A Cry For Justice

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

Books by Title

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A Cry For Justice: How the Evil of Domestic Abuse Hides in Your Church

by Jeff Crippen and Anna Woods.
Here is a link to a review of this book by Ps Dave Orrison.

Behind the Hedge

by Waneta Dawn.  A novel about domestic abuse, where the abuser scarcely shows any physical violence.

The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships

by Patrick Carnes.  The author presents an in-depth study of relationships that create trauma bonds, why they form, who is most susceptible, and how they become so powerful.   He shows how to recognize when traumatic bonding has occurred and gives a checklist for examining relationships.  He then provides steps to safely extricate from these relationships.  You can read a review of this book by one of our reader here.

Bible Studies On Domestic Violence

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.

BIFF: Quick Responses to High Conflict People, Their Hostile Emails, Personal Attacks and Social Media Meltdowns.

by Bill Eddy.  Written by president and co-founder of High Conflict Institute, Eddy created the BIFF response to protect you and your reputation by responding quickly and civilly to people who treat you rudely — while being reasonable in return.  BIFF stands for Brief, Informative, Friendly, and Firm.  This little book gives over 20 examples of BIFF responses for all areas of life — plus additional tips to help you deal with high-conflict people anywhere.

Birthright: Christian, Do You Know Who You Are?

by David Needham.  This book does not address abuse, but addresses another issue sorely lacking in our understanding.  Needham writes in the introduction, “Could it be that a major reason for the indifference, the epidemic occurrences of moral shipwreck in our evangelical churches, and the shattering of Christian homes is because we have seen ourselves as nothing more than ‘Christian’  forgiven sinners – failing to be what we should be, because we cannot stop being what we think we are?”

Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife:  My Story of Finding Hope after Domestic Abuse.  

by Ruth A Tucker.  Ruth recounts a harrowing story of abuse at the hands of her husband, a well-educated charming preacher no less, in hope that her story would help other women caught in a cycle of domestic violence and offer a balanced biblical approach to counter such abuse for pastors and counselors.

 Blink:  The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

by Malcolm Gladwell.  This book does not address abuse, but it will help you to pay attention and give more credit to your intuition.

Broken and Battered

by Muriel Canfield.  The author tells the stories of two Christian survivors, one of whom was married to a pastor, the other to an extreme narcissist.

But He Never Hit Me: The Devastating Cost of Non-Physical Abuse to Girls and Women

by Dr. Jill Murray.  This has been recommended by one of our readers.  You can read her comment about the book here.

Character Disturbance: The Phenomenon of Our Age

by Dr. George Simon, Jr.  Any abuse victim reading this book is very likely to say “he is describing my situation!”

Dangerous Exits: Escaping Abusive Relationships in Rural America

by Walter S. DeKeseredy and Martin D. Schwartz.  Looks at the physical, mental and sexual violence rural women may face when exiting dangerous relationships, after they have left them, or even post-divorce. People are very fond of leveling judgments at women who don’t “just leave” but this book is a timely reminder of the terrorism that serves to frighten women into remaining – and their fear of what may happen if they leave is, as this book shows, not groundless. DeKeseredy and Schwartz explore the danger of sexual assault when a woman “emotionally” separates from a partner – i.e. she does not have to even announce she is leaving; the man just senses she is growing distant and rapes her in order to reassert control and ownership.

Dead by Sunset 

by Ann Rule.  A “true-crime” story about real-life abuse by a psychopathic man named Bradley Morris Cunningham who murdered his wife.  Free of any restraints of conscience, Cunningham devastated the lives of intelligent, talented women and just about everyone else around him.  His ability to deceive and manipulate was incredible.

Divorce and Remarriage in the Church: Biblical Solutions for Pastoral Realities

by David Instone-Brewer.  Written for the average lay Christian.

Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible: The Social and Literary Context

by David Instone-Brewer.  Published before the title above, this one goes into more scholarly depth.

Instone-Brewer’s divorce and remarriage website

YouTube Playmobile depictions of Instone-Brewer’s teaching on divorce and remarriage (the link takes you to the first message in the series)

The Emotionally Abusive Relationship: How to Stop Being Abused and How to Stop Abusing.

by Beverly Engel.  This book addresses the victim who is also an abuser. [Note: not a Christian book]

The Emotionally Destructive Marriage:  How to Find Your Voice and Reclaim Your Hope

by Leslie Vernick.  Excellent treatment of headship and submission in marriage, and what submission is NOT.  But one downside of this book is that it does not state categorically that Scripture condones divorce for domestic abuse.

Family and Friends’ Guide to Domestic Violence: How to Listen, Talk and Take Action When Someone You Care About is Being Abused

by Elaine Weiss.

Fool-Proofing Your Life: How to Deal Effectively with the Impossible People in Your Life

by Jan Silvious.  Building upon the Book of Proverbs in the Bible, Silvious teaches us that abusers (fools) are not your normal brand of sinner and cannot be handled with typical methods we might use for dealing with other people. Caveat: This author says abuse is not grounds for divorce. We disagree with that, but find other useful things in the book.

The Gift of Fear and Other Survival Signals that Protect Us from Violence

by Gavin de Becker.  Helps you recognize early warning signs that someone may be dangerous.

Hanging on by my Fingernails:  Surviving the new divorce gamesmanship and how a scratch can land you in jail

by Janie McQueen.

He Loves Me Not?: How to Break the Cycle of Painful Relationships 

by Joanne Robinson.  For Christian women preparing for dating and marriage relationships and those recovering from a break up or divorce.

Helping Her Get Free:  A Guide for Families & Friends of Abused Women

by Susan Brewster. Guidance for those who support victim-survivors.  Recommended by Lundy Bancroft.  This book was originally published as To be an Anchor in the Storm.

How Did We End Up Here?: Surviving and Thriving in a Character-Disordered World

by George Simon Jr. He answers questions such as: Can he (she) really change? Is there a chance for us?  Should I stay or do I go?  What do I do about the lies, deceit, and manipulation?

How to Avoid Falling in Love with a Jerk: The Foolproof Way to Follow Your Heart Without Losing Your Mind

by John Van Epp, Ph.D.  Helpful for those entering new relationships.

In Love and in Danger:  A Teen’s Guide to Breaking Free of Abusive Relationships

by Barrie Levy.  Recommended by Lundy Bancroft.

In Sheep’s Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People

by Dr George Simon, Jr.  Discusses the mentality of the sociopath and the tactics of covert abuse.

Intimate Partner Sexual Violence:  A Multidisciplinary Guide to Improving Services and Support for Survivors of Rape and Abuse. 

by Louise McOrmond-Plummer, Dr. Patricia Easteal, and Dr. Jennifer Y. Levy-Peck.
This is an authoritative resource for all professionals who work with IPSV victims including counselors, social workers, refuge workers, victim advocates, mental health professionals, pastoral workers, lawyers, police, and health practitioners.  This book brings together advice from professionals working with individuals who have experienced IPSV, including Barbara Roberts who has contributed a chapter in this book;  the chapter is entitled “Pastoral Responses to Christian Survivors of Intimate Partner Sexual Violence”.

The Judas Syndrome: Why Good People Do Awful Things

by George Simon Jr.  Has a more overtly Christian tone than Simon’s other two books.

The Life We Never Expected:  Hopeful Reflections on the Challenges of Parenting Children with Special Needs. 

by Andrew and Rachel Wilson. Andrew and Rachel Wilson know what it means to live a life they never expected.  As the parents of two children with special needs (autism), their story mingles deep pain with deep joy in unexpected places.  With raw honesty, they share about the challenges they face on a daily basis — all the while teaching what it means to weep, worship, wait, and hop in the Lord.  Offering encouragement rooted in God’s Word, this book will help you cling to Jesus and fight for joy when faced with a life you never expected.

Love Isn’t Supposed To Hurt

by Christi Paul.  Here is what one of our readers has said about this book: “When I started to realize that my marriage was abusive this was really helpful because she is a Christian woman and she describes the abuse she suffered at the hands of her first husband who was also an alcoholic.  Just one caution though, I found myself saying things like, well he doesn’t do that so maybe it’s not so bad for me etc., but she talks about how she left and what she did to leave and also spends a fair amount of time talking about some therapy that she went through to help heal herself of the verbal abuse she had suffered.  I just remember her saying in there, I wasn’t created to be abused. No one is.  So many lightbulb moments! “

Mending the Soul: Understanding and Healing Abuse

by Steven Tracy.

My Single Mom Life: Stories and Practical Lessons for Your Journey

by Angela Thomas.  Read a recommendation of this book here.

Not Under Bondage: Biblical Divorce for Abuse, Adultery and Desertion

by Barbara Roberts.  This book explains the scriptural dilemmas of abuse victims in regard to separation and divorce,  carefully examines the scriptures and scholarly research, and shows how the Bible sets victims of abuse free from bondage and guilt. It will help victims throw off the unbiblical traditions they have been in bondage to and get free from their abusers. Read reviews of this book at Barbara’s website.  Here is an additional review of this book by Ps. Dave Orrison.

October Snow

by Jenna Brooks

Physical Abusers and Sexual Offenders:  Forensic and Clinical Strategies

by Scott Johnson.  The first resource of its kind, this book addresses the similarities between these overlapping fields.  The book’s detailed structure includes information on the psychological, emotional, physical, and sexual facets of the abuse cycle from name-calling, to complete psychological deconstruction, rape, and homicide.

Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, And Other Sex Offenders

by Anna Salter.  Drawing on the stories of abusers, Salter shows that sexual predators use sophisticated deception techniques and rely on misconceptions surrounding them to evade discovery. Arguing that even the most knowledgeable among us can be fooled, Salter dispels the myths about sexual predators and gives us the tools to protect our families and ourselves.

Protecting Children From Abuse in the Church

by Boz Tchividjian.  The author unpacks the dynamics of a church environment that allows perpetrators to thrive and offers constructive help for educating and training your church to recognize and deal with potential abuse.

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement

by Kathryn Joyce.

Released From Shame: Moving Beyond the Pain of the Past

by Sandra D. Wilson.  Shame is an wicked ally of abuse.  Writing from a Christian perspective, Wilson teaches us about shame, about its causes, and how to be free from it.

Representing The Domestic Violence Survivor: Critical Legal Issues; Effective Safety Strategies

by Barry Goldstein, J.D., and Elizabeth Liu, J.D. Recommended resource for lawyers who are representing domestic abuse victims.

Response Based Approaches to the Study of Interpersonal Violence

by Wade, Allan, Margareta Hyden, David Gadd.  Recommended for all professionals who are in some way or other dealing with interpersonal violence and abuse. We have not read this yet but are comfortable endorsing it as we have great respect for Allan Wade one of the authors/editors, and are confident his co-editors would be of similar integrity.

Seducers Among Our Children, How to Protect Your Children From Sexual Predators — A Police Investigator’s Perspective

by Patrick Crough.  A retired investigative sergeant from New York, Crough shares his experience as an investigative officer for child sex abuses cases.  Crough’s book gives practical and vital instruction and information on how to protect your children from sexual predators.

Sexual Abuse in Marriage

by D. Anne Pierce (a Christian).

Shame & Guilt: Masters of Disguise

by Jane Middelton-Moz.  This book describes how debilitating shame is created and fostered in childhood and how it manifests itself in adulthood and in intimate relationships.

Snakes in Suits:  Why Psychopaths Go to Work

by Robert Hare and Paul Babiak.  Researchers Paul Babiak and Robert Hare have long studied psychopaths.  Hare, the author of Without Conscience, is a world-renowned expert on psychopathy, and Babiak is an industrial-organizational psychologist.  The two came together to study how psychopaths operate in corporations, and the results were surprising.

The Sociopath Next Door

by Martha Stout.  Conscienceless people are far more numerous than we realize and Stout helps us learn to recognize their mentality and tactics and how we must deal with them.

So You are a Believer… Who has been through Divorce…: A Myth-Busting Biblical Perspective on Divorce

by Joseph Pote.  Written by a man who has been through the fire, forced to search the Scriptures for himself regarding divorce for abuse.

The Socially Skilled Child Molester:  Differentiating the Guilty from the Falsely Accused
by Carla Van Dam.  This book reveals the secret but successful strategies used by child molesters which allows adults to intervene long before children are abused.  It focuses on the sexual deviants who “groom’ family, friends, and their community to allow their activities, though arousing suspicion, to go on without restriction.
Stolen From My Arms

by Sapienza, Katherine.  A true story about a mother that risks everything to get her son back.  When the legal system fails her she must take a different course of action — a dangerous one.  A true, heart-rending story which illustrates God’s mercy and redemption.

Tear Down This Wall of Silence:  Dealing with Sexual Abuse in Our Churches (an introduction for those who will hear)

by Dale Ingraham and Rebecca Davis.  This is a well researched resource for believers navigating sexual abuse in their churches or ministries.

The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse: Recognizing and Escaping Spiritual Manipulation and False Spiritual Authority Within the Church

by David Johnson and Jeff VanVonderen.  Highly recommended apart from the fact that this book does not explicitly say that divorce is permissible in cases of spousal abuse.

To Be an Anchor in the Storm

by Susan Brewster.  Guidance for those who supporters victim-survivors. Strongly recommended by Lundy Bancroft.

Too late to Say Goodbye

by Ann Rule.  This “true-crime” story is about Bart Corbin, the “handsome twin” responsible for a double homicide that spanned 14 years.

Trauma and Recovery:  The Aftermath of Violence-from Domestic Abuse to Political Terror. 

by Judith Herman. The author draws on her own cutting-edge research in domestic violence as well as on the vast literature of combat veterans and victims of political terror, to show the parallels between private terrors such as rape and public traumas such as terrorism. The book puts individual experience in a broader political frame, arguing that psychological trauma can be understood only in a social context.  Meticulously documented and frequently using the victims’ own words as well as those from classic literary works and prison diaries, Trauma and Recovery is a powerful work that will continue to profoundly impact our thinking.

Unholy Charade: Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church

by Jeff Crippen with Rebecca Davis. Pastor and author Jeff Crippen presents Christ’s body with a work steeped in Scripture that lays before us a map of the abusive mind, the tactics of abuse, the effects abuse has on its victims, and the tragic way our churches have failed the victims of this sin. He issues a clarion call for those who love Christ to answer the call to love the oppressed and speak for the victims – together we can root out the wolves in the midst of the flock and unmask the domestic abuser in the church hiding in our pews.

 The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to Recognize it and How to Respond

by Patricia Evans. An excellent introduction, focusing on verbal abuse.  It includes a questionnaire tool to help the reader evaluate their own relationships.

What Doesn’t Kill Us: The New Psychology of Posttraumatic Growth

by Stephen Joseph.

What Parents Need to Know About Dating Violence: Advice and Support for Helping Your Teen  

by Barrie Levy and Patricia Occhiuzzo Giggam.  Recommended by Lundy Bancroft.

When Love Hurts: A Woman’s Guide to Understanding Abuse in Relationships

Karen McAndless-Davis & Jill Cory.  Karen is a Christian but the site is written for non-Christians as it aims to be of assistance to all women. Lundy Bancroft and Jackson Katz endorse the book.

Untwisting Scriptures: that were used to tie you up, gag you and tangle your mind.

by Rebecca Davis. This book untwists and presents the beautiful truth of God’s Word, exposing sin where it needs to be revealed, and offering hope to those who most desperately need it. Scriptures can be untwisted. You can rise up from spiritual abuse and walk in the freedom of Christ.

Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us 

by Robert Hare.  Robert Hare is a leader in the field of criminal and abnormal psychology.  He has designed the most reliable tool used for testing for psychopaths.

Would the Real Church PLEASE Stand Up? 

by Susan Greenfield.  Survivor account of fleeing from her abusive pastor husband.

Your Sexually Addicted Spouse.

by Barbara Steffens and Marsha Means.

 

6 Comments

  1. Emily

    Have you reviewed this book: [Christ Centered Biblical Counseling]

    • Jeff Crippen

      Emily – To my knowledge none of us have reviewed that book. We have had enough contact with these “biblical counseling” books and ministries to know that we need to be very wary of them. Most tend to attribute a person’s problems and troubles to the person’s own sin and fail to deal with the fact that very often, as in abuse cases, the victim’s sufferings are due to the sin of others.

  2. Steve

    You might consider reviewing Battered Into Submission: The Tragedy of Wife Abuse in the Christian Home, Aldurfs. It is required reading for my elders of a PCA church. Yes, I am a PCA pastor who has dealt with many cases of spousal abuse (not just men), helped women obtain TROs, sat with victims in courtrooms as their advocate, and condemns the deplorable treatment of “The Persistent Widow” by a fellow-but-misguided denominational church leadership.

    • Hello Steve,
      I have read Battered Into Submission and so has Jeff Crippen. We have not published a review of it as yet, as doing so seemed to be of less priority than many of the other things we have to do. However, your comment has prompted me to re-open the book with a view to possibly writing a post (review) about it.

      Briefly here, I can say this.
      1. It was written in 1989 which is a long time ago. There are much better books to require your elders to read than that one. I would suggest you get your elders to read —

      Jeff Crippen’s new book Unholy Charade: Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church.* It is very easy to read.

      Respecting & Listening to Victims of Violence by Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter

      Honouring Resistance also by Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter.

      If every elder and pastor read those three items, the church would be a much safer place for victims of abuse!

      Another great item to have on the reading list, and particularly helpful for victims to read, is Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men* by Lundy Bancroft

      2. The Alsdurfs’s book was a great step forward when it first came out. It exposed a lot of things which had been hidden under the rug before then in churches. It talked about how churches and leaders and christianese doctrines have often compounded the suffering of domestic abuse victims. If it were the first book a pastor or victim might read on this topic, it would turn on many lightbulbs.

      3. However, the Alsdurfs relied a fair bit on the writings and saying of authors & professionals who were seen as ‘up there’ in the DV sector at the time, whose constructs and language are now under critique from those in the vanguard of the field. I would need to write a full post to explain this and give a representative range of examples. But one example : Response-based practice is now showing how ‘battered woman syndrome,’ which was a construct created by Lenore Walker, has led to difficulties in the justice system for victims of domestic abuse.

      Finally Steve, I have to respectfully take issue with how you said you condemn the deplorable treatment of “The Persistent Widow” by a fellow-but-misguided denominational church leadership.
      I’m very glad you condemn the treatment that was dealt to Persistent Widow. But how do you know the church leaders who mistreated her were ‘misguided’? You have no real evidence to make that statement. They may have been malignant covert-narcissitic women-haters, for all you know.

      I suggest you take care not to jump to conclusions about church leaders. Some may be misguided, but some are a lot worse than simply ‘misguided’. By defaulting to the assumption that “they are misguided” you might be minimizing and obscuring wickedness. and handing the wicked excuses — excuses they can and will use to resist taking responsibility for their unethical behavior.

      [note aterisked links in this comment are to Amazon, and ACFJ recoups a small amount of the purchase price if you purchase via those links]

  3. sunshine

    Hello. I am currently reading Lundy’s book “Why Does He Do That” and it is explosive (in a good way). I am so happy I started reading this. It is helping me to understand aspects of abuse that I didn’t know before. This book will be due at the library soon but I’m not sure I’m ready to return this yet- I’m learning so much. Both Lundy’s book, and the counselor I’m seeing, have caused me to take a deeper look at my marriage. Thank you for recommending it. And please keep up the good work.

    • Fogislifting

      I found it an excellent book too, Sunshine. I read it in Feb this year and it was like a fog began to lift. So helpful and empowering. I finally realised I wasn’t crazy and that was such a relief.

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