Domestic Violence


Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. Colossians 3:19


Every week in Australian at least one woman is murdered by a current or former partner. In the USA, on average 3 females and 1 male are murdered by their partners annually. 

Domestic violence affects more than one million children in Australia. In the USA, more than 6 million children witness domestic violence annually. 

40% of police time is taken up dealing with domestic violence, costing $13.6 billion a year. In the USA, domestic violence health related costs equal $5.8 billion. Just imagine the savings to policing and health if domestic violences was reduced.

During the Easter period alone, six women and children were killed as a result of domestic violence. In the USA, one women is beaten by her husband, partner every 15 seconds. 

1.2 million women in Australia (over the age of 15) who have experienced domestic violence. 

25 % of Americans (mostly women) have experienced domestic violence. Sadly, only around 25% of incidents are reported to the police, most go unreported. 

Worldwide, 1 in 3 women have suffered domestic violence. 

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Domestic violence is real, these statistics are not lying. Domestic violence comes in many different forms - all forms abhorrent.  Let no one convince you otherwise. 

"It's about social isolation, it's about financial control, it can be about spiritual control, nearly always there's sexual assault in the domestic violence process and there can be emotional control, undermining and humiliating [the victim]" (source

Domestic violences affects women from all walks of life: the rich, the poor, the working, mums at home, the elderly, those of different faiths, ethnic background, with children, without children. Thousands upon thousands of women are living in fear across Australia and struggle to find a way to escape their hell. For some women, domestic violence is a fight just to stay alive. Only a few weeks ago a husband stabbed his wife to death on a city street in full view of bystanders. She died as a result. Her teenage son witness the killing.  The husband didn't care who saw him, he only had one mission - to stop his wife. This is not an isolated case. 

A woman leaves her marriage as she has been constantly abused, emotionally, physically, psychologically. Her husband is a well respected member of a local church. He says he believes in submission - or more correctly in his case "control". The church turn a blind eye to his behaviour but they do recognise that he has a "bad temper".  Unfortunately they do not see the wife as the victim even though she is being beaten up on a regular basis. She now lives in fear of her life as her now ex-husband continues to threaten her with death, even approaching her on the street.

This is a true story and not unique.  

Sadly too many women are forced to suffer in silence - to their friends, the marriage looks perfect, their family appears to be happy (like in the painting above). It is all an illusion. The husband may be a well respected business-man but behind that suit lives a monster. 

Domestic violence must stop, women should not be living in fears in their own homes.  Children shouldn't be dying at the hands of their fathers as a way of making the mother suffer. 

Christian families are not exempt from domestic violences, it happens perhaps more than we would like to admit. Some men take their role of being the head of the family to a level that the Bible never states - one of complete control and total authority. They rule over their wives with an iron fist and demand forced submission and obediences. This is in complete contradiction to God's word but that does't stop their behaviour. 

So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. (Ephesians 5:28-29)
So what can a Christian wife do?

First and foremost - pray and pray some more  - seeking God's endless wisdom and comfort. 

Do all that can be done to create a loving Christian home and behave as a Christian wife should. However this can be extraordinarily tough when one is being beaten and or emotionally tormented by one's husband. 

However, some women reach a point where it is impossible to keep living under the conditions they are living and they need to seek professional help and advice. No woman should remain in the marital home if her life and those of her children are threaten. 

No one should have to suffer in silence. These women need to talk to professionals who are experts in the area of domestic violence (including the police). Seek counselling, however this can be fraught with issues - some of these men can be charming in counselling but behind the scenes return to old habits. They need to want to change.  Find a close friend or friends that can provide moral support and a shoulder to cry on. These women need all the help they can get - they are the victim. Abused women need to be protected and should never be reunited with their husbands unless it is 100% safe and the husband has stopped his abusive behaviour. This can only happen if the husband is held accountable for his actions, admit that his behaviour is wrong and fully commits his life to Christ, making God the head of his household, treating his wife with love and kindness and himself, a servant of God. Sadly, the statistics show that many men who carry out domestic violence never change their ways, however with God, one can never say never. 

Whilst divorce should never be taken lightly and it isn't something the bible considers as the best option (much preferring reconciliation), there are times when it is the only option for those suffering acute domestic violence. This is especially true when the husband refuses to change his behaviour (or even acknowledges that he has a problem), the wife has done everything in her power to create a harmonious home but her physical and mental well-being is suffering as a result of her husband's violent behaviour (and her children are suffering unduly as well). She needs to get as far a way as possible from her husband - her life and the life of her children are far more important. 

But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery. (Matthew 5:32)
And for those women recovering from domestic violence, God does mend the brokenhearted, gives strength, protection, joy and peace and more than happy to carry our worries, fears and anxiety.  Lean on the Lord and He will carry you to safety. 

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Psalm 18:2



Source: US Department of Justice, 2013 Australian data, Australian Bureau of Statistics, ABC News

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Comments

  1. It is terrible isn't it? I was just reading about a muslim woman who is imprisoned and sentenced to death for her faith. This is all to common in that arena. It greaves the heart of the Father. It is true that we should pray; it is the very thing we just did for that woman… and there are so many more who need our prayers. Its hard to fathom living life in such a horrific way.
    Blessings
    Pam

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    1. The story you are referring to is SO sad and breaks my heart. I read an update last night, the father (who lives in the USA) is unable to access his son as he has been "forced" to divorce his wife and therefore has no rights to his son. It must be a nightmare for them all. Are we willing to die for our faith.

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  2. I was in an abusive marriage for over 5 years. Had it not been for a friend who saw what was happening to me, I might not be alive today. It has profoundly affected every aspect of my life. 25 years later I am still in counseling. I did not understand what was happening to me, and did not know how to end the horror. I felt it was my Christian duty to stay with him and try to make it work. I was too embarrassed to seek help, although there wasn't much help in the US back then. It is so important to understand that if you know someone who you think is being abused, you need to address the situation and try to get them help. They most likely will not be able to help themselves. There are many organizations today that can do a proper intervention and provide a safe haven for the abused family members. Thank you for bringing up the subject. It needs to be discussed more often.

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    Replies
    1. Susan, I am so sad that you suffered so badly. Some of the stories I have heard are almost impossible to imagine that one person can inflict so much pain on the other - the person they swear they love. It really does sadden me. When I was doing some research on domestic violence, as it has been in our news quite a bit latterly, I discovered that many women don’t leave their husbands because it would mean becoming homeless, no income, moving their children to another school and loosing friends. This is particular bad for women of high income earning spouses. Whilst we now have better support systems, women are still dying even though the police and the courts are aware of how violent the husband is. It does need to be spoken about - and we need more parents teaching their children that violence and control over women is wrong.

      I understand you point about friends helping, it can be difficult seeing the forest from the trees when you are in the middle of what really is a war zone.

      Blessings to you :)

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  3. I am safely out of a controlling and abusive situation. I am still married, but separated. It has been a year, the best year of my life! We struggle with so much, but I am free and safe and clear headed. I am so thankful to the Lord for His kindness to me. The children and I continue to pray for and reach out to my husband, but now I have boundaries...and thankfully, God has protected us. It was bad, but it could have been worse. I wish that I could share my story in more detail, but I don't feel free to yet.

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  4. Laura - I am so glad that things are looking better and there is much more sunshine in your life and your children’s. As I wrote, God does mend the brokenhearted, but it does take time. What do women do if they have no faith, it must be so difficult for them . It is a very difficult topic and one that we need to keep talking about. It not only saves lives but stops the next generation treating women so badly.

    xxx

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  5. Dear Jo, Many women suffer from this I am sure, as we had a family down the street from us years ago and it ended in murder! Our daughters were very close.
    God is the only answer for these men who have anger, rage and fear!
    Roxy

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    1. Hi Roxy, i will start by saying im a non beliver but those last three words r so true, out of those 3 words is the one catalyst FEAR and it ignites the other 2 plus shame.i can not imagine the RAGE my dad felt against the nazis,the ANGER of finding 20,000 redcross parcels two feet away from starving solders . speaking to my uncles they no he was nt a drunk, but he had all the symtops anger, rage fear

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  6. Is it such a sad sad issue - and it is truly shocking to hear the satistics that it is so so common. I remember hearing the one a week stat earlier this year on the radio. Heart breaking :-(

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  7. HI everybody ? my name is rick, i would say that 97% of your shameful abuse was propably caused by drink the last 3% mental a issue.i was told that my dad was an alchohlic,unstable, violent,moody.however i now know that my father was one of the first english squads to enter BELSEN i have slagged him off for the last 40 odd years as a drunk(he never touched a drop)But my mum didnt know how to explain it,so she said it was the drink. in the later years as i grew up, i came to find dad as a very funny, carring man. then one day coming home from school,i walked in to see my dad go to strike my mum,but he stopped told mum he was so sorry for scaring her. He died 3 weeks later bless him.if only i new of that horrific 6 months at belsen

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