1 in 4 women of faith suffer abuse in their homes. They stay longer while they struggle with faith questions. Church leaders do not know how to approach the problem. Church members are reluctant to get involved. Each woman becomes the only member of a cult in her own home under her husband’s abuse. More attention on personality disorders like narcissism is showing how widespread the problem is. Women may be encouraged to seek help from their faith community, only to find none.
On the other hand, caring people refer suffering women to shelters who have no space available. Those who suffer domestic assault become candidates for CPSTD treatment, a persistent, complex type of trauma beyond what even some war veterans suffer. All abuse uses similar methods. Abuse in the name of God is still abuse. Sexual abuse by church leaders has received more media exposure lately. Child abuse has also been found in faith communities. What is not understood is that both sexual abuse and child abuse is often found in relgiously abusive homes. A women stays because she is wrestling with many no-win questions. Should she break her marraige vow? Didn’t Jesus say to forgive 70 x 7?
Isn’t she supposed to obey? Our culture has been influenced by generations of using parts of the Bible to support patriarchical domination. It is not surprising that this is a difficult and complex challenge for women of faith. Where to begin? More is being written about the subject but little is available for the individual woman to clear up her confusion and gain emotional strength. As a survivor of ministerial abuse, I developed tools and processes to emerge with my faith stronger than ever. Recently I discovered that others studying the experience have come to some of the same conclusions. There is hope but women must stand together against this abuse of faith. My blog at ShirleyFessel.com explores many of the tools and processes found in my self-help workbook, Redemption from Biblical Battering. Follow me to access ongoing answers.
Women who are not in a faith community are often surprised at the relevance of the book that helps them uncover their own conditioning. Endorsed by therapists and receiving 5-star reviews, the book is helping many. I hope to see your name listed among those who are learning how to combat this attack on women’s spirits.