A Cry For Justice

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

Who We Are

Jeff Crippen, author and pastor for over 30 years, and Barbara Roberts, author and survivor of domestic abuse, created this website to:

  • educate people to the abuser’s mentality and tactics
  • teach what scripture really says about abuse, marriage, and divorce
  • recommend resources for further help
  • provide a safe environment for victims of domestic abuse to be encouraged, validated, and believed.

The ACFJ team

Jeff Crippen (administrator)
swordtrowel@gmail.com

Jeff is the pastor of Christ Reformation Church in Tillamook, Oregon and has been a pastor since 1983.  Jeff has studied the subject of domestic violence and abuse since 2009.  In 2012 he co-authored a book entitled A Cry for Justice:  How the Evil of Domestic Abuse Hides in your Church [*affiliate link]; his desire being to equip pastors, elders, church leaders and members to recognize the signs of abuse and to be prepared to help the victims.   He began this study after he and his church suffered through an incident of sexual abuse by a member of their church.  As a result he taught a 21-sermon series entitled Domestic Violence and Abuse.  In 2015 Jeff, along with Rebecca Davis, wrote and published a second book on abusers hiding in the church: Unholy Charade: Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church [*affiliate link]. Jeff and his wife Verla have been married over 40 years.  From 1969 to 1983 Jeff was a police officer. After completing graduate studies at Multnomah Biblical Seminary in Portland, Oregon, he and his family were sent to their first church in the mountains of western Montana.  Verla is a medical assistant at a physician’s clinic.  Their son and his wife live in Portland, and their daughter and her husband live in Canada. This post tells Jeff’s story of how he woke up to the issue of domestic abuse.

Barbara Roberts (administrator)
barbara@notunderbondage.com

Barbara was born again in her early 20s but didn’t get to church for 13 years.  During those years in the wilderness (you can read more about them here) she married an unbeliever and they had a daughter. After five years she left because of her husband’s abuse, was successful in gaining child custody, and started attending church.  She refrained from divorce because she thought she didn’t have biblical grounds. Note: in Australia, the Family Court can finalise custody and financial/property matters after separation, even though neither party has applied for divorce. Divorce — the Decree Nisi — the formal decree that the marriage has ended — is quite a separate matter from child custody and obtaining a property settlement.

Four years later her husband appeared to become a Christian and they reconciled, but a year later she separated again because the abuse recurred. She started supporting other victim-survivors and eventually wrote the book Not Under Bondage [*affiliate link] and set up notunderbondage.com to address domestic abuse in a Christian context. She has also contributed a chapter in the book, Intimate Partner Sexual Violence: A Multidisciplinary Guide to Improving Services and Support for Survivors of Rape and Abuse, (affiliate link) which is an authoritative resource for all professionals who work with IPSV victims.  Barbara’s chapter is called ‘Pastoral Responses to Christian Survivors of Intimate Partner Sexual Violence’.

Barbara knows what it is like to fight for your child in the family court, to endure post-separation abuse (especially during visitation handover), and to have to seek protection orders and report family violence crimes to the police. She was married again for two years, in her fifties, but this marriage also ended because of abuse. She loves writing, supporting survivors, and networking. She lives in Australia.
Barbara’s author page on Amazon is amazon.com/author/barbroberts
More biographical info can be found here:  Angela Ruth Strong’s interview with Barbara Roberts

TWBTC (the woman behind the curtain)
twbtc.acfj@gmail.com

TWBTC has been a Christian since childhood. She is thankful for her Christian upbringing, but mixed with the truth she was taught, she erroneously believed that God hated divorce and that divorce was only allowed for cases of adultery. After three decades of an emotional, verbal, and spiritually abusive marriage, God graciously led her to freedom. She is also blessed to have excellent relationships with her children even though they initially struggled with her decision to file for divorce and were pressured by their father to reject her.  TWBTC spends most of her time at ACFJ behind the curtain keeping things tidy and organized, and doing general blog housekeeping.

Ellie (editor)
EllieCriesForJustice@gmail.com

For almost 21 years Ellie was married to a mental, verbal, and physical abuser who in addition to pornography, committed adultery with his married subordinate before Ellie divorced him. She hopes that God will use her writing to bring hope and freedom to targets of abuse and to equip others to effectively help those targets of abuse to be free of oppression.  Ellie offers a private translation service for those who would like to have manipulative communications “translated.”  For more information visit translationsbyellie.com. Update: Unfortunately translationsbyellie.com is no longer a functioning website.

Wendell (editor)
acfjteam-wendell@yahoo.com

Wendell has been a Christian since late childhood and is a former pastor, a victim of childhood abuse and the father of a spousal-abuse victim.  It was his introduction to the abuse and subsequent divorce that his daughter suffered that brought him to the blog.  He has a special heart for the families of abuse victims and, due to his experiences fighting a former pornography addiction, has a unique understanding of that world and those affected by it.  He has a Bachelor’s degree in Practical Theology and a Master of Science in Information Science. He is currently a library automation specialist for a library system in southeastern Texas. He and his wife Zelma (who has a PhD in Educational Psychology) have been married for over 37 years. They have two daughters who live in the same area as well as eight grandchildren.

Deborah (contributor)
Deborahmom@gmx.com

Deborah is a Christ follower, a wife and a mom, a survivor of domestic abuse and a writer.  She’s a special education teacher by training but no longer teaches.  She runs a charity with her husband that helps women understand and come out of abuse.  She’s published a book of poetry born out of her healing journey, and is currently working on another book of poetry as well as a book on abuse aimed at prevention.

Megan C (Meg’s no longer a contributor but remains an active reader of ACFJ and supporter)     davidandmegan12@gmail.com

Meg chose to follow Christ after her parents were killed in a car accident in 1998. She attended Liberty University where she met and married a man who was studying to be a pastor. They had four children. For 12 years, Megan and her children were  mentally, verbally, emotionally, spiritually and physically abused. The marriage ended in 2011 and Megan was able to receive sole custody of her children and move on toward healing. Megan has a Masters degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. Megan now resides in Colorado with her husband, Dr. David B. Cox, where she spends most of her time caring for her family and writing. Megan has a great big heart for the oppressed — all those who are abused all over the world. Megan is also the Communications Director for a non-profit organization that helps raise funds for single mothers who have left abusive marriages.  You can read more about that here:  www.giveherwings.com 

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