A Cry For Justice

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


While most of the recommended books and online resources are from a Christian perspective, some of our resources are from secular sources.  We include these resources as we know them to contain accurate information and sound advice.

Recommended Books

Books listed alphabetically by Author

Books listed by Title

Books listed by Topic

Online Resources

Listed alphabetically. Where appropriate, an online resource may be listed in several of the links below. NOTE: Some of these links provide contact information for specific counselors. This does not mean that ACFJ personally knows each of these counselors. As you read here at ACFJ and learn more about abuse, we encourage you apply what you are learning to a counselor, if you are seeing one. If something doesn’t feel right to you, we encourage you to trust your judgment in evaluating a counselor or a resource.

ACFJ flyer and business cards

ACFJ Domestic Violence Flyers:  Country Specific

Children of Domestic Abuse

Church Positions on Domestic Abuse

Cyber Safety and Social Networking

Deciding to stay or leave

Domestic Violence Agencies and Websites Around the World

Family and Friends


Justice Keepers Publishing

Legal Issues

Mental Illness/Learning Disability

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Practical Tips for Independent Living after Abuse

Red Flags in New Relationships

Safety Planning


Sexual Abuse

Spiritual Abuse

Supporters of Victims of Domestic Abuse

Training materials

Understanding Domestic Abuse

Video and Audio

What does scripture really say?

Gender and DV – the key facts

Resources we don’t recommend


  1. anonymous

    Can anyone tell me what books Pastor Crippen is referencing in the last sermon in his series Domestic Violence and Abuse? It’s the one where they are telling wives to ignore their feelings and obey their husband, and that the husband will be “responsible” before God, so just obey. (I’m sorry for the rough paraphrasing) I feel like he was sitting in on the last counseling session I just had with my husband, our counselor and his wife! those were the exact things they are trying to tell me. 😦

    • Jeff Crippen

      anonymous- I believe the book is Me? Obey Him? by Elizabeth Rice Handford. Bad book. Very bad.

      • TB

        Oh my…I have read this book. UGH! It seems for every book that says “OBEY your husband, as unto the Lord” (sounds reasonable), there is a book that says “NO, this does not apply.” In my quest for answers I have read:

        The Excellent Wife
        Created to be his Helpmeet
        Me? Obey Him?
        You Can be the Wife of a Happy Husband
        Sacred Marriage
        Sacred Influence
        And on, and on, and on, and on…

        Part of my struggle is knowing which side of the fence to be on!!! It’s so frustrating. I think I have determined these books are helpful in a marriage that is semi-healthy to healthy, but not so much in a relationship like mine.

  2. anonymous

    thank you

    • CB

      I too have given much consideration to all “these books” and struggled with the thought that these are helpful in semi-healthy marriages and not abusive ones. I have learned that the basic premise that these books are based on is an incorrect model. If the model doesn’t take into account unhealthy marriages, the model is missing something and flawed and needs to be reconsidered. It has the possibility of taking a healthier marriage into an unhealthier state. If it is not helping unhealthy marriages it is not helping healthier marriages. If you find a hole in your model then you know your model does not accurately describe reality and have an obligation to correct it or recall your model. If willingly not corrected, it will lead to great error and is deceptive.

    • CB

      I too have given much consideration to all “these books” and struggled with the thought that these are helpful in semi-healthy marriages and not abusive ones. I have learned the basic premise that these books are based on, is an incorrect model. If the model doesn’t take into account unhealthy marriages, the model is missing something and flawed and needs to be reconsidered. It has the possibility of taking a healthier marriage into an unhealthier state. If it is not helping unhealthy marriages it is not helping healthier marriages. If you find a hole in your model then you know your model does not accurately describe reality and have an obligation to correct it or recall your model. If willingly not corrected, it will lead to great error and is deceptive.

      GOD put into place “nature” to give us visuals of the “function of laws and systems”.

      You find in nature that a system that benefits healthy and functional ALSO benefits unhealthy and not functioning correctly, otherwise, the system is unstable and will fail. Example: Nutrients, water, and proper growing environment that is supplied to healthy “trees” (or whatever you want to use as an example) also benefit unhealthy “trees” and encourage improvement and survival. If this was not, so the system would die.

      • That principle you gave from Nature is generally true. But not always. Here is an example of where it is not true.

        When someone has been starved for a long time it is not safe to for them to have normal full sized meals when they recommence eating. otherwise they might get what is called Re-feeding Syndrome.

        From Wikipedia:

        Any individual who has had negligible nutrient intake for many consecutive days and/or is metabolically stressed from a critical illness or major surgery is at risk of refeeding syndrome. Refeeding syndrome usually occurs within four days of starting to re-feed. Patients can develop fluid and electrolyte disorders, especially hypophosphatemia, along with neurologic, pulmonary, cardiac, neuromuscular, and hematologic complications.

        When the concentration camp victims were liberated by the allies. Electrolyte imbalances were observed in liberated camp victims before V-Day. I think we need to consider how this applies in domestic abuse, because being in domestic abuse is quite like being in a concentration camp.

  3. anonymous

    Can anyone comment on the differences between Bancroft’s “The Batterer as Parent” and “When Dad Hurst Mom?” (or do you recommend both) thank you

    • But we do recommend both of them. Other people on our team have read them, that’s why we recommend them.
      Update: while Bancroft’s books on domestic abuse are good, we do not recommend Lundy Bancroft’s “healing retreats” or his New Peak Living Network.

    • I have not read either of them Anon, yet. Maybe one is more for professionals and one for mothers? I think if you checked out the reviews of the two books on Amazon, you would get a sense of the differences between them.

    • Deborah

      Hello, I can tell you that both books are basically about the same thing. Batterer As A Parent is written to professionals helping victims and is much more technical and detailed. When Dad hurts Mom is written to survivors and has less detail but is written in less technical and clinical terms. Both are good books and both help you understand why abusers parent the way they do and what to expect and be careful of in their parenting, post separation. Batterer costs significantly more and I’m not sure you can get it on kindle. I know you can get Dad hurts Mom on kindle. Both are really good and because batterer has more detail, I would recommend reading both if you can. If not, you will not miss any of the key points if you only read Dad hurts Mom. Hope this helps!!


      • anonymous

        Yes, that helps immensely-thank you!

      • Thanks Deborah! We will put this info as an annotation where we list those two books on our Books resources pages.

  4. Katherine

    I’m looking for the bad resource of books list. Curious how many I have and need to toss.

    • That might be a good list for us to have, Katherine, but unfortunately we don’t have such a list yet. But you have prompted us to give it some thought.

      However, our Hall Of Bind Guides page will give you an idea of some of the authors we think are doing harm to victims. But it is not a comprehensive list.

  5. Lucy

    Are there any books or publications about adult children (sons) that are now treating their mother in the same way their dad did. I divorced my husband after 25 yrs. It was a marriage of verbal, emotional, and a small amount of physical abuse. My daughter-in-laws are now “carrying on the tradition.” It is getting worse. What can I do to end this!? It would be so helpful if there were books my sons could read (God willing they would read them).

  6. Lucy

    Thank you Barbara. I will go to that site. My sons were 19 & 21 when I filed for divorce. They are now in their early 40’s. I read an article written by Teresa R. Boulette & Susan M. Anderson about “Mind Control & the Battering of Women.”. It was given to me my my attorney during the long divorce proceedings. Very interesting & enlightening. It said that sons who observe their mothers enduring abuse may become desensitized as adults to their mothers/women. I just wish there was a book (other than Boundaries) that would be helpful. I am seeing a counselor, but am basically being told to find a life outside of my family. I have eight grandchildren. My family is my life! I do have other activities, etc. but nothing takes the place of family.

    • Yes Lucy, I got the impression that your sons were well and truly adults now, so maybe those links I gave will not be all that helpful to you.

      If you do find a good book or resource that might help people like your sons, let us know. We might put it on our Resources.

  7. Any thought of creating a list of recommended churches? This could be difficult, as I know leadership can change within a church… but it might benefit users looking for a church founded in truth and knowledgeable enough to not re-victimize members. Just reading through the Persistant Widow’s story made me think how harmed so many of us have been by the leaders at our church (me included… I did leave that church). Would love to know where this isn’t happening :).

    • thepersistentwidow

      Hi xmeriwetherx, I recommend the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. They orchestrated a domestic abuse task force that drafted a position paper and other favorable resources here:
      http://www.lcms.org/socialissues/domesticviolence That is not to say that the LCMS church body is free of abuse, but their doctrines discourage enabling abuse and give prominence to comforting the hurting. I now belong to LCMS and am very happy there. Please contact me directly (e-mail in the About Us section) if I can answer any questions about LCMS for you.

      We are still hoping to have more information in the Church Positions section, but thus far, haven’t found other denominations to recommend.

    • To create a list of safe church would be WAY beyond us, in terms of time and energy. And we would not want to take responsibility for the list being totally reliable, as in every local church the ethos can change if there is a leadership change.

      Recommending a denomination as a whole is the best we can do, and as PW noted, it can only be a general statement about the denomination, not a endorsement of necessarily every local church in that denomination.

      Readers are adivsed to use this blog and our recommmended resources to study the marks of Pharisaic teaching and leadership, to learn as much as they can about the dynamics of abuse and how it can present in the family and the church and with that information, and by listening to the Holy Spirit and paying attention to their gut feelings, make their own assessments of churches.

  8. emmellkaycee

    I a looking for input, please.

    In general, what do y’all think about the book: Love and Respect by Dr. Eggericks?

    • twbtc

      The book, Love and Respect, by Eggerichs is not the abuse victim’s friend and it is on our “Books in our Hall of Blind Guides” page. And I wouldn’t recommend it even for a “healthy” relationship.

      There are some comments by readers on the comment section of this post “Is Scripture bondage to you? — a testimony from one of our readers” that you may find helpful.

      Also, here is a link to an article written by Mark Baker which discussions the biblical errors of the premise of the book: Love & Respect, Biblical or Deceptive?

      • emmellkaycee

        Thank you for that help!

        “Respect” is a word my husband throws arround a lot, in terms of demanding it, but easily not giving it. I think it must mean somehing very different to him than it does to me.

  9. Rebecca

    Does ACFJ ever refer people to counselors? Thanks for any information.

    • sorry, no we don’t generally do that. The only things we could recommend are:

      a) ask your local domestic violence women’s service for their recommendations, as they tend to have a sense of who is good in the local area, because they hear feedback from their clients. They may even know which counselors are most appreciated by Christian clients

      b) if you are in North Carolina you could contact Catherine DeLoach Lewis who we have interviewed on this blog (see here)

      c) check out our post Finding a Good Counselor and Avoiding the Bad Ones

  10. My soon to be ex husband is being served with divorce papers tomorrow.

    I have been struggling with the words to say to my primary school age children.

    Here is what I’ve come up with so far, please let me know if there is anything I need to add or subtract.

    Thank you for your page. It has opened my eyes and brought me strength.

    I want you children to know that I love you with all my heart. I would never do anything that I didn’t think was in your best interest.

    I want you to calmly listen to what I have to say until I’m finished. When I’m done, I will do my best to answer any questions you have. I want you to know that it is okay to be angry or sad or both. I will love you always, no matter what.

    Read the rabbit story from your blog?

    You know that things aren’t good between your daddy and myself. They haven’t been good for many years. Nothing you have done has caused these issues, they started before either of you was born. Nothing you can do will fix it. Sometimes people can’t make things work no matter how hard they try.

    Your daddy has done things that have hurt me deeply and has made decisions that have harmed our family. I have asked him to stop many times, but he isn’t sorry and doesn’t want to change.

    Quite a few months ago, I asked for a separation to give us space and some time to think, and for him to make changes. He said no.

    After years of prayer, counseling, and trying everything I know to do, I have decided to ask for a divorce. It isn’t okay to let someone hurt you. God doesn’t ask it of us.

    Things won’t change a whole lot for you. Daddy will still come to school and events you are involved in. You will still spend lots of time with both of us and we will both still love you forever. We just won’t all live in the same house together. You’ll spend some days with me and some with him. I’ll still homeschool you.

    It will be different and sometimes it will be hard. But we will get through it together.

    I love you.

  11. Lee

    [Note from Barb: We are publishing this comment because we think it is likely to be describing a genuine case of a husband being abused by his wife. Readers, please be mindful that if the comment triggers you, or if it makes you suspect that it is describing what your abuser falsely accuses you of, please be cautious about not jumping to conclude that your suspicion is correct.

    We know that in the past when we have published accounts like this, some of our readers have been triggered or have made the assumption that the comment is describing them and has been submitted by their abuser or his allies. Please remember that the tactics of abuse are largely the same from abuser to abuser, and that females can genuinely abuse males.

    It is part and parcel of our work at this blog to support all genuine victims, and to expose the tactics of all abusers, regardless of their gender. We do the best we can; and of course we are not perfect. The judgement call to publish this comment has been made by Barb. If I am wrong, it’s on me.]

    I think we need more stuff from the perspective of a woman who treats her husband very badly. My example is a woman who marries a man she doesn’t love or respect. Then she smears him to everyone. Then she poisons the children and keeps them from him during a “separation”. She turns his family and church against him. She uses the silent treatment on him regularly. She says he is abusive because he cares about people too much and is friendly. He hugs little children back at church who hug him because he is their sunday School teacher WITH her. He wants his own children to not read certain books and she says that is too harsh. She tells his friends that they wouldn’t like him if they really knew him. She tells counselors that hugging him is like hugging garbage. And more…….and all this started BEFORE she married him.

    Does this sound like abuse to you? It’s subtle and very low key so most people don’t know or believe what is going on.

    She refuses to divorce him because she is following the teachings of Nancy Leigh DeMoss. She ignores him for months and years in a separated living arrangement and then suddenly wants to get back together and says she has changed. But then she ambushes him with “family” meetings where the children tell him what he’s done wrong for years. She is never wrong and he is always wrong. She calls him a Narcissist. He asks other people if he is. He says maybe his actions led to her not loving him. He is frozen in action about divorcing her because of church teachings and the fear of completely losing the kids. Only his mother is on his side in his family. (Father is deceased.)

  12. Welcome to the blog 🙂 I changed your screen name to CB, as a precaution for your safety. We advise all new readers to look at our New Users Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.

    If you want us to change your screen name to something else, please email twbtc.acfj@gmail.com

    • CB

      Thank you for changing my name to CB 🙂

      • twbtc

        Hi CB,

        I think that wordpress automatically fills in your screen name according to your wordpress account settings as I had to change it to CB before approving the comment. You will need to either update your account settings to reflect ‘CB’ as your public display name or manually change your screen name to ‘CB’ when you comment. We try to catch screen names that are too identifying before approving comments, but sometimes we miss one.

        And may I add my Welcome!

    • CB

      Hello, I am trying to figure out how to change my screen name so when I reply or post it shows CB so you may have to change my recent reply to CB. So sorry, I will get this figured out 🙂 CB

      • twbtc


        You can make that change by going to your “My Profile” page of your wordpress account. Whatever is in the field called “Public Display Name” is what will show as your screen name. If you put “CB” in that field then that will show as your screen name by default. But also know that “CB” will then show as your default screen name in cyberspace, not just our blog.

        Hope that helps.

      • Also, CB, your photo shows up in your gravatar. If you don’t want it showing on this blog, you will need to go to your WordPress account and change the settings so your photo is not shown when you comment on WP blogs.

  13. CB

    Yes, I agree wholeheartedly, domestic abuse is quite like being in a concentration camp. I see that your example still supports what is found in nature, though. Re-feeding has to do with a proper growing environment. Nutrients and water (basic raw materials for all of life) that are beneficial to trees plus then taking into consideration, the proper growing “environment” (still beneficial to trees) reveals that some trees benefit from less, some more and some require varied amounts for specified times. If trees receive too much water or too little water, this too can hurt trees. Too many nutrients or too little can hurt trees. When given amounts for a “proper GROWING environment” they have the ability to restore. My analogy was to make aware that the common books that are dangerous for women in abusive and unhealthy marriages are so on a foundational (basic raw materials) level (and also not suitable for healthy marriages due to that) and when you add to that an environment that is not a “growing one”, the outcome is increasingly lethal. This is what I have found personally from reading these books.

    • Yeah, your analogy is a good one, CB.

      I’m going to think more about it and how the re-feeding syndrome might apply (be an analogy for) what happens in some cases when the victim escapes the abuser.

  14. Legally Separated

    I remember a video being posted here some months ago made in France I believe which did a tasteful job at showing an abusive relationship between and man and a women and poor bystander involvement. Would you help me out by sharing the link or pointing me in the right direction?

  15. HopeGlenn

    I can’t access the article on Billy Graham on the Twitter site. Is there another access?

    • Hi HopeGlenn, here is another way of reading my thread about Billy Graham.
      This link goes to threadreaderapp –


      Can you please tell me if you are able to read it okay? If not, I will email you the PDF version of my twitter thread.

      Threadreaderapp is a useful app. It is a way of saving and reading and sharing twitter threads. You can also ask threadreaderapp to convert any Twitter thread into a PDF. Thanks to threadreaderapp, I have a PDF version of my Billy Graham thread. I can email you that PDF if you wish. But first, can you please tell me if the above link works for you.

      Thanks! 🙂

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