A Cry For Justice

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

Deciding to stay or leave

Checklist for Repentance

An ACFJ blog post by by Barbara Roberts, adapted from Lundy Bancroft. Helps you discern genuine repentance from phoney repentance.

Contrition, Behavior and Therapy
Contrition Revisited

by Dr George Simon Jr

For my children’s sake, it is better to leave?

ACFJ FAQ page with a list of related posts.

Honouring Women’s Resistance: How Women Resist Abuse in Intimate Relationships

An excellent 34 page PDF resource from Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter. And their booklet Choosing to Change: A Handbook for Men concerned about their abusive behavior toward those they love – may be helpful for abusers who want to change.

Leaving an Abuser: What to Expect and How to Stay Grounded [Internet Archive link]

by Cindy Burrell

Light Bulb Moments (testimonies from survivors of domestic abuse)

This is a compilation of testimonies by ACFJ readers of how God showed them that it was His will for them to leave their abusive marriages.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?: A guide to knowing whether your relationship can — and should — be saved

***IMPORTANT NOTE: While we endorse Lundy’s writings about the dynamics of domestic abuse, we do not recommend anyone attend the ‘healing retreats’ Lundy Bancroft offers or become involved in his ‘Peak Living Network.’ See our post, ACFJ Does Not Recommend Lundy Bancroft’s Retreats or His New Peak Living Network for more about our concerns.

by Lundy Bancroft and Jan Patrissi. Some guides for this book are freely downloadable here and here. They can be printed and given to your partner or ex-partner if he is showing signs of getting serious about working on his behavior and its underlying causes.

Caveat 1:  We have had feedback on this book from a survivor who was in the New Age and Spiritualism before she became Christian. She says the book contains some language and concepts that are reminiscent of New Age teachings. The problems seem to be confined to chapter eight. In that chapter there are visualization exercises, Gestalt type exercises involving referring to oneself in the third person or as two different people, references to ‘energy,’ ‘your best possible self,’  ‘living from your center,’ ‘being grounded,’ and ‘creating a Self-Nurturing Plan.’  So while the book has lots of insight into the questions and situations women battle with in abusive / unhealthy relationships, we suggest readers be discerning while reading it and not take on board or employ the elements of the book that are akin to New Age practices.

So it’s Abuse – What now?

Gives excellent suggestions for those who are living with an abusive spouse and thinking about whether and how to leave. The site is written by a non-Christian, so replace the notion of ‘karma’ (only mentioned once on the site) with the biblical concept of reaping what you sow. The author is an Australian, so not all info may apply to those from other countries.

Why Didn’t You Leave?

An ACFJ blog post by by Barbara Roberts.  Explains the many reasons why women stay. After reading this article, bystanders will be less likely to slight a victim for not leaving an abusive relationship.


  1. sunshine

    I’m so glad I discovered this website. I know all too well now that I need to do something about the marriage I’m in, but I’m not sure where to start. Right now I’m more concerned about how he’ll react to my wanting to leave, than my own safety. I look forward to learning from other’s experiences on this site.

    • Welcome sunshine! We always point new reader to our New Users Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.

      And you might also want to check out our list of resources for Safety Planning.

  2. Sam

    How do I get my husband counseling without him facing any legal trouble? I don’t want a report filed or him to lose his job until he tries counseling to see if it will help. If not, then that’ll be the next step.

    • Hi Sam, there is no way you can get your husband to go to counseling. He must decide to go to counseling himself. But he almost certainly won’t. And if he does, it will probably only be a manipulative act on his part. Abusers are skilled at manipulating counselors, and many counselors are not able to discern that they have been manipulated by an abuser. Counseling training does not typically include training in how to identify domestic abusers and how to recognise and resist their ploys.

      Also, the general consensus among DV experts is that with men who abuse their partners, group treatment programs are more useful than one-on-one counseling. And it is most unlikely that your abuser will voluntarily attend such a program. Some men attend such programs only because they have been court mandated. Some men attend because they have been ‘partner mandated’ (e.g. the wife says I’m leaving you unless you do a DAIP group).

      Terminology: DAIP stands for Domestic Abuse Intervention Program. They are sometimes called MBC — Mens Behaviour Change programs. And in the US they have sometimes been called BIPs — Batterer Intervention Programs.

      Whether the abuser attends such a program by court mandate or by partner mandate, the chances of him changing are slim. And many men change for a while, or to some degree, but then backslide. They simply don’t like giving up their entitlement.

      Here is our tag for Mens Behavior Change Groups.

      I suggest that instead of thinking so much about how you can get him to change (which in a sense is you taking responsibility for something which in fact is HIS responsibility), you focus more on what you might want to do for your own long term wellbeing and safety.

    • Also Sam, do NOT even consider Couple Counseling. It is dangerous in cases of abuse. I strongly urge you to read this post:

      Why Couple Counseling is not recommended for domestic abuse

  3. One in five

    Many links are non-functional, the resources are no longer available. This website has been the most useful of anything I have found. I am grateful. Thank you. It is so helpful to know that somewhere people actually understand what happens. I think it is too hard to actually admit it is intentional, chosen, that they are fully aware, clever, and responsible in the full sense of the concept, not simply that this happens because they are damaged or hurting also but that they choose over and over. They like it, all of it, they find it intensely satisfying, fulfilling.

    • twbtc

      One in five,

      Thank you for bringing these links to our attention. I will work on them.

      And Welcome to the blog! It is apparent that you have been digging into the blog, so you have probably already found our New Users’ page and our FAQ page, but just in case you haven’t seen them yet here are links.

      Again Welcome!!

    • twbtc

      Hi One in Five,

      I have checked all the links and fixed the ones that were broken. If you are still having trouble with a specific link, please let me know.


      • leaningonhope

        Hi twbtc,
        I had trouble with the “testimonies” link.
        Thanks so much for all you do.
        I completely agree with what One In Five said on May 3rd.

      • twbtc

        Thanks for the heads up on this broken link. We recently updated this page and I missed this link. The testimonies page is now called Light Bulb Moments. And the link is now working. 🙂

        Light Bulb Moments

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