A Cry For Justice

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

Understanding Domestic Abuse

Abuse and Relationships

The purpose of this site is to reduce harm and lessen suffering by bringing clarity to the confusing area of intimate partner violence.  CAVEAT:  the author of this site, Michael Samsel, regards trauma bonding as a credible idea, recommends Patrick Carnes’ book The Betrayal Bond, and some of his articles take for granted that trauma bonding happens.  We believe that the concept of trauma bonding needs to be discarded — see The Myth of “Stockholm Syndrome” and other labels which are used to discredit and pathologize victims of abuse.

Abuse and the Church

Pastor Crippen was asked by Theology Gals, a Facebook group that includes over 2500 women from all over the county and a few different nations, to do an interview discussing abuse and the church.  The interview was produced as a podcast through the Bible Thumping Wingnut Network and has been released. You can listen to the episode from BTWN website or you can listen through iTunes or any podcast app on your portable devices.

Aphrodite Wounded

Secular site for survivors of intimate partner sexual assault and their supporters.

Are You Walking on Eggshells?

by Barbara Roberts.  Tri-fold flyer to help women understand what they are suffering and encourage them to disclose.
Great to put in church foyers and bathrooms.
download flyer in US paper size
download flyer in A4 paper size

Assessing men who present as victims of family violence but who may actually be the primary aggressors (PDF)

This training was part of the No To Violence 2012 Australasian Conference on Responses to Men’s Domestic Violence and Family Violence. The training as presented by Nathan DeGuara, Victims Support Officer, Victims Support Agency, Dept of Justice, Victoria, Australia. Nathan drew on the work of the Victims Support Agency and No To Violence in assisting practitioners to assess whether men who are referred — or who present — as victims of intimate partner violence are the victim or the one perpetrating violence.

BIFF Response

This site discusses how to manage exchanges with “high conflict people” but it does not consider the degree of high conflict we mostly deal with on this blog. Their advice really isn’t geared toward the difficulties of dealing with the average conscience-deficient evil abuser —  evil people who know what they are doing and why they are doing it and whose purpose is control and dominance.

 They are mostly about non-abusers who are socially challenged in some way and so become difficult. However, that does not mean what they have to say is not valuable or would not be helpful for some situations our readers may be dealing with.  Some of what they say can be helpful for abuse victims, especially the article on responding to emails.

They have a section on high conflict people at work and a ton of stuff on divorce.  We are not sure their divorce stuff is all that helpful for domestic abuse situations, though.  And one of their suggestions would be contraindicated in dealing with abusers: what they call the E.A.R. method, which is give Empathy (we are already lost right there), Attention, and Respect.  Noooooo……

So readers, when you visit this site, just bear these caveats in mind.

Can abusers change?

From domesticshelters.org this article discusses if abusers can change and, if so, what are some signs that recovery is possible.

Catherine Kroeger’s talk at the inaugural conference of Restored Relationships

This is an audio recording.

Counseling Victims of Domestic Abuse

A presentation Diane Langberg gave at the Forum Of Christian Leaders, Budapest, 25 May 2010.  Diane Langberg, a Christian psychologist, has worked with many victims of domestic abuse, sexual abuse and genocide; and also with people who have abused power in positions of Christian leadership.  You can find other resources created or recommended by Diane Langberg at dianelangberg.com.  

Christian Domestic Discipline (Wife Spanking): A Personal Story, and a Closer Look at Patterns Connected with this Abusive Practice

by Julie Anne at spiritualsoundingboard.com

Coercive Control: a recommended three part series

by Lisa Aronson Fontes, author of Invisible Chains: Overcoming Coercive Control in Your Intimate Relationship.

The Cycle of Abuse

Developed by ARMS (Abuse Recovery Ministry Services)

Danni Moss’s articles on Abuse in the Christian Home

Danni, a survivor who has now passed away, was a trailblazer in this work.

The Deaf Endure Domestic Violence More than Hearing

From domesticshelters.org an article that discusses the unique challenges this population faces.

Deal Breakers:  Advice to Unmarried Women (and Daughters)

Blog post by Natalie Klejwa at Visionary Womanhood.  You can also get it as a PDF which you can print off and share.

Domestic Abuse:  Myths versus Truths

Youtube video that refutes 11 common myths about domestic abuse.

Emotional Abuse, the Silent Killer of Christian Marriages

by Amy Wildman White.

Focus Ministries Articles

several articles, including “Charmers and Con Artists”

For Love or Money

A 7 minute video highlighting the serious and harmful nature of financial abuse. Financial abuse is hard to recognize and it can happen to anyone in any relationship.

Fred et Marie

“Fred et marie” is a video produced by Bonjour, Inc. It is in French, but there are English subtitles.  This video does an excellent job of portraying coercive control, entrapment, social abuse & isolation, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, threats of physical violence… and the profound fear which all this induces in the victim.  It also shows poor bystander responses. TRIGGER WARNING:  This video is 15 minutes in length and will almost certainly trigger some, so please be prepared.

The Gender Debate in Domestic Violence:  The Role of Data by Australian Domestic & Family Violence Clearinghouse

This page discusses the issues of gender and violence in relationship and the controversy between proponents of gender asymmetry (i.e. men are more likely to be violent and women more likely to be victims) and proponents of gender symmetry (i.e. men and women are equally violent and equally likely to be victims).

Honouring Women’s Resistance: How Women Resist Abuse in Intimate Relationships

An excellent 34 page PDF resource from Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter. And their booklet Choosing to Change: A Handbook for Men concerned about their abusive behavior toward those they love – may be helpful for abusers who want to change.

Maybe I was married to an abuser

by Cindy Burrell

Narcissism and the System it Breeds

Dr. Langberg, clinical faculty with Biblical Seminary and GTRI, lectures on the characteristics of narcissistic leaders and the temptations for organizational systems to support them.  This five-part video will help you to 1) identify common features of narcissistic leaders and organization, 2) examine individual and system vulnerabilities to toxic leadership, 3) summarize best practices for therapy with narcissistic individuals, and 4) compare leadership style of Jesus Christ and egocentric and demanding church leaders.

Olympic Gospel Mission Bible Studies on Domestic Abuse

This is a PDF created by Olympia Union Gospel Mission.  This workbook includes ten biblical studies which focus on understanding the basic dynamics of domestic violence relationships, including verbal abuse.

Pandora’s Project

Support and resources for survivors of rape and sexual abuse.

Pornography: Lies, Truth and Hope

a helpful booklet by the Mennonite Central Committee Canada.  It can be downloaded for free as a PDF.

Power and Control Wheels

by the Duluth Model  (Duluth, Minnesota) — a world innovator in community responses to domestic violence.

Reacting to Insinuations in the Verbally Abusive Relationship

by Kellie Holly (audio recording)

Relationship Problems and Money:  Women talk about financial abuse

by WIRE Women’s Information.  This long report comes from Victoria, Australia, so some of the details may not be pertinent to all areas and jurisdictions.  But overall, experiences of financial abuse are probably similar no matter where you may come from.  Sections 3 and 4 of the report are of most use to survivors of abuse, as these sections have lots of anecdotes from women who have experienced financial abuse from their husbands/partners.

Screening questions for intimate partner sexual abuse

by the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs. A guide for developing tools to assess for sexual assault within the context of domestic violence.

This is How Victim-Blaming Logic Would Play out in Everyday Scenarios

3 one-minute videos that each feature an ordinary setting in which one character uses victim-blaming behavior to excuse their problematic actions, similar to the victim-blaming actions in cases of sexual assault and domestic abuse.

Three Myths About Survivors of Domestic Violence

From domesticschelters.org a myth busting article about survivors of domestic violence

Toxic Relationship Aftermath: Doubt, Mistrust and Paranoia?

by Dr George Simon Jr

Unhelpful Comments by Well-Meaning People – and how to respond to them

by Barbara Roberts

What is Coercive Control?

Excellent article that explains ‘coercive control’ —  a term developed by Evan Stark to help us understand domestic abuse as more than a ‘fight’, rather it is a pattern of behavior which seeks to take away the victim’s liberty or freedom, to strip away her sense of self.  It is not just women’s bodily integrity which is violated but also their human rights.

What’s the Difference Between Normal Marital Conflict and Abuse?

by Jeff Olson of RBC Ministries

When your character disordered ex defames and makes trouble for you

by Dr George Simon Jr

Will It happen Again?

From domesticshelters.org an article that discusses if past behaviors predict future abuse.

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