Domestic Abuse or Violence within the Faith Realm

8 05 2007

I’m going off topic today just because this store, and this blog were started due to this topic.
Society as a whole seems to have a really hard time with this subject!  I’m not going to say they think some person should stick around while they get the crud kicked out them, but their remedies and solutions are very unrealistic!  The definitions of domestic abuse or violence at times are very narrow as well.  Gender is one of the first that comes to mind, and it still amazes me that people think that females are the only ones affected by this!  Society has these stereotypical roles that men are placed in, and so they could never be affected otherwise they must be some sort of wimp!  The other definition I find is that beating is the only true one.  The threat of violence or the feeling threatened isn’t included.  When you get popped we will TALK!  WOW! 
We have movies, stories in books, news stories showing all the time how people’s hands are tied due to the fact nothing violent has happened yet!  EVERYONE can see it coming in time, but if you have smart perpetrator they won’t go there most of the time!  Everyone’s hands are tied!  The perpetrator KNOWS where the line is drawn!  It’s like a cat that knows where the dog chain ends, and how far he can come forward.  Silently shows off this control by rolling in grass inches from where the dog can’t get him!  The cat ‘technically’ isn’t in danger, and is doing nothing wrong because the cat isn’t within the dog’s territory!  In the new stories we hear about you can’t do anything, because technically no laws have been broken!  In school’s children are encouraged to seek help if they feel threatened.  At times you can do things to help, and in other realms your hands are tied!  They do have some actions they can take at times to help!  Everyone gets all up in arms when things finally DO happen, and scream WHAT CAN WE DO TO PREVENT THIS?  At times you have ways of preventing it, and in others the rules are basically holding our hands behind our backs!  You see other circumstances in which these may not always be the case, and people do things to prevent tragedies!  We tend to tie the hands of abusers and victims in much the same manner everyday with this same thinking.  Its funny how we can change certain things, and we don’t!
Society also places blind spots up for themselves so they don’t have face issues that are just to overwhelming to bear for them!  You see this with answers for all kinds of issues!  I remember once years ago, and they were doing a campaign for the hungry and comments were made “Why don’t they just move?” as a solution.  They never stopped to realize that they don’t have a way to move, they don’t have the resources to move, and they also have no place to go!  “Why don’t they protest?” they say!  Lets see..Hmmm… do they have the local office max there to shop for cardboard signs to right on?  NO!  Do they have the communication to bring people together to do this?  Most cases NOT!  They start to ask more and more things, and when they finally realize how overwhelming the subject is they either maybe hand them some money, or run the opposite direction because they can’t process it now!  Most don’t stop long enough to do it in the future either!  Their answer of “They can just move if they were smart” works for them.
When it comes to domestic abuse or violence I see the same things happening!  Abuse can be a very over used word, and at times isn’t used the way it should be!  I have read articles in which author’s claim that victims of verbal and emotional abuse are fakes, and an insult to those victims of true abuse!  There was a special on 20/20 that was posted to youtube about a family that lived with all of the above!  One day the husband instructed the son to pick up a camera to film his rages towards his mother, because he didn’t like the way she asked him what he would like for lunch!  Did the whole show include this man battering her?  NO it didn’t!  It does give you a clue what emotional and verbal abuse is!  Majority of this scene it was used!  At the end YES this man did beat his wife!  The husband was going to use this as a tool for family night to show the kids what mommy did, and how she was bad!  She knew she was going to get it, and her fear it seemed kept her frozen in fear.  She also didn’t want to push too much because her children were present, and didn’t want them in the middle of this.  She grew up in a family with an overwhelming father, and to her in some ways it was the norm!  Would she agree with other’s opinions of verbal and emotional abuse?  No.  It’s funny how the statement still persists about how it is really a non-issue though!  Someone calling you a name on occasion hurts YES, but imagine living within the home that most of the time you are degraded, humiliated, etc.  We all have our days in which we can be ugly, nasty and cruel…but is it your life style?  It is part of your emotional habit pattern makeup?  It’s like others forget the saying, “you never know what goes on behind closed doors!”  They don’t see the person as the monster they hear about, so others MUST be over the top in their complaints!  Admit it we have ALL done it one time or another when it comes this subject or something else!
Within the faith realm you have all the normal society factors, but you have some extra burdens to carry as well.  Most would request that ladies to go a shelter if they are in danger.  At times the church would also, but they are secular and don’t like doing that!  They may call for separation, but believe it should be short term otherwise it encouraged divorce!  They will separate the couple, and then go ‘have a word with him’.  Their hearts in a right place, but what they don’t realize is that doesn’t take away the root within the person to abuse!  In most cases it may cool them off for a while, but the root cause of the abuse will never be addressed.  When the family returns the control is tightened, and since no real help was given the first time around they tend to NOT repeat their dangers in the future to others!  The abuser made sure they knew how they would pay for it!  The church doesn’t even realize what they did!  When I read stories of people in very serious situations I read things like, “What did you do before this happened?”  Can you imagine asking that lady from the 20/20 show that?  “We only know one side of the story here!”  “Pray to be a better spouse, and your fruits will be noticed and the change can begin!”  The church at times ignores this issue more than society does!  I have to admit it looks like MOST of the time that is the case!
Focus Ministries deals with those within the church that are hidden because the church it seems wishes them to be hidden!  They get a lot of calls from Pastor’s wives that are being abused, as the church turns their heads.  There is a lot of pressure to keep this relationship together, and I personally believe that families SHOULD stay together!  If they don’t in cases of abuse divorce isn’t what broke the family up – the abuse did!  In most cases you have one that doesn’t do much to change themselves inside for the family to continue as a unit.  The children within that union learn that they must tolerate abuse because of the church’s teachings, and the cycle will continue.  Focus Ministries helps those that wish to stop the cycle.  They help those that stay in or get out!
In closing I am going to quote part of the letter they sent out.  If you can send $1.00 or more they could use the money!  If you purchase from our store we use that for this purpose as well!  We are NOT affiliated with them, so if you need the tax write-off go directly to them!  If you need materials to educate your staff or church about this issue they have wonderful resources!

As we witness the trauma of human suffering, our question is not “Where is God?” but “Where are God’s people?”

Our hearts are broken as we write to you. Every day, either online, by phone,or in person, we encounter women from all over the world who are terrorized in their own homes. Many of these women are pastors’ wives. They often have no one to turn to so they reach out anonymously on our online forum or by phone thousands of miles away.

One dear lady called our Women’s Center in Kentucky from somewhere in Africa. As she told her story of working multiple jobs while her pastor husband refused to work, she had just one request. “Please pray with me.”

Can you imagine the scene from heaven’s perspective? A telephone line created a connection between two women—one in Africa, and the other in a small town in Kentucky—and heaven itself! Their conversation transcended the mundane things of earth and approached the throne of God with pleadings and tears Did God hear? I believe He did. “O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.” Psalm 10:17 ESV

When you hear the cries of the broken and hurting, how do you respond? Are you willing to give up some of your comfort to make a difference in the life of another?

The rest of the letter is HERE

Focus Ministries website


The Runaway Jury by John Grisham (1996) FIRST EDITION

The Runaway Jury by John Grisham (1996) FIRST EDITION

Item Specifics – Fiction Books
Author: John Grisham Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Doubleday Category: Horror
ISBN-10: 0385472943
ISBN-13: 9780385472944 Condition: Used
Publication Year: 1996
Special Attributes: 1st Edition

Additional Information about The Runaway Jury
Portions of this page Copyright 1995 – 2007 Muze Inc. All rights reserved.

When a plaintiff sues a tobacco company for damages caused by smoking, the trial turns into a showdown between the tobacco industries and the largest personal injury firms in the country. Billions of dollars are at stake and each side is spending millions to insure victory. But even the most experienced trial watchers are confused when the jury begins behaving oddly and a mysterious woman named Marlee is the only person able to predict their behavior in advance. Who is controlling the jury, and what is their motive? Marlee is the only one with any answers, and she’s not talking.

Length: 416 pages
Height: 9.5 in.
Width: 7.0 in.
Thickness: 1.5 in.
Weight: 25.6 oz.

Publisher’s Note
Every jury has a leader, and the verdict belongs to him. In Biloxi, Mississippi, a landmark tobacco trial with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake beginsroutinely, then swerves mysteriously off course. The jury is behaving strangely, and at least one juroris convinced hes being watched. Soon they have to be sequestered. Then a tip from an anonymousyoung woman suggests she is able to predict the jurors’ increasingly odd behavior. Is the jury somehow being manipulated, or even controlled? If so, by whom? And, more important,why?
In Biloxi, Mississippi, a landmark tobacco trial with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake begins routinely, then swerves mysteriously off course. The jury is behaving strangely, and at least one juror is convinced he’s being watched. Soon they have to be sequestered. Then a tip from an anonymous young woman suggests she is able to predict the jurors’ increasingly odd behavior. Is the jury somehow being manipulated, or even controlled? If so, by whom? And, more important, why?

Industry reviews
“The story’s suspense builds like that of a lengthening cigarette ash that refuses to drop off. And the plot’s eventual outcome is far more entertaining than anything Mr. Grisham has done before.”
New York Times – Christopher Lehmann- Haupt (05/23/1996)

“If Grisham has made any innovation in the genre, it is that he concentrates even more exclusively on lawyers than do his rivals and imitators.”
Spectator – David Sexton (05/18/1996)

“He [Grisham] still makes the reader flip the pages at an Olympic Pace, but now he finds other ways, as he did in ‘The Rainmaker’, to move the story along without hysterical chases and things going bump in the night….The quieter Grisham still fascinates, as he deftly keeps the reader guessing about the mystery juror’s identity and motive. Grisham tells an addictive tale that will have you hooked until the very last surprise.”

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