Stories of restoration and support
Need real stories here; none so far:
NAT’S SUGGESTION: This needs to go back to Rachel Neary and other practitioners in the DFV team and beyond to source. Erica can lead this if you ask?
Stories of when the church has let abuse win
These stories are taken from a range of articles that you can read fully from the links on this page, or from the Resources page:
- David Ould, the rector of Glenquarie Anglican Church in Sydney, wrote something he warned would be "incredibly shocking" on his blog: a biblical argument for a woman enduring abuse.
While being "incredibly disgusted by men who abuse women", he went on to say "I think the Scriptures have something directly to say to a woman who stays (I presume for a while) in an abusive situation."
He quoted 1 Peter chapter 2, where slaves are told to "submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh." In other words, to even submit to being physically harmed.
To stay, then, "might actually be a Godly wise choice… If she chooses to stay and 'endure verbal abuse for a season' or even choose to suffer physical abuse for a short period of time ... is this not her seeking to obey the word of God?"
Ould then cited 1 Peter 3, which says "Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands". This, he wrote, makes pastoral advice difficult for a minister dealing with an abused wife, as the verse suggests God. Journalist
- If a man is asking his wife to engage in something "bizarre" like group sex, Dr Piper says she should say: "Honey I want so much to follow you as my leader. God calls me to do that and I would love to do that. But if you ask me to do this then I can't go there." What about other situations? If it is "simply hurting her", then she should "endure verbal abuse for a season", and "endure perhaps being smacked one night", before seeking "help from the church." Not the police, who might be able to point out assault is illegal, or ensure the woman is safe.”
One woman wrote to tell me she stayed with a violent man for 15 years because her pastor told her that as her husband, he was her leader. Another was punched and dragged about by her hair by a husband who gave her a Bible with verses on submission highlighted in it. She told me of others she knew with similar experiences who became depressed and suicidal. Counsellor
- A woman said that her minister advised her that her husband might stop hitting her if she had more sex with him. Counsellor
- "I have worked with numbers of women and children who have been the victims of a twisted view of male headship which gives men permission to do whatever they want in the family. To exert control and power in a way that God never meant it to be." Counsellor
- In the synod in 2013, Sandy Grant, Senior Minister at St Michael's Wollongong, successfully argued for a review of clergy education on domestic violence. While headship is a good doctrine, he argued, it can be "misunderstood and abused." He had heard of "many examples" from a counsellor of "the personal pain" of abused women who "stayed in unsafe situations longer than wise because they believed they just had to submit, full stop, end of story."
"And, apparently well-meaning Christians reinforced that." Because a secular world did not understand biblical submission, he said, they had defended it: "Vigorously. At cost. But we've not defended as well against its abuse. There is no excuse for domestic violence, never ever." Journalist
ERICA: It would be good to have more stories here also – these are taken from two articles. I think from practitioners rather than pulling more from other articles would be better.