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.
[September 23, 2022: There have been some changes made to this post. For more information, read the Editors’ notes at the bottom of the post. Editors.]
“Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death. (Exodus 21:16 ESV)
“If a man is found stealing one of his brothers of the people of Israel, and if he treats him as a slave or sells him, then that thief shall die. So you shall purge the evil from your midst. (Deuteronomy 24:7 ESV)
understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, (1 Timothy 1:9-10 ESV) [Emphasis added.]
I hope that the impact of these verses soaks into our minds deeply. And in particular, I hope that those churches and church leaders and church members who enable and protect abusers will get a spiritual whack that will wake them up to the nature and gravity of their crime.
Abusers are man-stealers. Abusers enslave people. Kidnappers and slave masters are to be put out of our midst. God’s Law pronounces their crime to be a capital one and all who do not repent of this evil will most certainly perish in hell for all eternity.
Abusers are kidnappers and enslavers. Talk to any abuse victim. Most all of our readers know this quite well, having lived (or are still living) in these bonds. Abusers kidnap their victim by deception, then keep them enslaved with all kinds of evil tactics. Financial abuser and bondage are a very, very common chain used to imprison the victim. Where can she go? She has no access to the money. He watches her use of every penny. She can’t afford an attorney. The possibility of leaving and getting her own housing and car is simply impossible. She is a slave. She has been kidnapped and imprisoned.
The Lord pronounces the wicked man-stealer’s punishment to be carried out with extreme prejudice. That is His Law. His people are to purge such a wicked one from their midst and will have the blood of the innocent on their hands if they do not.
Think on this further. Abuse is about what? It is about unjustified power and control. Power and control = ownership. Enslavement. Kidnapping. Abuse puts people in prison unjustly and torments them. Abusers, in other words, are driven by the same spirit as their diabolic father, the devil. All of them.
But Pharaoh said, “Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and moreover, I will not let Israel go.” (Exodus 5:2 ESV)
Now, think this through quite carefully. The Lord Jesus Christ is REDEEMER. The Son of God came to set His people FREE. Therefore, His church is to be a community of freemen where the very atmosphere exudes liberty. And yet, here we find this plague of bondage called abuse growing like a corroding fungus in our midst. What will such “Christians” do on that Day? What will such churches do who not only fail to purge this evil from amongst themselves and render aid and rescue to the victims, but who add to her chains? What will you do when the Son of Man comes, you who have so sorely treated His bride? You have told His Bride she must remain in prison, abused by her kidnapper and enslaver? All who deny divorce for reason of abuse and all who refuse to help her get free….all stand guilty before Him.
Abusers are kidnappers. Abusers are enslavers. Purge this evil from among yourselves.
[September 23, 2022: Editors’ notes:
—For some comments made prior to September 23, 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 September 23, 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 September 23, 2022 that quoted from the post to the post as it is now (September 23, 2022), click here [Internet Archive link] for the most recent Internet Archive copy of the post.]
27 thoughts on “The Abuser as Kidnapper and Slave Master”
Fundamentally, abuse is slavery….treacherously taking advantage of the covenant vows to enslave and abuse a covenant partner.
And with what words did Jesus begin His public ministry? What did Jesus declare as His purpose and anointing? In Luke 4:18, Jesus opened His public ministry by reading these words from Isaiah:
Jesus came to release the captives, give sight to the blind, and set free the oppressed!
This is His ministry and His goal. If we are His disciples, we should be working to do the same thing.
More on this topic in this blog post: Take a Stand! [Internet Archive link].
Thank you, Jeff, for continuing to highlight the necessity of taking a strong stand against abuse!
Those trapped in the bondage of an abusive marriage just may be wondering where is this Isaiah-Jesus ministry in their lives! Why doesn’t He set them free? I have struggled with this question myself as I have read testimony after testimony of praying women who never get free. Unless that idea of freedom means putting them out on the street! Sometimes I can’t help but wonder if God’s way is not leaving (unless life is threatened of course) but rather growing personally in such a way as to overcome while in the situation?!?! Each story and person is different but I struggle with how knowing the Lord has made or not made a difference in such a horrible circumstance. I know of people whose faith in God was ruined and even traumatized by not seeing the Lord rescue.
I invite any insight, wisdom, and understanding.
Thank you, Better Equipped, for the pertinent questions!
In my case, redemption and deliverance came as Jesus walked with me through the divorce ending a 17-year abusive marriage.
Jesus continually encouraged me and provided for me through that experience. He led me to friends who were helpful and encouraging. He led me to new insight of Scripture, helping me to see His heart of love and redemption in a fresh new light. He delivered me, not only from that abusive marriage, but also from the poor theology that had held me captive in that marriage for so many years.
For more of what I learned during that time, you might like to read my book on the topic: So You are a Believer….Who has been through Divorce…. [Affiliate link]
Or visit my blog: Redeemed! [Internet Archive link]
Praying for you, this morning, that God will give you supernatural wisdom and discernment as He leads you to fresh understanding of His heart of love and redemption!
Joepote01, I appreciate your comments and thanks for the links. I went to your blog, read Cynical? [Internet Archive link]1 and loved it. Will be perusing more on your blog – as well as your book.
I divorced my first husband over 15 years ago and remember being told that if I initiated it I would be the one tearing my family apart (had three very young boys). Even though he was the one absolutely refusing councel or help – he was told that he was extremely controlling but said he wasn’t the one who needed councel, but rather I did since I wanted out of the relationship because he didn’t see fit to commit to it. And I saw God in action on my behalf, providing for me and my three boys all along the way. Even my heart was protected from emotional despair.
But….I was also young enough to be able to bounce forward into change. Someone in their mid-life may feel more trapped, especially those women whose careers have always been in the home-front, who have no financial means of self-support, and / or whose health couldn’t afford to lose use of their insurance, or possibly withstand the emotional and physical damage of stress that divorce would bring. These are stories of women I know, who are not physically abused, but have braved through emotionally destructive marriages. After weighing the cost of staying or leaving, some believe staying is wiser but just not staying the same, but rather learning how they have enabled the loss of their autonomy by allowing the effects of verbal abuse, etc. Growing stronger meant learning to be assertive, exposing (calling out) the sins of their husbands rather than hiding in fear of him…. These changes force adjustment into the relationship, either toward its dissolvement or enlightenment. Maybe the outcome will never be the desired marriage, but I have seen it become a safer one.
In the end, each choice is very difficult, but I believe knowing the Lord intimately, which we cannot without daily study of His word, gives each of us personal discernment for our circumstances. Well, even then, it’s befuddling when things aren’t crystal clear and God doesn’t seem to be making a way – at least perceived to not be making a way.
1[September 23, 2022: We added the link to Joe Pote’s post Cynical?. The Internet Archive link is a copy of that post. Editors.]
Hi, Better Equipped,
Since I was trapped in a bad marriage for several decades, that same question burned in my mind many times. One very discouraging evening I asked God to let me know, when I get to heaven why I had to live such a miserable and unappreciated life on earth when all I wanted was to serve Him. The very next day I was led to a used bookstore that had many books about abuse, which led to many other books about verbal emotional, and psychological abuse, until I clearly saw the game my husband was doing.
My mind was finally free to shed all the false shame blame and guilt that had been wrongly placed on me by my abuser and his enabling allies. That was a great moment. I felt like the woman that had the issue of blood when she was healed by our Lord.
But after that moment I feel like by the suffering that I went through will be used as a testimony against my abusers (the unbelieving) and there allies (the fearful). The Allies are fearful of losing their tithers, or facing the wrath or retribution of the abuser by standing up for the oppressed. So they join ranks with the abuser. This is the type of fearfulness I believe the Bible is talking about in Revelation. Unbelieving fearfulness, that leads to more oppression of God’s people.
Also by what the professing church does when it is presented with our dilemma, is very possibly what God may be using to determine the wheat from the chaff.
[Paragraph breaks added to enhance readability. Editors.]
Thank you, Better Equipped and Standsfortruth, for your comments. Working your way out of an abusive marriage after an abusive childhood may not be completely possible for all of us. You pointed out some great insights and finding a way to be married to an abuser but live a life separately (although still married) may be the best option.
It’s all so sad isn’t it? So many beautiful people who are forced to live half-lives in the sense that if they’d known about abusers they may have at least had the chance to look for a non-abuser or choose not to marry at all. But now we’re stuck with damaged minds, hearts, faith, children, finances, and in many cases, health. Biblical education about the TRUE nature of evil and how to identify those who belong to their father the devil (or even acknowledgement that some people are like this) may have saved some of us.
Standsfortruth, I’ve been able to identify with many of your recent comments such as when your husband put on a performance and you learned to stop being his audience / stage. This is absolutely true of my husband as well and when I refused to be around him he just shut down. All his life was just an act and because he’d alienated everyone else and I was the last one who bought his act, he just did nothing. Again, such a sad life for those of us who genuinely love and care about others to realize that our love and care for our spouse was simply something that kept them occupied while they were actively working against us.
Anonymous, we don’t have to settle for a compromised life. You seem like you have so much to offer.
This is a short story of how my abuser’s grip was pried off of me with God’s help, and the help that this site offers to victims of abuse.
In case down the road you decide you want to break free remember how God delivered me.
It took planning and strategy in order to outsmart my abuser, and once I realized all the evil that he had been done to me and my family, I started making changes.
I set firm boundaries in place inside the marital home that my abuser could not compromise (like creating my own secure bedroom with a dead bolt locking key so he could not enter at his free will), and I kept this room locked with the keys on me at all times….he hated this of course.
My friend helped by donating a mini-fridge and microwave and I had a TV in there too. (It was a decent set up that gave me some sense of control and composure.)
After a few months of that my abuser began asking me to “just leave the marital home”. And he continued to try to get me to move out and go somewhere else.
But I refused.
Finally out of anger and frustration from my effective boundaries he filed for divorce. (Thank you, Lord.)
But even then I did not want to leave because the house was still half mine, as there was reasonable equity in it, and once it sold it could provide some money that could help me re-adjust.
I also didn’t want to leave everything behind just for him to plunder and then have to reinvent myself all over again, so instead I decided to create a standoff right in the home.
So I secured a vehicle in my name, and kept it locked 24 / 7, and then I got a job so that I had my own income and my own private checking account.
I also had my vehicle door locks changed, so that my abuser could not access it, and learned to never put my keys down where he could access them. This way he could not tamper with the engine or place a listening device in the vehicle to hear any of my conversations.
I also got a locking gas cap to discourage any tampering with my gas.
And I always kept my keys fastened to my belt so that he would never have an opportunity to take them or make copies.
I got my own seperate cell phone account to he could no longer monitor my phone calls.
I also changed my mailing address to a PO box, and notified all of my creditors of my new mailing address and also made sure my bank account used the PO box only.
But the last thing my abuser wanted was for our house to sell because that would give me money, and heaven forbid I receive more independence from him. So he quit paying the house mortgage for several months (to also ruin my credit), so we were now getting foreclosure notices in the mail.
So I was up against my abuser’s evil plan which was to give me the “scorched earth policy”, with him hoping in the end I would be so destitute and desperate, and would come crawling back to him.
They just don’t ever get it do they?
But God had a different plan.
I covered my bases throughout the divorce process and gathered and collected papers and information that defended my position against any possible lies he might try to accuse me of….I even collected incriminating information about him, saving and securing everything that might help my case in the event of a trial.
To make a long story short regarding the house, during the divorce I requested for several realtors after viewing our house to send me a letter stating that I was willing to sign their contract, while my husband for one reason or another was not. This created pressure on him from the lawyers now knowing about the foreclosure threat that had been looming.
So my abuser reluctantly had to sign the realtor’s contract.
Finally the green light was on to get the house ready to sell!
Then God gave me Elijah-type energy to fix up the property and house one project at a time.
I was working on the house and property before and after working my daily job racing to get it sold before it foreclosed.
During that time God sustained my energy in an amazing way that I can’t even explain, and I am no spring chicken.
Miraculously it sold 17 days later….
I guess that I am sharing this to encourage you and others that if you should decide to help yourselves towards freedom, just remember that even though it may not be easy, God will be there for you to help you get through it.
In my observation, it is not all that uncommon for Christians who suffer abuse and adversity to ask “Why doesn’t God put things right? Why doesn’t He set me free? Why doesn’t He deliver me?” And yes, such questions can be a test of one’s faith. And it seems that some fall away, or cast aside their faith, when they can’t seem to find answers to those questions.
Maybe such individuals might later on come to a renewal of faith. Every situation and story is so individual.
If a person just rejects Christ and fixes there, I question quietly, tentatively, gently to myself whether they ever really had true saving faith. Maybe what they had believed and thought was ‘faith’ was in fact grounded so much on the false teachings of churchianity that what they are really rejecting is those false teachings. And then, for whatever reason, they are not motivated to diligently seek out the truth of Christ through His Spirit-interpreted Word, and to thus rightly divide doctrine for themselves. So they discard all of what they deem Christianity, without realising that the Lord Jesus Christ, God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit do not affirm the doctrines which so much of churchianity holds to. And so, they do not realise that God, the true and living God whose Word and Spirit gives life, is so very very different from those Pharisees who all sit back and wag their fingers at the victims of abuse, instead of helping them cut through the lies and deliver them from the evildoers.
Better Equipped, Anonymous, and StandsForTruth, thank you, so much, for your discussion! So many pertinent questions and such encouraging testimonies of God’s goodness and faithfulness!
Yes, every situation is different….and every decision of how best to handle things is so intensely personal. Your testimonies are so helpful!
Thanking God for His faithfulness and for the Holy Spirit who comforts and imparts wisdom in our individual lives!
EXCELLENT comment! It’s a great testimony and I pray others see it too. I’m working my way out in a similar but different way. My husband (as yet) is not as motivated to do me harm as yours. I too have forged my own space in our home and he hasn’t had access to me for years now, and God has kept me. I know what he is — a psychopath — and as such is unpredictable and irrational although he BELIEVES himself to be absolutely logical and even-tempered. INSANE!
Several years ago we were hacked so I’ve learned to live without many of the gadgets that most people deem necessary today, which also means that my husband doesn’t have the chance to use them against me. I already take precautions like you’ve mentioned because of this.
Jeff writes about how when God is the one who pins us down to where we are unable to escape a harsh environment it’s clearly from Him and He will teach us what He wants us to learn during this time. But once we have the opportunity to escape (like you did after careful and wise planning) we are to do so knowing that once again, God was with us. God has been with me through all this time and I can see His hand helping me work my way out of it as well. That I’ve been unable to leave previously has also been due to God having a plan, and all of the wisdom I’ve been able to write about here was due to the Lord forcing me to learn it and to share it. Not a drop of it is wasted when we share it with His children and when it’s imprinted on our hearts. (Permanently etched!)
Your comment gives me SO MANY TOOLS that I may need to use as I get closer to actually leaving — so I just want you to know what a blessing your life has been to me — it was not wasted. And who knows how many others here that you may never hear from, will be able to use them as well. I don’t know who I will meet in the future that may need these ideas and because you wrote them down for us here, I may be able to be a blessing to someone else! I have a feeling I will need your post [comment] many times in the future. Thank you!
Reblogged this on Speakingtruthinlove's Blog [Internet Archive link] and commented:
I really appreciate the truth you speak and the clear call to the church to set the oppressed free and purge the evil among us! If the church can’t hear the word of God and the oppressed get trampled, what are they busy doing? They are missing one of God’s main purposes for sending His son! It is not complicated or murky, truth untwists the knots and makes the path straight. It is kind of jaw dropping how oblivious the church still is about evil. We need your voice, the church has so much opportunity to do good but seem blind to it’s potential. Thank you, pastor Crippen!
Exactly right. Too often the church acts like the Supreme Court with the Dred Scott decision [Internet Archive link]1. It makes me angry at how we are so often on the wrong side of oppression.
1[September 23, 2022: We added the link to Wikipedia’s page on Dred Scott v. Sandford (the Dred Scott decision). The Internet Archive link is a copy of that page. Editors.]
Better Equipped, good questions. I hope others answer.
It’s easy for me to think that the answer to my prayers is one of two possibilities. But as the story of Jesus and the adulteress who was about to be stoned showed me Jesus has a different, unexpected answer. The crowd expected to trap Him because either one of the two answers they expected would have indicted Him in their eyes. He answered a third way and they drifted away.
I will give an example from my own life (details changed to protect myself). My husband was unemployed for a long time and finally he got a job that requires long hours. This means he comes home exhausted. So I no longer see him as much and when he is around he’s usually sleeping.
My prayers were answered in a way I didn’t expect. I had been hoping I’d win the lottery (I don’t play, lol) or inherit money from a long lost relative or something but that’s not how it’s going right now. And now I see he was unemployed for so long so he would take that job because otherwise I know he wouldn’t have. This gives me more time and space to make my plans for the future and work on me. It gives me and the kids a lot of time from him. Less stress and turmoil. We actually are enjoying life again. It’s given me the chance to teach them about normal.
Maybe for others it is living in a shelter for months. Or going gray rock to keep the family together for awhile longer. Maybe the Lord has given the abuser opportunities to change and they refused him.
For years I couldn’t understand why Jesus didn’t do something! I now see He was.
And while sometimes I get lost in thinking this situation is all about me there are others in this drama. God is watching their responses too.
Before my N husband proposed to me, God showed me in a dream that I was chained down and imprisoned in my marriage. I didn’t know what the dream meant, so I went ahead and married my ‘Prince Charming’ anyway. Last year, shortly before I left him, I dreamt that I ran away from captivity, but my captor found me and took me back. In real life, I went back to him after 6 weeks.
Towards the end of last year, I stumbled on this site and found out that the exact same words were used over and over: captivity, captor, prison. Then I clearly understood the situation I was in.
Before I finally left this year, God showed me through Scriptures that He was with me and would rescue me. God doesn’t favor captivity. He sent His Son to set the captives free! Hallelujah!
Thank you, Ps Jeff for, your encouraging words which are also precise.
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Even though this posed some risk to myself, I told local church people that I’d been enslaved and imprisoned. I warned them very clearly about the abuser’s real character, his level of deceit and his potential for danger. They all responded by holding me responsible for failing to resolve the “issues in my marriage”. They supported the abuser and they helped find him a new victim. It’s disgusting.
For those of you who are still held in bondage but have taken a righteous stand to free yourself from an abuser.
In my case filing for divorce.
It’s not the world who holds you bound from freedom. It’s the religious leaders who want conformity to their demands.
The deceived sees a woman who refuses to bow down to her abuser(s) as a sinner.
I am living this at present.
Jesus came as a freedom fighter.
Not a religious zealot!
I’ve gotten in the habit of reading a few of the old (original) posts on this website every week. In one of them Jeff Crippen was talking about a book he was in the midst of reading and that the chapter on captivity was particularly good. I’d heard of this book many times on other websites regarding abuse so I went ahead and ordered it and several others recommended here. When I received “Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence — from Domestic Abuse to Political Terror”, by Judith Herman yesterday I immediately started reading this chapter. Truthfully, it’s OVERWHELMING in a good way because it perfectly explains what all of us here are going through or have gone through. And, once again I wonder, “WHY WAS I NEVER TAUGHT ANY OF THIS STUFF BY ANYONE?” “WHY?”
There are so many forms of imprisonment and my husband used the methods I grew up with — keeping me pregnant, uneducated, poor, fearful and dependent and using my highly sensitive conscience to manipulate me with shame and guilt.
It’s amazing how God does things, isn’t it? When I finally started standing up for myself (which happened to be at the lowest point in my life, when I realized that I had no help and that nobody cared if I was alive or dead and we were deeply in debt) God did something amazing. As most of you here know, the evil one we are married to will hurl ANYTHING at us in order to control us and discount our reality. One day I said to him, “I’ve read about people like me, but I’ve never met anyone like me in real life.” I was referring to someone who did right nearly all the time even when everyone was against them and someone who wanted no credit and actually shunned attention. Deep breath here….my husband AGREED WITH ME! (Quite frankly, when I’d said it, I didn’t know if it were really true but God used my evil husband to confirm this essential truth about my character.) My adult daughter has even expanded on it and said that it’s because of my sincere love and care of others that gives others hope that there are more like me. Lest you think I’m bragging about myself let me just assure you that I had ABSOLUTELY HATED MYSELF DOWN TO MY CORE / SOUL MY ENTIRE LIFE AND THOUGHT I WAS THE WORST PERSON EVER! For me to even CONSIDER myself to be kind or thoughtful (to think anything good about myself) felt like I was lying. Evil you see, will destroy our very soul. John 10:10 —
Many of us here have noticed that there are many similarities between our abusers, and it appears as though they attended the same school on how to be abusive. From the book:
The book (thus far) puts into words the evil we’ve endured, which means that OTHER PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT IT. (WE know from God’s word that the common denominator is the devil — and that his kingdom resolutely sticks together against its common enemy — Jesus and those who belong to Him.) Most importantly GOD knew about it and wrote it down for us. So, how BAD will it be for all these false shepherds who mishandle God’s word and instead of driving out the wolf — force the sheep to eat themselves or train them to think being chosen by the wolf as his next meal is a privilege and a sacrifice? Hell, quite frankly, is too good for them and they should be grateful that it’s God who is handling them and not me.
1[September 23, 2022: We formatted Anonymous’ quote from Judith Herman’s book Trauma and Recovery to match the book, as well as adding the sentence that was likely not in Anonymous’ edition of the book. Editors.]
This was me:
Anonymous, I too often read old posts. I used to think much like you. My husband made sure to reinforce it — that I was unfriendly, selfish, etc. Only in the last few years and through my children’s positive comments have I realized that I want to be and am a kind and thoughtful Christian. I think as my children got older they came to see that dad’s negative comments about me just didn’t jive with how I treated them and everyone else and they started to say something to me.
Another post that cuts to the heart. Thank you, Pastor Crippen, and also to the insightful commenters.
When I was living with my abuser, I was overwhelmed every day with the sense that I was a POW.
Nobody understood, until a friend said to me, “I wish my husband was like yours” – of course because of that “Godly” facade he was able to create.
Without thinking, I blurted out, “No, you don’t!” Then, with fear and trembling, I told her the truth. She was also living with abuse. We shared many conversations after that, with eerily similar stories of control, walking on eggshells, being raped on a daily basis, and all the rest.
It’s uncanny how these evil ones are so alike.
I have been reading this this website for several weeks and it’s been very helpful. It is my daughter who is in an abusive (Christian) marriage. Every week her husband needles away at her character and belittles her. He uses Scripture as his defense of why she should obey him and blames everything that is wrong on her family. He keeps using the “leave and cleave” from the Bible over her. He tells her, “you are not filled with the Holy Spirit or you would say your sorry” and then says to her “I forgive you because you are dishonest”. It’s all crazy-making. His abuse was physical until they had their first child. He then stopped physically abusing her, but the verbal, emotional and spiritual abuse began to escalate and continues every day. They now have two children under two and she wants to leave him, but he threatens to take the children away.
Standsfortruth, I wonder if you had any children?? And I also wonder how you manage to put locks in your house to keep him away from you….I’m guessing he never physically harmed you?? Did he not threaten you?? Were you ever afraid to come out of your room??
As several others have said, each situation is different, but IS there anyone out there who was able to leave their abusive husband, who had children and were able to keep their children? My daughter’s husband is fixated on taking the children away and he has family who would help him. (His family does not believe that their son would ever physically hurt anyone.) They hate my daughter because when she left him once and exposed their son, it turned into a war of words. It was awful and still is. She thought by going back to him, it would calm things down, but his family have made it clear that they want nothing to do with this “evil, toxic, manipulative person” and they call themselves Christians. His parents won’t even see their two grandchildren!
So my daughter stays in the marriage “for the sake of the children.” My daughter’s husband and family are “Christians” and have used the Word of God as a weapon against my daughter. She has become a shell of a woman and I’m deeply concerned.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Concerned Mom, yes I had several children.
And I stayed in the marriage for the sake of the children, thinking that they needed a father or male figure. But in hindsight I now see how different they might have turned out if I had tried to get out while they were younger.
By the time I was aware of the abuse the children were past their formative years, so the damage of seeing their mom being unappreciated, disrespected, dishonored, and invalidated by their father repetedly over the years had been already done.
The teens instinctively knew they would become targeted by him if they dared to support or defend me in any way.
I had not yet found the many knowledge-empowering books offered on abuse while they were growing up (that this site also offers), or discovered this site that so graciously validates and acknowledges victims of multiple types of covert abuse by so called “Christian spouses”. Is it any wonder that they all now question the very existence of God today?
If my children had been younger, and I was able to get them out earlier, then they may have escaped the polorization of growing up in an abusive environment, which totally affected their perspective and outlook of life.
Trying to co-parent with an abuser like mine, was like trusting the devil to do the right thing.
By the time I saw the train-wreck coming that was going to affect my children, they were too old for the prevention of the psychological damage of growing up with an abuser.
The earlier someone can start to get out of an abusive marriage the better, to hopefully prevent any boys growing up developing a damaged disrespecting view of women, and to prevent any girls from gravitating towards unhealthy relationships with men that have red flag abusive traits.
Concerned Mom – it’s wonderful that your daughter has so much understanding and support from you. Having been in a similar situation to her, I can tell you that every little bit helps. The situation with children is very, very difficult. I was able to keep my children, but they were strong-minded teenagers at the time and no one could tell them what to do, not even the court system. I do understand why your daughter feels she has to stay for the children. My thoughts are that it’s good to get as much advice and as many allies as you possibly can, whether those are friends, extended family, lawyers, community workers, or anyone else you can think of. And always good to get in first before they get recruited by the abuser. I found Lundy Bancroft’s books really helpful in this area, especially “When Dad Hurts Mom”.
Hi, Concerned Mom, welcome to the blog. 🙂
I honor you for being so concerned for your grandkids and daughter’s well-being, and for looking for ideas about how you might be able to help her even more effectively than you are already doing. 🙂
Here are some things which might give you (and / or your daughter) food for thought.
The bottom line is: we affirm the importance of each victim making her own choices and being supported no matter whether she chooses to stay, to leave, or to go back. We also affirm the importance of elucidating and honouring victims’ resistance to abuse.
Some of the things I’m listing here may not apply all that well to you and your daughter’s situation, so take what you want and leave the rest. We always encourage victims to pay attention to their gut feelings and intuitions as they are often promptings from the Holy Spirit.
Safety Planning (This can be done even while the victim is still living with the abuser, it’s not just for when she is leaving or has left an abuser.)
Resources for Family and Friends.
Resources for Supporters of Victims of Domestic Abuse.
Resources for Deciding to Stay or Leave.
Resources for Legal Issues
What is Coercive Control?
Staying for the kids
All the posts in our category Supporting Victims.
I went up [to the] police about a year ago, with photos of prior injuries, medical records, and I had a friend who I told every time my ex hurt me physically, to corroborate my story. I was scared to leave him because he had hurt me physically several times in the past and had an explosive temper and yelled and exploded in rage at me a lot in front of my children.
He was arrested and removed from the home and I am still there with my children. It was the home that I owned & brought [into?] the relationship. His charges will be withdrawn at the end of June. Letting our daughter go with him is hard – it is court mandated even though he has demonstrated his rage and has assault charges hanging over his head. My daughter is with me most of the time but she goes with her dad on alternate weekends. It is very hard for her and I see that it affects her negatively. I feel helpless to stop him from abusing her but I feel like I am her anchor and she feels safe here in our home with her with mom and her 3 older siblings.