A Cry For Justice

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

Understanding Domestic Abuse

Abuse and Relationships

The purpose of this site is to reduce harm and lessen suffering by bringing clarity to the confusing area of intimate partner violence. CAVEAT: the author of this site, Michael Samsel, regards trauma bonding as a credible idea, recommends Patrick Carnes’ book The Betrayal Bond, and some of his articles take for granted that trauma bonding happens. We believe that the concept of trauma bonding needs to be discarded — see The Myth of “Stockholm Syndrome” and other labels which are used to discredit and pathologize victims of abuse.

Abuse and the Church — A Podcast

Ps Jeff Crippen was asked by Theology Gals, a Facebook group that includes over 2500 women from all over the county and a few different nations, to do an interview discussing abuse and the church. You can listen to the interview here: Abuse and the Church: Theology Gals with Ps Jeff Crippen

Aphrodite Wounded

Support for women sexually assaulted by male partners, and educational resources for professionals.

Are you walking on eggshells?

ACFJ blog post by Barbara Roberts

Assessing men who present as victims of family violence but who may actually be the primary aggressor (PDF) [Internet Archive link]

Nathan DeGuara draws on the work of the Victims Support Agency and No To Violence in assisting practitioners to assess whether men who are referred – or who present – as victims of intimate partner violence are the victim or the one perpetrating violence. The PDF linked to above is a PDF of the Powerpoint presentation Nathan DeGuara gave at the No To Violence Conference [Internet Archive link] held in Melbourne, Australia, in November of 2012.

BIFF Response

This site discusses how to manage exchanges with “high conflict people” but it does not consider the degree of high conflict we mostly deal with on this blog. Their advice really isn’t geared toward the difficulties of dealing with the average conscience-deficient evil abuser —  evil people who know what they are doing and why they are doing it and whose purpose is control and dominance.

They are mostly about non-abusers who are socially challenged in some way and so become difficult. However, that does not mean what they have to say is not valuable or would not be helpful for some situations our readers may be dealing with.  Some of what they say can be helpful for abuse victims, especially the article on responding to emails.

They have a section on high conflict people at work and a ton of stuff on divorce.  We are not sure their divorce stuff is all that helpful for domestic abuse situations, though.  And one of their suggestions would be contraindicated in dealing with abusers: what they call the E.A.R. method, which is give Empathy (we are already lost right there), Attention, and Respect.  Noooooo……

So readers, when you visit this site, just bear these caveats in mind.

Catherine Kroeger’s address at the Beginning Hope Conference, UK, 2010

Cathy Kroeger spoke about things she and colleagues had been doing for decades to get Christians to address domestic abuse, in the USA, Canada and Russia. Kroeger was the founding president of CBE (Christians for Biblical Equality) and at the time of this talk was the President of PASCH (Peace and Safety in the Christian Home). PASCH is no longer in existence. She covers:

  • domestic abuse in the Bible: Ezekiel 34, Hagar, Judah and Tamar, Joseph and his brothers
  • David’s adultery and Nathan’s faithfulness
  • the dichotomy — many are in denial, some are trying to generate social change
  • in social change, the role of the prophet is unpopular
  • how to get men involved
  • pastoral counselling for domestic abuse takes up more time than any other kind of pastoral counselling
  • pastors with the least training feel they can handle the problem by themselves
  • pastors with more training in domestic abuse work in consort with secular agencies
  • in the early 20th century, evangelicals thought Prohibition would stop domestic abuse
  • how CBE got active on domestic abuse, lost motivation, then got back on board
  • how the World Evangelical Fellowship got a taskforce started on violence against women
  • why the RAVE website was set up
  • how PASCH is writing a faith-based program for the DULUTH model (Changed Men Changed Lives)
  • some professions have higher rates of abuse: military, police, doctors, lawyers, judges, clergy
  • the attempted suicide rate in abused women is 35-40%

Counseling Victims of Domestic Abuse

A presentation Diane Langberg gave at the Forum Of Christian Leaders, Budapest, 25 May 2010.  Diane Langberg, a Christian psychologist, has worked with many victims of domestic abuse, sexual abuse and genocide; and also with people who have abused power in positions of Christian leadership.

Christian Domestic Discipline (Wife Spanking): A Personal Story, and a Closer Look at Patterns Connected with this Abusive Practice

by Julie Anne at Spiritual Sounding Board.

What is Coercive Control? (Part 1 in a 3 part series)
More About Coercive Control (Part 2 in a 3 part series)
My Experience With Coercive Control (Part 3 in a 3 part series)

by Lisa Aronson Fontes, author of Invisible Chains: Overcoming Coercive Control in Your Intimate Relationship.

The Cycle of Abuse

Developed by ARMS (Abuse Recovery Ministry Services)

Danni Moss’s articles on Abuse in the Christian Home

Danni, a survivor who has now passed away, was a trailblazer in this work.

The Deaf Endure Domestic Violence More than Hearing

From domesticshelters.org an article that discusses the unique challenges this population faces.

Domestic Abuse:  Myths versus Truths

YouTube video that refutes 11 common myths about domestic abuse.

Emotional Abuse of Children

Emotional abuse is the most difficult category to define, and unfortunately, the most difficult type of abuse to investigate. Examples include harsh criticism, name-calling or derogatory comments, shaming, threatening, withholding love and affection, and possibly exposing children to domestic violence.

Emotional Abuse,: The Silent Killer of Christian Marriages

by Amy Wildman White.  The ACFJ post here gives some explanation about emotional abuse.

For Love or Money

A 7 minute video highlighting the serious and harmful nature of financial abuse. Financial abuse is hard to recognize and it can happen to anyone in any relationship.

Fred et Marie

“Fred et marie” is a video produced by Bonjour, Inc. It is in French, but there are English subtitles.  This video does an excellent job of portraying coercive control, entrapment, social abuse & isolation, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, threats of physical violence… and the profound fear which all this induces in the victim.  It also shows poor bystander responses. TRIGGER WARNING:  This video is 15 minutes in length and will almost certainly trigger some, so please be prepared.

Gender and DV – the key facts

An ACFJ blog post.

The Gender Debate in Domestic Violence:  The Role of Data by Australian Domestic & Family Violence Clearinghouse

This page discusses the issues of gender and violence in relationship and the controversy between proponents of gender asymmetry (i.e. men are more likely to be violent and women more likely to be victims) and proponents of gender symmetry (i.e. men and women are equally violent and equally likely to be victims).

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.


ACFJ FAQ page with a list of related posts

Is my abuser’s mental illness causing him to be abusive?

ACFJ FAQ page with a list of related posts

Jeff Crippen’s sermons on Domestic Violence and Abuse

An ACFJ blog post digest containing the links to the 21 sermons in the series.

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

by Cindy Burrell

Maybe I was married to an abuser

by Cindy Burrell

The myth of women’s false accusations of domestic violence and rape and misuse of protection orders

Fact sheet by xyonline.net, also available in PDF. Summary from the fact sheet:


Women routinely make up allegations of domestic violence and rape, including to gain advantage in family law cases. And women use protection orders to remove men from their homes or deny contact with children.


  • The risk of domestic violence increases at the time of separation.
  • Most allegations of domestic violence in the context of family law proceedings are made in good faith and with support and evidence for their claims.
  • Rates of false accusations of rape are very low.
  • Women living with domestic violence often do not take out protection orders and do so only as a last resort.
  • Protection orders provide an effective means of reducing women’s vulnerability to violence.

Narcissism and the System it Breeds

Dr. Langberg, clinical faculty with Missio Seminary (was Biblical Seminary) and GTRI, lectures on the characteristics of narcissistic leaders and the temptations for organizational systems to support them.  This five-part video will help you to 1) identify common features of narcissistic leaders and organization, 2) examine individual and system vulnerabilities to toxic leadership, 3) summarize best practices for therapy with narcissistic individuals, and 4) compare leadership style of Jesus Christ and egocentric and demanding church leaders. The video series starts about half way down the page.

Neglect of Children

Neglect is a failure to provide certain basic necessities of life, including food/water, adequate shelter, or appropriate supervision. Not getting medical care or not being taken to school may also classify as neglect.

Olympia Gospel Mission Bible Studies on Domestic Abuse

This is a PDF created by Olympia Union Gospel Mission.  This workbook includes ten biblical studies which focus on understanding the basic dynamics of domestic violence relationships, including verbal abuse.

Pandora’s Project

Support and resources for survivors of rape and sexual abuse.

Physical Abuse of Children

Physical abuse can be any act of violence (accidental or intentional) that results in an injury to a child. This may include punching, kicking, shaking, stabbing, throwing, biting, choking, burning or hitting (with an hand or an object, like a belt or switch).

Pornography: Lies, Truth and Hope

A helpful booklet by the Mennonite Central Committee Canada.  The PDF linked to is a free download..

Power and Control Wheel [Internet Archive link]

In 1984, staff at the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project (DAIP) began developing curricula for groups for men who batter and victims of domestic violence. We wanted a way to describe battering for victims, offenders, practitioners in the criminal justice system and the general public. Over several months, we convened focus groups of women who had been battered. We listened to heart-wrenching stories of violence, terror and survival. After listening to these stories and asking questions, we documented the most common abusive behaviors or tactics that were used against these women. The tactics chosen for the wheel were those that were most universally experienced by battered women. (From Understanding the Power and Control Wheel)

Wheel Gallery The Wheel Gallery includes the original wheels developed by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs (DAIP), as well as images that have undergone DAIP’s formal adaptation approval process.

Reacting to Insinuations in the Verbally Abusive Relationship

by Kellie Holly

Relationship Problems and Money:  Women talk about financial abuse

by WIRE Women’s Information.  This long report comes from Victoria, Australia, so some of the details may not be pertinent to all areas and jurisdictions.  But overall, experiences of financial abuse are probably similar no matter where you may come from.  Sections 3 and 4 of the report are of most use to survivors of abuse, as these sections have lots of anecdotes from women who have experienced financial abuse from their husbands / partners.

Screening questions for intimate partner sexual abuse

by the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs. A guide for developing tools to assess for sexual assault within the context of domestic violence.

Seven Red Flags in a Toxic Christian Dating Relationship

Blog post by Natalie Hoffman at Flying Free. She updated her original post, Deal Breakers: Advice to Unmarried Women (and Daughters), and gave it a new name.

We had listed Deal Breakers: Advice to Unmarried Women (and Daughters) and have updated our old listing to Seven Red Flags in a Toxic Christian Dating Relationship.

Sexist humour and rape jokes: Five key points

By Michael Flood.

Sexist jokes often are dismissed or excused as harmless fun. Yet they have real, negative effects in the world. They are linked to sexist and violent behaviour, they worsen gender inequalities, and they increase tolerance for violence against women.

Sexual Abuse of Children

Sexual abuse may include inappropriate touching, being forced to have sex or engage in sexual acts, being forced to watch pornography, being prostituted, or having someone expose themselves to a child.

This is How Victim-Blaming Logic Would Play out in Everyday Scenarios

3 one-minute videos that each feature an ordinary setting in which one character uses victim-blaming behavior to excuse their problematic actions, similar to the victim-blaming actions in cases of sexual assault and domestic abuse.

Three Myths About Survivors of Domestic Violence

From domesticschelters.org a myth busting article about survivors of domestic violence

Toxic Relationship Aftermath: Doubt, Mistrust and Paranoia?

by Dr George Simon Jr.

Unhelpful Comments by Well-Meaning People – and how to respond to them

An ACFJ blog post by Barbara Roberts.

What is abuse? How can I identify an abuser? How can I tell if I’m the abuser?

ACFJ FAQ page with a list of related posts

What is Coercive Control?

Excellent article that explains ‘coercive control’ —  a term developed by Evan Stark to help us understand domestic abuse as more than a ‘fight’, rather it is a pattern of behavior which seeks to take away the victim’s liberty or freedom, to strip away her sense of self.  It is not just women’s bodily integrity which is violated but also their human rights.

What’s the Difference Between Normal Marital Conflict and Abuse?

by Jeff Olson of RBC Ministries.

When your character disordered ex defames and makes trouble for you

by Dr George Simon Jr.

Who is the Controlling One? [Internet Archive link]

by Lundy Bancroft

Will It Happen Again?

From domesticshelters.org an article that discusses if past behaviors predict future abuse.


UPDATE  Sept 2021:  I, Barbara Roberts, 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.

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