A Cry For Justice

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

A Theory: Many Abuser Allies are Not Duped, but are Abusers Themselves as Well

UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.


[October 22, 2022: There have been some changes made to this post. For more information, read the Editors’ notes at the bottom of the post. Editors.]

It is true that the Lord rewards His people and that when we suffer for the name of Christ, the Lord sees it and will reward those who persevere through it to the end. Every true Christian experiences some degree of suffering. Jesus said that the world hated Him and therefore it hates His people. If we were of the world, the world would have no problem with us, but because we are not of the world, the world hates us. That’s it. That’s how it is. And we are called to faithfully confess the name of Christ and persevere in our faith in Him through it all.

Now, I have personally experienced something at the hands of abusers that many of you have as well. Abusers have no empathy and they know that people who are suffering are easier to control than people who are at ease. So an abuser will frequently (along with the appropriate perversions of Scripture) tell someone who is suffering that they should just be quiet, endure their pain, and think of how great their reward in heaven is going to be.

Once when this happened to me, it went down something like this. I was having to deal with some particularly wicked people in our church who paraded themselves as eminent saints. What they were really craving was glory for themselves through rising to positions of power and control in the church. They hated me and saw me as the competition. So they did all they could to make my life miserable. They spread lies, they made false accusations, they made threats….the whole bag of tricks. Well, one of the wicked who was particularly skilled at masking his true character and who, for a time, I thought I could trust, responded in this manner when I told him some of what was going on behind the scenes, threatening to destroy the church. He said:

“Is it really right for you to be telling me these things? Isn’t that gossip?”

“Just endure and keep on and remember how great your reward in heaven will be.”

No empathy. No zeal for real justice. Just — accusation. You see, the wicked really like to see people they are trying to control suffering. It furthers their purpose. They don’t want you vindicated or delivered. They don’t want justice so that the wicked are exposed. No. What they want is for you to be down so they can rise to the top.

And so I wonder. We talk about how abusers dupe so many people and win allies for themselves against their victims. But, it is my conviction that there are more abusers out there in the ranks of these “abuser allies” who are really not duped at all. They know full well what is going on, but when they tell victims to “grin and bear it” and all will be glorious for them when they are dead — they reveal themselves to be abusers too. That is, they have a profound entitlement to possess power and control and they use all kinds of typical wicked tactics to gain and maintain that power and control. If that means allying with an abuser against his victim, well, birds of a feather really do flock together.

And yes, I know what the implications of this are. It means that among other things, many of these “naive” Christians and pastors and authors and “biblical” counselors who seem so ignorant of abuse and who render rank injustice to victims, are of the very same DNA as the abuser.

“No, no, Jeff. Now you are going too far.”

I don’t think so.

For wicked men are found among my people; they lurk like fowlers lying in wait. They set a trap; they catch men. Like a cage full of birds, their houses are full of deceit; therefore they have become great and rich; they have grown fat and sleek. They know no bounds in deeds of evil; they judge not with justice the cause of the fatherless, to make it prosper, and they do not defend the rights of the needy. Shall I not punish them for these things? declares the LORD, and shall I not avenge myself on a nation such as this?”  (Jeremiah 5:26-29  ESV)

[October 22, 2022: Editors’ notes:

—For some comments made prior to October 22, 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 October 22, 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 October 22, 2022 that quoted from the post to the post as it is now (October 22, 2022), click here [Internet Archive link] for the most recent Internet Archive copy of the post.]


  1. Rose

    Everyone of the posts that are posted about abusers is so true. I know I have experienced every kind of abuse there is from family members. So happy “A Cry For Justice” is here for me for I now know I was not losing my mind but all the abuse did create PTSD in me which is hard to overcome but “A Cry For Justice” is helping me very much.

    • Hi, Rose, just a tip: I suggest checking what screen name you have given before you hit ‘submit’ with a comment. I changed the screen name on your comment above to make it the same as the one you have used before on this blog.

  2. Dale Ingraham @ Speaking Truth In Love Ministries

    Reblogged this on Speakingtruthinlove's Blog [Internet Archive link] and commented:
    While many Christians may find this hard to believe, we have heard from many survivors about coordinated abuse of children by networks of people within the church.

  3. Herjourney

    How timely this info is. Needed to read this at this time. Thank you!

    After trying to reason with family. The spirit is revealing to me that none of them could be walking in the Spirit. But the flesh. It’s like they rally together and scheme evil for their own benefit. To discredit my position as their mother. No honor or respect.

    One thing is for sure. I am not dealing with just a few demons here. It feels like it’s satan himself at times. The isolation is overwhelming at times. But —

    Greater who is living in me than who is living in the world. [Paraphrase of 1 John 4:4.]

    I also am aware of strange things happening in a church I have been attending for several years.

    The outcome may not be godly. It’s amazing the gift that God gives to warn others of impending dysfunction. Need prayer for continued perseverance. I thank God again for this forum.

    [Paragraph breaks added to enhance readability. Editors.]

  4. Babylove

    I sensed the policeman that I reported to the abuse to was abusive himself, he was more worried that he felt I didn’t like him!!!! As for my ex-pastor I am not sure but he def [definitely] had all the tell-tale signs even. God only knows but they will all answer to God one day.

  5. Still Reforming

    I don’t think you’re going too far at all. I think you’re right on the money. I’ve harbored the same thoughts now that I’m no longer at the church I attended for so long. I’m convinced that the pastor and leaders are birds of a feather with my now-ex. Otherwise, they couldn’t flock together as comfortably as they do.

    What saddens me as well is that the sheep, in a desire to not rock the boat, think that overlooking so many strange things is actually loving. I remember being stunned by a former congregant who I used to admire. She’s so calm and collected and gives so much to the church. (She’s also married to a bully, who she refers to as her “best friend” on social media.) I had told her that our pastor put two fingers in my face, spreading them apart about an inch, and said to me, “You are THIS CLOSE to a nervous breakdown.” (Because I hadn’t been getting much sleep and I was weepy in his office, telling him about some incidents at home — and our child was going to be interviewed the very next day by social services.)

    This woman then said to me, “You can’t tell our pastor anything else. You don’t want him getting up in front of a judge and saying that you’re on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Are you sleeping? Eating? You’re not having a nervous breakdown.”

    Immediately she launched right into, “Next week is Pastor Appreciation Sunday. We’re going to have the kids make a big poster for him with all kinds of candy on it. It will sound like this….” and she detailed all the things that would be on it.

    I’m not sure if my mouth dropped, but I just stared at her. Did she not see the incongruence of telling me how I can’t trust the pastor and then turning right around about all the things the church would do in appreciation of him? Stunning. That is not atypical of that church. I think they view overlooking wrong as love.

  6. warsofgrace

    Thank you for this! I so often wondered (and am now convinced of) the same thing as I navigated church ‘support’ in the beginning of deciding to leave my marriage to an abusive ‘Christian’ leader. At first it was these ‘naive / ignorant’ ones who I put my trust in (including endless hours of explanations and tears) that caused me the most trauma. I’ve since learned to more readily decipher their true DNA and find myself on high alert when I hear of other victims plans to go to their churches for support. I pray for the day that hearing “I’m going to go talk to my leadership about….” doesn’t make my hair raise. 😞

    • a prodigal daughter returns

      I’m going to talk to my leadership about….

      ….makes my hair raise and maybe it should. My entire married life I’d say to any and all invitations “if my husband gives me permission”. That should have been a clue that I was in the wrong denomination. Religious “patriarchy” created that uber-dependence on male opinion and permission, and then they beat you up for it. It’s funny outside of church I don’t have to give male opinion a second thought, inside the church I couldn’t blow my nose without them telling me the correct way to do so.

      When Christian male leaders teach the woman “proper wife” behavior because they don’t even trust the women to teach themselves, it should raise hair.

      I joined a women’s Bible study. It was full of older mature Christian women, some were former missionaries in their 70s – 80s. I left they day they told me they had to ask permission of the 30 year old pastor about what book the women could study. The white haired former missionary to Africa told me “Sometimes women can go off into left field, that’s why our pastor has to guide us”. She’d been a Christian longer than he’d been alive. Having met the arrogant little bully I wasn’t buying his recommended Kool-Aid.

      Somewhere in the mix is a long suffering wife whose silence means the bully is free to pick on all the women in his congregation without even a speed bump to slow him down.

      [Paragraph breaks added to enhance readability. Editors.]

    • Hi, Warsofgrace, and welcome!
      If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to check out our New Users’ Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.

  7. Still Reforming

    I’m utterly convinced that God is doing a work here. This blog isn’t that old (about three years, is it?) and look how many of us have been brought here by abuse not just within the home but also the church. God’s hand is in this, to be sure. And what a true spiritual blessing it is to find those who have suffered the same and can provide comfort and healing and with whom we can join in proclaiming this evil for what it is.

  8. Annie

    This is true.

    When I told my husband that one of our children had been verbally bullied several times he tried very hard to convince me and [our] child it had not occurred1. I told several people. Nothing happened. No support. No action. Either they are bullies themselves or sheep.

    In fact, from that experience I learned that I may never be able to trust anyone with my story of abuse. Thus the reason I’ve kept it a secret.

    1And not only did he try to convince us it didn’t happen we got treated to several conversations about how he’s been bullied his whole life!!!

    • lonelywife

      Annie….I now secretly record the important conversations I have with my H….so I can listen to them later, just to remind myself of what was said, because my H twists everything around and says he didn’t say what I said he said….it’s crazy-making at it’s finest!

      • Readers may be interested to know that we have a couple of links about recording phone conversations on our Safety Planning Resources page.

  9. Valerie

    I have found this theory to be true. I think these kinds get flushed out through the revealing process of abuse. What I mean is that there are some people I had gone to who inadvertently supported him due to 1) ignorance of abuse and 2) ignorance of Scripture. People who were raised in a very legalistic background and haven’t been taught a biblical framework contrary to what they were raised in have a hard time calling evil, evil. I was one such person. Years ago I would have raised my eyebrows when someone told me they were divorced….I would have made a blanket judgment on their walk with Christ. I was ignorant of abuse (though I was living it) and ignorant of another framework other than legalism.

    The difference is that if one of these divorced people had gone more in depth of their situation that was abusive….describing what had been going on….at that point I would have reassessed things. My knee-jerk reaction was legalism, my empathetic reaction would then kick in. I absolutely believed I was honoring God with my attitude of legalism. I was taught that God was a God of laws….I never learned about His love until many years later. I was always open to hearing truth but no one was teaching me anything but legalism. So because He was a God of law to me, pleasing Him was about adhering and enforcing those laws. I thought the Christian duty was to be a Scriptural law enforcement officer and I wore my badge proudly. 😦 It took my own abusive marriage for God to ironically show me the error of my ways. Now I proudly wear the badge of God’s holiness, not laws. We need zeal with wisdom. Either ingredient missing is ineffective or dangerous.

    So my issue comes when victims attempt to tell their story and provide details of the abuse but it is the wicked who refuse to hear. What makes them wicked is their lack of desire or downright refusal to hear or know truth. They are wise in their own eyes and refuse to be enlightened. Jeff nailed the empathy issue. It is my belief that this is the key trait that sets the wicked apart. So while it is painful to encounter, I don’t fault people for having the knee-jerk legalistic response. What I have the issue with is those who additionally have a subsequent hardened heart who don’t desire the truth (if it differs from what they believe to be truth).

    I had a woman who I thought was a friend and was initially supportive. However she turned into the most vicious, unbelievably wicked person just a few months later. I was so shocked by her cruelty that it literally almost made me fall to the ground. I was actually frightened….not of her, per se, but it was as though I had encountered the depths of hell through her mouth. I later learned she had traumatized other people….all the while being very active in the church. So now when I talk to someone who is initially not supportive, I need to flush out whether the person is clueless or cruel to know whether to educate or shake the dust off my feet.

    • ….I need to flush out whether the person is clueless or cruel….

      How well put!

      • Still Reforming

        What I find particularly difficult to understand is in which camp to put the women I told about the details of the abuse and they scratched their heads. I had explained and explained about my then-husband, even fielding their questions like, “Is he on drugs? Is he bipolar?” etc.. Because they just can’t put the behaviors I’ve described into any neatly fit category. When I told them I’d looked into narcissism and sociopathy, I get a shrug of the shoulders in return or a “Huh. I’ll have to look into that.” or just a smile directed my way.

        Because each woman is an individual, there may be not be neat fits in those categories – as far as not necessarily being either cruel or clueless. When I told them, then they were no longer clueless, but they weren’t necessarily cruel either. I think that because they all attend my former church, led by an egomaniac and his son (remember “Young Pastor”?), they’re ‘charmed’ and led astray by that patriarchal leadership. They just don’t know what to do with the information I’ve given them, and it’s easiest to do nothing. I don’t really hold that against them, but neither do I consider them to be my friends. Just another sad result of abuse: Losing those we think are friends (and “Christian family”) only to find out that they are not (friends, that is, since I don’t know about the state of their souls).

      • To me, those types of women (and men can be like that too, but it’s more common with women) come under the ‘clueless’ category. They were not clueless about your anti-husband’s behaviour towards you, because you’d told them about that. But they were clueless in that they had no framework to understand it. Or rather, the framework they had was based on all the myths about domestic abuse which abusers promote and disseminate and which are commonly believed by the wider community.

        Here is a good list of those myths: Myths & Facts [Internet Archive link]

      • Mary Stephens

        Still Reforming, I agree with Barbara that those women are “clueless” — not because they don’t know the facts now, but because they don’t know how to process the data they’ve been given. Within the “charmed” thinking you mention, they have no identification for what you told them, so it simply can’t be thought about / acknowledged. This issue shows up in many areas other than abuse victims. If you take note, you will probably find / remember other areas of life where they couldn’t let their minds go because they were out of their “charmed” zone and it was either “dangerous” or too complicated for them to comprehend. When people hand their brains to others, they lose the ability to think for themselves.

      • Hi, Homemaker. Welcome to the blog. 🙂

        I changed your screen name as the one you gave might have been too identifying. If you don’t like the name I chose, email TWBTC and ask her to change it to a name you prefer.

        You may like to check out our New Users’ Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.

      • Mary Stephens

        Thank you!
        I really appreciate your carefulness for those who comment!

        For my own part, I am not at risk, and never have been. Also, I have been ministering to ladies through the internet for around 20 years, so my identity is does not need to be hidden. 🙂 I will contact TWBTC and let her decide if she wants to let my ID be known here or not.

      • Thanks, Mary! That makes you one of the few people who can comment on this blog with their real names!
        Bless you. 🙂

  10. a prodigal daughter returns

    Yes, Pastor Crippen, great food for thought. People cannot be that easily duped, the question “what is in it for you to support an abuser” isn’t usually asked. It should be. I used to believe if I shared my story just right, or repeated myself I would be heard. It is not how we tell the story, it is the hearer that has the problem.

    Those folks that supported my n-h (non-husband) all had something to gain. He had power, position and privilege [and] their association with him was the carrot that kept his “yes-men” in line. However, if he turned on one of them and they wanted empathy, it was suddenly a very different situation because now, since it impacted them the abuse mattered.

    Scripture tells us to expect the following out of people and to AVOID them. We avoid abusers – that is a no-brainer – but AVOID their supporters because they are apostate and loveless. Unloving, inhumane…. Sometimes there are people in our own families that need to be avoided.

    I have a family member whose work and education as a therapist gives her credibility. She has consistently supported an extremely abusive sibling as he persecutes other family because he is very wealthy. He gives her gifts, she then uses her “therapy speak” to silence his victims excusing his behavior to a troubled childhood while condemning those that question his behavior as “judgmental”. In fact, she has much to gain by hiding, aiding and abetting his abuse. Her conscience is seared I’m sure as a Christian counselor she hurts abuse survivors because of her hard heart.

    My job as a Christian is to avoid professing Christians that display that sort of unloving hard heartedness.

    (2 Tim 3:2-5 Amplified Bible [AMP])
    (2) For people will be lovers of self [narcissistic, self-focused], lovers of money [impelled by greed], boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane, (3) [and they will be] unloving [devoid of natural human affection, calloused and inhumane], irreconcilable, malicious gossips, devoid of self-control [intemperate, immoral], brutal, haters of good, (4) traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of [sensual] pleasure rather than lovers of God, (5) holding to a form of [outward] godliness (religion), although they have denied its power [for their conduct nullifies their claim of faith]. Avoid such people and keep far away from them.

  11. healingInHim

    Pastor Crippen, I would have to agree with your “theory”. What you have described is painfully familiar. I try my best to avoid such people. It’s very difficult to trust anyone as they become impatient with your slow progress to freedom. They choose to not empathize or feign empathy only to later tell others “well, it can’t be that bad otherwise she would move out.”

    • It can’t be that bad otherwise she would move out.

      People who say that don’t understand domestic abuse.

      Would they say to a hostage or a kidapping victim “Hey, why don’t you just leave?” Of course not. A hostage can’t “just leave”. A hostage is a victim of type of capture-crime. A domestic abuse victim is enduring a capture-crime rather like kidnapping or hostage-taking.

    • a prodigal daughter returns

      Those false friends make it harder to progress to freedom because of their cruel judgment. The world can feel cold and hostile when you live in abuse. One can become convinced per [the] abuser’s plan that no one cares, false friends, or hard heart in Christians make the world seem colder and harder instead of providing hope-filled refuge. Contrast that indifference with the moving company in the news in California this week that partnered with some ministry to load and move any domestic violence victim for free. [Possible news sources can be read here [Internet Archive link], here [Internet Archive link], and here [Internet Archive link]1.]

      Wouldn’t that be amazing if Christians made the news everywhere with such headlines as “Ministry helps women get an education and start over without judgment and condemnation?”, “Ministry provides support and kindness to abuse survivors with no strings attached.”, “Ministry helps survivor feel love and acceptance for the first time.”, “Ministries help with clothes and food with dignity and respect too.”. “Ministry takes advice from survivors.” would be really fabulous too….

      Try standing in a food bank line anywhere in America and see how that feels and what you end up with in your free food box if anyone thinks there is dignity in the way services are provided.

      1[November 10, 2022: We added the links to three possible news sources containing the story A Prodigal Daughter Returns referred to in her comment, as the stories are all dated not long before A Prodigal Daughter Returns’ comment. The Internet Archive links are copies of those stories, although we weren’t able to find Internet Archive files of the linked stories that were made in 2015 — most likely due to changes in things like: changes to the news sources websites or their ownership. Editors.]

      [Paragraph break added to enhance readability. Editors.]

  12. KayE

    I’ve always thought that many of an abuser’s allies know exactly what they are doing. They approve of abuse, that’s why they help out the abuser. In my personal experience as a victim, there are plenty of naive people who have been duped. But the people in the abuser’s inner circle are actually part of the wolfpack. I didn’t realize this at first, because I thought that an abuser is initiating all the abuse themselves. However as soon as these people found out that I was now despised by the abuser, they revealed themselves to be as vicious, vindictive and slanderous as him. I tend to the same opinion about the abuser’s new wife. People assume she’s another victim, but based on her obvious and sustained support for his vindictive campaign against me, I don’t think that’s the case. Most people consider these people to be the nicest and finest of Christians, but nothing could be further from the truth. It’s very scary stuff.

    • Jeff Crippen

      KayE – I think that you see things quite clearly and accurately in what you say here. They know. Wolfpack waiting to torpedo the righteous.

  13. MJ

    I don’t know if any other victims of abuse have had this happen, but after experiencing 20+ years of sexual, emotional, and verbal abuse by my father, I found myself being verbally abusive towards my spouse. I didn’t even realize I was doing it until it was pointed out to me many times. After I actually started dealing with my abuse, I noticed how I was just copying the behavior of my abuser and treated my loving husband like crap. I feel ashamed for even admitting this but it happened for a couple years after we got married. I have received counseling and no longer treat him that way, but sometimes I can find it tempting to fall back into those learned patterns. Please tell me I’m not the only person who struggled with this. 😦

    • MJ, I don’t think you are the only person who has struggled with this. Some victims of DV even resort to using physical violence against their abuser. And yes, it is generally unwise. At the same time, it’s important to say that one of the commmonest accusations abusers make of their victims is “YOU are the abuser, not me!” So untangling that is always important.

      It is possible that you were ‘treating your spouse like crap’ verbally, having adopted that behavior from his modelling. And it’s fine and good that you recognised and ceased doing this. But an important question is: were you doing that to try to obtain unjust power and control over him? Or were you doing it to try to (clumsily) defend yourself and put up a wall against his unjust treatment of you. Because if you were doing it for the second reason, I would not say you were abusive. You may have been rude, coarse, unwise, disrespectful, giving in to the flesh (to put it in Biblical terms); but none of those things mean in and of themselves that you were exercising abuse against your husband. By our definition of abuse at this blog, which is consistent with the experts in Domestic Abuse, you were only abusive if you were exercising a pattern of power and control from a mentality of entitlement.

      Many generalist counselors are too quick to label all verbal contention against an intimate partner or family member as ‘abusive behaviour’. This muddies the waters and prevents people understanding and discerning the power and control dynamics that may underlie the relationship.

      Context is everything. Elucidating and understanding the context of a given behaviour is vital when one is dealing with domestic abuse. Have you read the pdf Honouring Resistance [Internet Archive link]?

      We have published a number of posts on the issue “Am I the abuser?” And we are publishing another one shortly, so stay tuned. On Lundy’s blog there is a post about this too.

      • MJ

        Hi, thanks for your response. I wanted to clarify that it was my father that was my abuser, not my husband. I believe I adopted the behavior from my father. My husband is a gift straight from God and has stuck by me as I have struggled to heal from my abuse. I don’t feel like [what] I was doing out of a sense of entitlement, I think I was just horrified at the thought of having another man having such a huge part of my life and all I knew was being defensive. After being treated for depression and PTSD last year, I was able to recognize how my behavior was hurting him.

        I guess my reason for writing in the first place is that when I see examples of abusers on here I cringe because I know I’ve treated him like that before. And I hate that I did that. I have a more aggressive personality than him so that makes it harder. Our relationship now is solid and there is no underlying sense of control issues. I just wanted to know if anyone else has had this struggle as well.

      • Thanks for clarifying that, MJ. 🙂 And I’m sorry if you’d told us some of that background before but I’d forgotten.

  14. listening ear

    Also I believe some allies of abusers have been intimidated to a position of consenting to the abuse of others by the abuser.

  15. kaycee

    I agree with abuser’s allies (ex’s family and friends) usually join in the abuse themselves, yet my hardest experience has been from MY friends. When I was in an abusive marriage, they would listen, pray and do things to help me. Now that I have acted and filed for divorce, they have backed way off. One took 2 weeks to respond to my “news” and when she replied it was stated that my story was hard to read. Another has told me that my situation is too painful and that all she can really do is pray for me and the kids. We used to do things with our kids together, now I am left giving my kids excuses of why we don’t see them anymore. While I am empathetic that they have past wounds from childhood (parents’ divorced) and they have difficult marriages too, I am angry that I’m left to walk this alone. Both friends come from a background that “God hates divorce”, “God can change someone”, and they really do not know how to handle this. I am a strong believer that has taught and led many but this (divorce) is way out of character for someone who is in these roles — at least from their perspective.

    I would not say that these friends are allies with my soon-to-be-ex but they are representatives of many “mature” believers. It grieves my heart that so many in the church, who love God and others, struggle with supporting (really supporting) someone in a position like me. If I had a limb that was toxic and needed amputation so that I might live, these women would be right there, walking with me. But, because it is a person that I had a relationship with that was causing poisoning in my life, they cannot stand by me as I cut him out.

    God is faithful in this journey though and I am so thankful for this site. It keeps me keeping on in this “change”.

  16. Mary

    I grew up very sheltered. I mean genuinely sheltered and protected in a godly Bible-believing home. And if someone had just walked up to me and started describing an abusive situation in a “nice Christian home”, I wouldn’t have been able to understand. I wouldn’t have accused the person of lying, but I wouldn’t have been able to grasp that level of evil and deceit hiding under the facade of Christianity. I would have looked for some other explanation, some way that there was some sort of misunderstanding or something.

    I know now that that innocence and naivete on my part would have made me ripe for being manipulated into aiding the abuser, but it would have been genuine ignorance on my part, not evil. I didn’t even begin the process of really understanding that abuse as it really is even existed until I read A Cry for Justice a couple of years ago when I was 19, and things have been slowly filtering through my brain since then. I guess I’m just trying to say that though there are a lot of people whose lack of understanding hides the fact that they are themselves abusive, there are others like me who have just been so sheltered that they truly can’t comprehend such things in their most raw form.

    So keep on going after the bad guys — especially the subtle ones — but please remember to give people like me a chance. (I’m not saying you haven’t been; I’m just sort of throwing the idea out there.)

    • Thanks, Mary, fair call. 🙂

    • kaycee

      Oh, I do understand you! I grew up in innocence as well and it took me 15 years of an abusive marriage to fully understand that evil is real and it is really trying to devour in whatever ways it can. It took me another year to disassociate and finally leave. My parents knew how painful my marriage was but even they could not understand that it was abuse / evil behavior — I didn’t even know. This is one site that has helped me grow in knowledge and understanding. My passion is to reach out to women who are in painful marriages but do not even begin to understand that they are in an abusive situation. All I knew and all they know is that it hurts and it never seems to stop. Kudos for you who at a young age is growing in mercy and compassion — you will have many opportunities to speak life and encourage those who are oppressed.

    • Mary Stephens

      Mary, you are right. I’ve known people like you who I’m sure wouldn’t intentionally assist abusers, but not realizing such things exist wouldn’t understand or comprehend that it could happen.

  17. todd

    Briefly, but in the same vein as your post:
    –to me, the greater scandal of the Bill Cosby scandal was the way his female staffers were assigned to keep the rape victims quiet (and it worked for 20 years).
    –Clinton had staff (state troopers) going out into the crowds to round up his favorites.
    –In the recent Rolling Stone / UVa rape scandal, it came out that UVa had an executive staffer who dealt with victims, but arguably worked more to protect the reputation of the University by keeping the issues out of the courts and out of the papers.
    –Kennedy (JFK) had staffers to set up his trysts for him.

    The common thread, and in common with your post, is that under the big creep, there are lots of little creeps who do it to keep their jobs, or anyway are not as criminal as the uber-creep. But they are necessary to the operation. Because they are little people, like you or I, it is confusing, because we’d expect them to be on our side. But they’re not.

    It’s not a creep, it’s a culture.

    Or in more Christian terms, “we wrestle not with flesh and blood….”

  18. Mary Stephens

    Thank you for this helpful post. It will go very well with an article I posted last week on the subject of wives being forced to share blame with their unfaithful husbands. Naturally, with such a subject the issue of abuse must be included because it is so common for unfaithful men to manipulate their wives into blame-sharing, and tragically too many church leaders support the man’s abuse in this. I am adding a link to this to help those who may need more insight on that.

  19. Annie

    My husband so many times would accuse me of being abusive to him. This was years before I realized he is abusive. And I’d feel terrible! I was always reacting to his treatment of me. I was trying to defend myself.

    One time in an argument he said “you always think it’s me. you never think it’s you”. I spent days after that thinking about that. Yes, I realized I did think it was him not because I couldn’t see fault in myself but that my behavior was always in reaction to his treatment of me. That was an early piece — unbeknownst to him he unwittingly gave me a small clue to what was happening. Of course, it took years before I recognized him as an abuser and sorted out my “transgressions” as not equal to his abusive behavior.

    I guess I categorize my behavior as the run-of-the-mill sinful behavior NORMAL couples have — getting impatient or short when I’m busy, saying something unkind when hurt, tired or disappointed. But never came from a mindset of entitlement. My husband makes no secret now that he thinks he entitled to treat me the way he does. I can’t tell you how many lectures I’d had to listen to about how men are discriminated against and put down in society today. Nothing like hearing your abuser tell you how he’s got it bad.

  20. Anonymous

    ….are of the very same DNA as the abuser.

    John 8:44 —

    You are of [your] father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father…. [NASB1995 + Strong’s.]

    The word for “father” here in the Greek is “patér” and here’s what it says regarding its use in this verse —

    the phrase ἐκ πατρός τίνος εἶναι is used of one who shows himself as like another in spirit and purpose as though he had inherited his nature from him, [Source [Internet Archive link].]

    [We added this line in so readers would know the following quote is from the original post and not from the linked source (above). Editors.]

    ….the wicked really like to see people they are trying to control suffering. It furthers their purpose. They don’t want you vindicated or delivered.

    Proverbs 21:10 —

    The soul of the wicked desires evil; his neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes.

    Note that in both these verses it states that the wicked person WANTS to do evil. This is an ACTIVE choice. And yes, Jeff, some people APPEAR to be our allies but you’ve explained well here how it’s just another ploy they use to deceive us. They love to quote this verse, Isaiah 53:7 —

    He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. [NIV]

    They try to tell us that if JESUS was silent when He was oppressed it’s the LEAST we can do if what is said in Psalm 39:5 is true:

    ….Certainly, everyone alive is like a whisper in the wind. [GW – GOD’S WORD Translation]

    But they fail to mention that during the vast majority of Jesus’s ministry, He was ANYTHING but silent. And when He was silent at the end, it was because He was doing something for humanity that no other human could ever achieve — He was dying to save us. Not only are none of us able to do this, it would be blasphemous if we tried to do it. Yet this is exactly the position these abusers try to put us in — being the sacrificial lamb. (Um, that was Jesus’s job, thank you very much, and He “nailed” it!)

    Good cop, bad cop. We all know the drill and so do abusers. My husband, depending on his mood and who he’s trying to deceive, will pick either side so that he can gain access to a victim. If he sees someone being abused he may play the good cop (it’s how he tricked me) and appear all empathetic and understanding. In reality, he’s putting on a show and gathering up all the victims’ honest confessions and heart-sharing truths in order to use them against them later, and also to tell others in order to show what a “sinner” the victim is and how much he has to “put up with.” But I’ve also seen him jump into a situation where someone is being yelled at or victimized and add to it. I realize now that many of the stories he told me from his childhood about other people he had “witnessed” being abusive were actually stories about himself. It was his way of re-living all the glory of his abuse, just like Ted Bundy and other serial killers who act like they’re confessing because they are now contrite and see the error of their ways, but are actually bragging. They love what they are and they revel in the evil they’ve done. Their evil thoughts soothe them.

    Thank you again, Jeff, for a place to write this, I’m gonna take a nap now, I’m just a little bit tired.

  21. Lost

    Yeah a church leader when I pleaded with him in front of the other leaders about an attack that took place along with blatant false teaching said to me “we’re all abusers”. This person also said we all have a sinful lust for control and power. I disagree. I certainly do not. That’s because I’m not an abuser.


    • Anonymous

      I certainly do not. That’s because I’m not an abuser.


      Lost, I completely know what you mean and by these people saying this —

      “we’re all abusers”….we all have a sinful lust for control and power.

      —their hearts were revealed.

      When God started waking me up to this I was floored! This mentality is the OPPOSITE of the way my mind works. In fact, I HAD NO IDEA WHAT THIS MEANT! I HATED having “power” over others because to me this was responsibility which equated in my mind to knowing God would hold me more accountable and I took this very seriously. This is, however, how satan and those who belong to him think and like Korah who rebelled against Moses, Korah never saw the tremendous toll it took on Moses or how much work was required, he (and his followers) only saw that Moses got to stand in front of everyone and that people looked at and listened to him. In the mind of evil ones, they equate this to worship — which is what they want — to stand in front of everyone and be “worshiped.” And we wonder why so many evil ones are drawn to becoming a pastor. And let’s face it, the screening process is lax in this regard and actually favors evil ones who know the right words to say and who act like they are humble and contrite.

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