not able to see the links as live either, it may be a setting that needs to be changed. Or it could be a feature only available to admins for this particular WordPress template.

      • TW, could you pls investigate this?

      • Barb,

        It is not possible for the date/time stamps of comments to be active links due to the current theme on WordPress that we are using.

      • anon57

        If a person’s comments are caught while still on the Recent Comments sidebar, there is a link given then, but that’s the only way I know.

    • GypsyAngel, can you please explain what you mean by this:

      I see the need for a selection of BIP’s to be “in-house” programs.

      • GypsyAngel

        Certainly Barbara,

        As I see it, abusers so often have other issues. In a majority of cases that I’ve come across there are compounding behaviors such as alcoholism and drug abuse, gamboling and/or pornography. I suggest a multi modality residential program might be they way to treat the whole person, symptoms and all, while keeping victims safe, as well as giving the victim some breathing space to come out of the fog. I do understand that this might be problematic, as it would prevent the perpetrator from working and providing for the family. However if it were set up as a residential situation they could be released to go to work and then return to the housing complex for intensive classes and therapy. This method would offer a higher level of accountability than the current punitive system. At the same time, the individual would be in a controlled or semi-controlled setting, one in which the whole person could treated and specific behaviors and issues addressed. This would also have the added benefit of giving the victim the freedom to take further action safely if they deem it necessary. I haven’t really had the opportunity to take this thought process further; however, I think its an idea worth developing.

        Then you also have the demonic influence to consider. In a controlled environment, one can also address that aspect. A possible down side that I do perceive though is all those individuals with pathological behaviors in close quarters with one another. Abusers propensity for mirroring has the potential to become and explosive situation. But then too in a controlled environment, that could be directly addressed and proper measures taken.

        In my opinion, society sort of has it backwards (as is often the case). The abuser is free to move about wreaking havoc in the life of the victim and their families, while the victims and their children are locked away and their freedoms are even further curtailed by the necessity of keeping them safe. If the perpetrator were to be subject to a residential program, they would be closely monitored and the victim would be free…truly free to start to heal. Accountability is key I believe, society as a whole does not hold the abuser accountable and does in fact sometimes glorify them and their “manly” behaviors. If we were to flip the script, and allow the victim safe freedom, then perhaps it might be a step towards changing how society views the victim as well as sending a clear message that abusive behaviors will no longer be white washed or swept under the rug as is so often the case.

      • ah, thanks for explaining your thought more, Gypsy. The cost of that kind of program would be phenomenal, but probably no more costly than keeping lots of criminals in jail.

        However, I think what your picture is not yet taking into account is that true ‘healing’ really only comes if the person is converted. And it is more than clear from scripture and from history that God does not regenerate every one.

        I know the Bible urges us to present the gospel (which means presenting the Law first, in the hope that the hearer will be convicted of their sin). And I know that Jesus died for all sin; but the atonement will not be applied to all individuals.

        If society were to set up a program like the one you are envisaging, it would help the victims be more safe and contain some of the abusers in the program might have substantial improvement in their character, but I’m guessing that not all of them would undergo the new birth.

        It’s tricky discussing this. Certainly secular society could do much better at holding perps accountable and scaffolding the potential for abusers to reform. But that kind of reformation is not the same thing as regeneration (being born again).

        By the way, in Australia the mens behaviour change programs assess the men for whether or not they are suitable for the programs. Some men are not suitable or only suitable on certain conditions, e.g. men who have substance abuse problems or mental health issues are not often suitable for the group programs unless they get treatment for their other issue(s) first, or at least are getting their other issues treated concurrently with their participation in the group program so that they do not disrupt the group too much. And a man cannot be mandated to get treatment for his substance abuse issue; involuntary treatment of substance abuse never works.

      • GypsyAngel

        I will refer back to the article Dealing with Spiritual Strongholds. To rebuild a man in the image of God spiritually one must first remove the internal structure that holds the false beliefs together. This is why I suggest a controlled, long-term living environment such as a residential treatment facility/living arrangement.

      • Anon

        With all due respect to GypsyAngel, I still believe abusers are children of the devil. Abusers are criminals, Any other belief will lead everyone down yet another rabbit hole. Abusers are reprobates. They are to be handed over to the devil, who is their father anyhow. Shake the dust off and be done with them. Coddling them in yet another abuser-focused rehab/intervention program just further helps abusers play victims to their supposed bad upbringing/bad tempers/substance abuse problems/mental health issues/etc.

        Abusers are satan’s children. They are happy to do their evil father’s wicked will. Do not be deceived. If the abuser can hold a job, they are plenty socialized and educated in the basics of human interactions. Abusers know what they are doing. There are plenty of drunks and drug addicts who don’t beat their wives. There are plenty of mentally ill men who don’t beat their wives.

        Again, if the abuser doesn’t abuse the cop who pulls him over and gives him a speeding ticket, then he is not a victim of demonic forces/a raging drug/drinking problem/bad childhood experiences/poor, inadequate, or bad parenting/a short fuse/etc.

        Abusers are demonic in the sense that they are evil. They are children of the devil. And they are happy with themselves. Do not be deceived by false displays of anguish, crocodile tears, sob stories, pity plays, etc. Abusers do what they do because they want to, it works for them, it serves their interests, and because they can. If abusers had interests and desires in not being abusers, they wouldn’t have abused in the first place.

        Abusers are predators. In Proverbs, God’s Holy Word tells us that a leopard cannot change its spots. Anything about helping abusers to change, intervening, re-educating abusers, ‘loving them to Jesus’ or other nonsense is against God’s Holy Word. Look at Proverbs. God talks about the wicked and how they plot, ambush, scheme, and victimize the innocent. God says that there are those who cannot rest until they have done wrong. God says nothing about sitting abusers down and having a good heart-to-heart with them, putting them into rehab/residential intervention programs/’counseling’ programs and they’ll come to see the error of their misguided ways. No. Abusers are predators.

        Somewhere in the U.S. a jaguar got out of its cage in the zoo and went about killing a number of other zoo animals before being caught or otherwise going back to its cage. Didn’t eat them, just killed them in a territorial display of power. Abusers are predators. They attack, kill, beat, rape, abuse because its what they like to do. Anything else, and you fall victim to the abuser’s deceptions, games, ruses, ploys, distractions, obfuscations, etc. Do not be deceived.

        My abuser gloried in what he did and how demonic it was. He is not a victim. He is not demon-possessed and needing an exorcism. He is evil and he revels in being wicked. They are children of the devil. To believe anything else is basically like playing with matches and gasoline.

        Wasn’t it Don Hennessey who said that abusers can change, but he has never met one who wanted to change. And he is in his 70s, having worked in the field for decades upon decades. Never met an abuser who wanted to change. They are happy being abusers. If it was against their conscience, caused them distress, they’d change in an instant. If an abuser can hold a job, the abuser doesn’t need any socialization/re-education/re-parenting/anger management/therapy/etc. They know what they are doing and are very cognizant of such being abuse and they like who they are. Abusers are not sleep-deprived individuals with consciences that are eating them alive. Abusers sleep like babies, even minutes after beating their wives (especially after beating their wives — see Proverbs 4:16). Their targets, on the other hand, are plagued with nightmares and find little peaceful rest/quality sleep.

      • Hi Anon
        I know your abuser was diabolical and you are right to be furious about his evildoing.

        I am, however, wondering whether you might be seeing things rather a bit too much through the lens of you own experience with him. Do you consider that abuse goes on a spectrum, and that some abusers are much worse than others?

        If you accept that proposition, would you be willing to watch a link I am going to give you? It is a video of a guy who used to be abusive to his female parters, but now seems to have genuinely reformed. To my knowledge he has not become a Christian, but he does seem to me to be one of the rare men who have reformed in character. His name is Ivan Clark and he tells his story here.

      • Anon

        Hi Barb,

        You’re right. Abuse and violence are on a continuum. I realize what was done to me is on the extreme end and my abuser located on the extreme/lethal end. But I think the same core is there. Abuse escalates. Violence becomes more extreme. And I just feel obligated to stress to others not to waste their time seeing if their abuser could possibly be rehabilitated or whatever. The chance is so tiny, so nearly non-existent, as to not be real. I have yet to watch the clip but I doubt the guy was truly an abuser…

        I say jail-time for the abusers, with mandatory work-release, zero-tolerance for any contact of the victims (they get sent to the hole for a month/year for each contact, something like that), with their paychecks automatically going to their victim so the house mortgage or rent still gets paid and the victims aren’t soon on the streets. Victims stay in the homes. The abuser is booted from the home, and upon release from jail, then the abuser can see what he can afford for himself after the victim’s rent is paid, etc. And if money is tight, then he can go live in a homeless shelter (as that’s what victims are currently forced to do after DV shelter stays). He can spend a few years earning the privilege of being back into contact once or twice a year with the children, but that’s that. If men knew it was that serious, the consequences that grave, they’d be way different.

        There needs to be serious consequences for abusers. Think about the grave effect they have on the victims of their violence, abuse, perversity.

        All abusers can be lethal… If they can get what they want through verbal cruelty alone, then there’s no need for violence (beatings). That’s how and why abusers who only psychologically and emotionally abused their wives come to be the next murder-suicide perps when their wives ditch them. They’ll escalate to the degree that is necessary to get what they want. Just because they have accomplished their ends while staying on the low end of the continuum doesn’t mean they wouldn’t or couldn’t escalate such if things changed.

      • Anon

        Oh yes, and a sidenote — I, too, had this ideal of hoping the sadist would see the light, would change, would stop the abuse, that seeing a counselor might stop the extreme abuse, violence, and depravity. So I don’t fault others for having such notions, but I think that shows the desperation of the abused. They so badly need it to stop, need the fathers of their children to cease being abusers, etc. ………….. But it won’t and it doesn’t.

        It’s fantasy.

        The cold, hard reality is that abusers are abusers. The children’s fathers are abusers. It is better to salvage whatever currently is, than risk swirling the drain another time because who knows if the next attack will cost the victim her vision in one eye?

        When you’re in it, you’re trapped. When you come out of it, it’s still really messed up and a long, long journey. But if I have gained anything, it is the conviction that abusers don’t change. They just don’t. And even if say, 5-10% do change, that’s 90-95% of victims whose lives are still suffering and being destroyed for a greater amount of time because they hoped an abuser-program would change things. That’s a whole of people’s lives, children’s lives being risked and the gamble is too extreme.

        I realize I don’t always walk the walk, as it is so tempting and automatic to retreat into denial-land in actual day-to-day living, BUT, the truth is as I speak it. I’ve talked with a lot of women, listened to a lot of women, and none of them had abusers who changed for the better. The abusers kept on being abusers. Some had jail sentences. Some did the Batterer Intervention Program. Some lost immediate contact with their wives and children via separation and divorce. But the abusers didn’t change.

        Perhaps it is the modern Christianity element that is prone to be misguided into ever-hoping. I don’t know. But as I continue to think about things, there’s no way I’d ever put hope into any abuser changing. That seems to make the most sense and feel the most right, given my experiences. Women and children are too valuable. But I realize I am privileged in that I don’t have children with the abuser so I am not forever plagued with that nightmare experience (not the kids, but the custody battles, the seeing one’s kids harmed because the abuser knows the best way to harm Mom is to harm the kids during visitation or turn them against her or use them as pawns in some other way).

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