A Cry For Justice

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

Abuse Awareness: An Idea for Your Church

I realize that many of our readers are not currently part of a local church, but for those who are I wanted to recommend an idea that we have implemented in our church recently.  We wanted to provide a way to not only educate our people regarding abuse in the church, but also give them a means of being part of this ministry.  We are finding that inevitably people who regularly read the blog have their eyes opened to the injustice and evil of abuse hiding behind professed Christianity.  Many thanks to the ladies in our church who took this project upon themselves.

Anyway, here it is — a bulletin board.  Check out the photo.  It has three sections: 1) Blog articles, 2) Comments, and 3) Our Stories.  Some of the longer stories from victims/survivors are put into notebook folders for easier reading.  People who still think that abuse is not hiding in the church and that churches are doing really quite well in dealing with the evil of abuse, will be jolted into reality if they begin to read these articles and comments and stories.  You can discount one or two such testimonies.  You cannot so easily ignore a multitude of witness voices.

10 Comments

  1. That is just crazy awesome! Way to go ladies 🙂

  2. LOVE THIS!

  3. The people in your church who thought this up and put it together: can I do a happy dance with them?

  4. Ok, it’s confession time here for me. When I visit churches I so often see the bulletin boards for missionaries and hear announcements from the pulpit about the work and challenges and prayer requests of missionaries. This is great: congregations need to be regularly reminded of missionaries and their work. And many of those missionaries are battling conditions I could not ever imagine handling…
    But here’s my paltry confession: I sometimes feel resentful and disgruntled that work against Domestic Abuse in the Church never gets the missionary spot in the churches I go to. Hey, it’s my flesh raging here: I feel that my work is ignored, discounted, undervalued,…. uuugh. I hate those thoughts. I try to put them aside, be forgiving, understanding, etc. And usually I’m successful. It doesn’t grate with me all week, or anything. But I know I can confess this to y’all here, and you will understand.
    The photo of the Cry For Justice bulletin board brought this all up for me, and being a gushy type, I just had to tell you!

    • KayE

      Barbara-I don’t think that’s flesh, I think you have a valid complaint.I’ve also come to resent the way overseas missionaries are put on a pedestal, while people like yourself get ignored.Some of those missionaries are doing great work in difficult conditions-and some of them aren’t. I know quite a few of them, and they’ve never had to go through anything like I’ve been through.What you do is unglamourous and threatens people who like to see all the problems as being in the outside world. But your work is really important and I for one am grateful for what you’re doing.

      • Thanks KayE, I actually started re-framing that myself, after having published my comment above. If I think of my emotion as righteous indignation about the plight of all the silent, ignored, hidden victims of abuse, I don’t have to think that it’s my flesh getting selfish…
        And what you say about missionaries is very wise. How many of them have been through the kind of stuff you and many other survivors of domestic abuse have been through? (unless they are being abused by their spouses out on the mission field – and we know that is happening, because we hear from the survivors…)

  5. MeganC

    This is FANTASTIC!!

  6. Rebecca

    Barbara, I in right there with you. Last month, October was National Domestic Violence awareness month here in the States. We heard nothing about it in my church, even though I honked the horn. I struggle with feeling resentment as well, when I hear about how the village in Swaziland knows who ‘…..church is’ because we are supporting a villages effort to bring water and supplies to it. Which is all wonderful!

    But do the women in downtown Dayton at the Abuse shelter know who ‘….church’ is ? Sometimes I sit there and can hardly stand it. Like you, I don’t carry it around all week, but it comes back when I hear it. Sometimes I wonder if that’s the Holy Spirit’s prompting….not to give up in bringing awareness to the cause. If I held onto the resentment, that wouldn’t be ok, but to recognize the imbalance and feel the stirring that it isn’t right to ignore those in great need in our own back yard…that’s different. Just a thought, and thanks for telling us! I’m glad I’m not the only one!

    Jeff, the bulletin board is a great idea! Thank you for sharing that. I wonder how well it would be received? Will never know until I ask.

    Rebecca

    • Jeff Crippen

      Rebecca – Ask with some force:) I forgot to mention in the article that I think you can just copy and paste from the blog, then print the articles and stories onto plain paper to post on a bulletin board.

      We are all going to meet resistance and apathy and coverup when speaking out on this subject. There is something in pastors and church leaders and church members who have not been personally affected by abuse that immediately puts them into coverup and denial mode when this subject is put before them. I have no doubt that I am going to meet it in my own fellowship of churches (I already have as a matter of fact). Sending money overseas to missions to “spread the gospel” easily brings kudos to us. It shouldn’t, but we can boast about it. But when we have to admit that there is evil lurking among our own numbers and victims suffering right next to us, well, that’s another matter! But should it surprise us? We are not expecting local churches to be perfect and sinless and “purged” of all evil. But we are asking what Jesus asks: don’t be a hypocrite about it. Shine His light on it and deal with it.

      • Martin

        “Shine His light on it and deal with it.” Timeless and priceless advice! Thanks, Jeff!

Leave a comment. It's ok to use a made up name (e.g Anon37). For safety tips read 'New Users Info' (top menu). Tick the box if you want to be notified of new comments.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: