A Cry For Justice

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

Abuser begins with A

1)  Acting the charming philanthropist (Dr Jekyll) in public  (The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde)

2)  Affective deception (feigned emotions)

3)  Attitude of entitlement

4)  Arrogance (Ahab)

5)  Always About the Abuser

6)  Accusation and Arraignment of victim (blame shifting)

7)  Aggression (covert and overt)

8)  Apathetic about his need for repentance and sanctification

9)  Actively resists any demand that he take responsibility for his sins

10)  Anti-husband in place of a real husband (like antichrist in place of  Christ)

11)  Airbrushing the truth (re-writing history)

12)  Against separation and divorce

13)  Ally recruitment

14)  Assiduously monitors and stalks the victim

15)  Amplifies the abuse around the time of separation

And finally, a little joke from Jeff Crippen to wind this up:

Appropriate announcement in many churches: “To balance the 15 point sermon of last Sunday, today’s sermon will be pointless.”


  1. Brenda R

    The first 14 were all true, but number 15 is understated. The amplifiers surrounded the city.

  2. Ha! This is priceless. Are you going through the alphabet? I bet you could!

    • Wendell G

      Ida Mae, we have to be real careful about letting Barbara engage in too much alliteration! Just like they have to put a muzzle on me when I tell too many puns…

      Actually, it would be interesting to go through the entire alphabet this way, though I wonder what she would come up with for X and Z!

      • His beloved

        xercising all “rights”
        zealous for evil

        wonderful list- nice to laugh out loud!

      • Great ideas!

      • Brenda R

        Great Wendell. I knew it could be done with enough thought.

  3. MrsMomToSix

    That was great!

    I would change #8
    8. Apathetic about his need for repentance and sanctification
    ‘Appearances” of interest in his need for repentance, toward people who have heard of his sin, with Apathy in his action in that direction, toward the abused. (The only real judge, besides God, of his ‘actual repentance)

    I never get jokes…what am i missing in this one?

    ” Appropriate announcement in many churches: “To balance the 15 point sermon of last Sunday, today’s sermon will be pointless.””

    • Thanks MrsMom, I think your #8 is an improvement on mine. 🙂

      And the joke, sorry, it may have been too out of left field.
      My list had 15 points. … that is the connection. We were chatting on the back of the blog about how so many sermons are written according to the forumula they teach in seminary (craft your sermon to have three main points). And how that formula can make a sermon flat, dull, and simply a list of logical propositions without any spirit or heart. So I mildly mocked my own list of 15 points, inferring it was kinda pointless — and at the same time was making a sly dig at the sermonizers whose sermons are often full of hot air.

  4. Barnabasintraining


  5. X-rays victims for imperfections and flaws.
    Yearns for adoration.
    Zigzags around the truth with zippity zeal.

    • Barnabasintraining

      Ida Mae,

      I like you. 🙂

      • Maybe if I could’ve just squeezed one more z-word in there, you might have loved me!

        (Insert self-abusing, internalized abuser-voice here)

      • Wendell G

        How about:
        Zaps the poor victim with vicious, unexpected attacks.
        Zips around verbally, changing the subject anytime someone gets close to exposing his abusive patterns.

      • Excellent. Like that one better 🙂

    • His beloved

      Ida Mae- hilarious and true!

    • Bingo, Ida Mae!

  6. Otter

    Really nice list, Barbara! I think many of us can recognize each of these in our abuser. It just amazes me over and over how similar the patterns are in abuse. It’s like a disease with really obvious symptoms.

  7. TWBTC

    After reading this post my pastor’s wife (she and her husband know my situation in depth) sent me an email which said, “Does this describe your X or what?? Couldn’t believe how well Barbara used the letter A to very accurately describe an abuser.” And I couldn’t agree with her more.

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