Last week, there was an opportunity to learn about how we as leaders in churches and communities can respond to domestic violence in a faith-based manner. The intention was to learn about the ministry of caring for those affected by walking with them and helping them get the help and care they need.
We learned to better define what domestic violence is and is not.
What are some of the challenges and obstacles facing situations where one spouse is abusive or manipulative or controlling (and not necessarily physical or sexual since the emotional scars last longer).
What are some things that we as church leaders can do in our communities to help support victims and survivors, which involves letting people know that we care, that we want to hear stories and help everyone.
Because God doesn’t want people to be hurt.
All in all, it was a highly educational afternoon.
I personally learned some shocking statistics that struck chords deep inside me:
– 1 in 3 women at some point will be involved in a domestic violence relationship.
– Stalking is a serious issue and is terrifying (I was scared just hearing about how easy it is to stalk someone these days).
– People don’t just walk away on their first try or their second or their third or their fourth…the sixth or seventh try is usually the charm.
After I left that session, I realized that if those statistics about women are correct, then out of my family, 2 of us will be involved in abusive or manipulative relationships. I am one of five girls. Add in my mom and that makes six. Two of us will statistically be hurt by physical, sexual, verbal or psychological means.
And when you think about how TCM has 3 women on staff, 1 of us has been involved in an abusive situation. The statistic applies to us as well.
That scares me.
Especially when I think abuse that has happened with people I know and love.
I don’t want to think of anyone being involved in an abusive situation.
But people are.
Each day, thousands of people are being hurt in some way, shape or form.
And that is unacceptable.
My faith does not permit abuse.
I know that people sin and fall short.
But that doesn’t mean abuse should exist or be permitted or ignored.
My God is a God of love, who died on a cross to save us.
He was abused so that we would live and that we would not have to suffer.
Pastor Jessica and myself want to be available for anyone and everyone to talk with us (whether about this issue or anything else you have questions about). We may not be experts, but we are really good listeners.
Please stop by. Please call. Please text. Please email.
However you contact us, know that we care and want to help.