Help From The Church
Why consider the religious or spiritual issues? Because these are fundamental not only to the believing victim and abuser as well as their Church, but also to all those who live in a culture which is largely based upon Christian moral values and traditions. Religious people across all denominations are not exempt from Domestic Abuse, however, there appears to be a serious lack of understanding regarding abuse and the dynamics of abusive relationships and their impact upon the lives of people involved within churches and denominations generally.
When considering Domestic Abuse we have to realize that religious or spiritual factors are central to the victim’s understanding and response. His/her own faith and the support of Church members can be vital in helping the healing process, while a lack of understanding regarding the Biblical perspective on abusive relationships by the victim or those he/she turns to for spiritual guidance and support can add to the emotional, physical and financial hurdles already faced.
Many women in abusive relationships feel they ought to submit to their husbands out of duty, that they have no right over their own body, life or even opinions. Quite often this misconception is furthered by advice from clergy, elders, rabbis or other members of the Church or congregation. Some men may feel trapped by their beliefs in an abusive relationship, unsure of their position towards their wives or girl-friends. Some men may feel that unless they lord it over their partners, they are not doing as they ought to in the sight of God, that their position is one of Master, of Lord of the household. Often quotiations or excerpts from the Bible are used to justify abusive behaviour, or the suppression by one member of the household of another.
For further discussion on various aspects of religious abuse, please visit these sites: