A Cry For Justice

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

Thursday Thought — “A” is for Abuser

[June 21, 2022: There have been some changes made to this post. For more information, read the Editors’ notes at the bottom of the post. Editors.]

A gem from the GEMS page,

The thought crossed my mind that proven, even divorced abusers, should wear a scarlet letter to warn future brides so they don’t make a mistake. If you are not familiar with Nathaniel Hawthorne’s book, his heroine was required to wear a large scarlet “A” because she had had a baby out of wedlock. “A” would do for abusers as well as adulterers.  (ACFJ commenter – Ann)

[June 21, 2022: Editors’ notes:

—For some comments made prior to June 21, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be an exact match.
—For some comments made prior to June 21, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be found in the post.
If you would like to compare the text in the comments made prior to June 21, 2022 that quoted from the post to the post as it is now (June 21, 2022), click here [Internet Archive link] for the most recent Internet Archive copy of the post.]


  1. Amy

    Haha!! Yep, how I agree! It would save a lot of others heartache when looking for a future spouse.
    Interestingly, I had my ex-husband’s girlfriend contact me a few days ago because she has some concerns about him. She wanted to hear my side of the story since he has painted me as the ultimate b***** who cried wolf. And the funny thing is — she said he was the one to show her my blog I write which often deals with abuse in marriage. Weird….

    • KayE

      The girlfriend is very smart, if only more people would seek out the true story.

    • a prodigal daughter returns

      Hopefully she is smart enough to walk away from him. Getting the information and then acting on it are two different things. Sometimes people think “well he has changed” or I can help him change. Some believe that he was only abusive with just that one person but they will be different. Sometimes the red flag is the ex wife yelling loudly “he’s dangerous” and they choose to ignore it.

  2. poohbear

    Yes, true…yet in the novel, Hester Prynne repented and changed, sadly most abusers never do.

  3. KayE

    But what happens is the other way around. I’m often shunned and made to feel shamed by Christians, as if I was wearing a scarlet “D” for divorced.

    • a prodigal daughter returns

      Yes KayE, far too often, the greatest shaming isn’t about the abuse but about fleeing it. Grace, love and forgiveness for everything but that. Ironically, it is not even a sin to get a divorce, it is righteous discernment to leave an abuser that is defiling the “temple”. There is actually nothing to be forgiven of for getting a divorce to save your life and protect your sanity.

  4. Not Too Late

    The trouble is, the abuser will most likely swiftly and deftly paint over the A with a V for victim. Complete with his forlorn looks, teary eyes, shabby clothing and compelling story, which church attendee will not bend over in sympathy. Warned? Meh! Fooled, more likely…

  5. Babylove

    I agree with “not too late”, an abuser would def find a way to manipulate the “A” to rep something else, paint over and proceed to the proverbial victim role……they are so pathetic and I have no tolerance for their sob stories anymore….I am dating now and can not believe how many men play the victim role, bash their exes, blame their exes for everything wrong, all the while exalting themselves to sainthood status…..my spidey senses can pinpoint an abuser within 5 mins of convo. It makes my stomach churn, how some men treat and speak of women; simply because they are ; women.

    • poohbear

      I agree, Babylove…and I’m glad you’ve developed keen senses from your past experience so that you don’t fall for another abuser.

      It’s a pity so many of us didn’t have this discernment all those years ago, isn’t it? I was still a teenager when I met him, but had been warned by his ex’s best friend to basically run for the hills as she’d done. I asked him as recently as a few weeks ago why his ex had dumped him, and he matter-of-factly replied, “Because she was mentally ill.”

      I’m convinced these men are oblivious to their own behavior, or maybe they need a “D” as well, for “Denier” ?

  6. Babylove

    I agree with above poster; an abuser would find a way to paint over it, make the “A” stand for something else; of course wonderful and/or play the victim role to a tee. It makes my stomach churn, how some men speak of or to and treat women; just because they are; women!!!!

    • Dear Babylove
      please be mindful of how you submit comments. We had to change this one to remove a link to your Facebook page and your real name.

      But with all our other tasks, we can’t guarantee that we catch these things before every comment is published, so we need our readers to be mindful of what they are submitting in the ‘name’ and ‘URL’ field when they submit comments. Sometimes a person’s cellphone or other device is set up so that the fields are automatically filled in, and in that case you may need to edit those fields manually before pressing ‘submit comment’.

      If you need further help, check out the guidance on our New Users page.

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 )

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: