RECOGNIZING DOMESTIC ABUSE

Family Conflicts &
Abusive Relationships

The Bible tells us that God made man and gave him authority in the Garden of Eden to take charge of His creation (See Genesis 1-2). Later, God saw that man was alone and needed companionship, someone with whom he could relate (Genesis 2:18, 21-25). God’s intention for the couple was that they would be [one] through the union of marriage. With this in mind, we can assume that their relationship was for permanence, companionship, intimacy, communication, and procreation. This was the beginning of the family system; an institution made up of a woman and a man. This system was one of the strongest of human social formation. Having this great strength, we wonder what has happened through generations to make it one of the weakest structures in this millennium? There are groups who no longer consider God’s plan to be of value, and for this reason men are excluded from “family” leaving many children with absentee fathers.

While the modern plan may seem reasonable to the perpetrators, a godly home with both parents gives children an idea of what family means and how it is established. Regardless of society’s norms and humanistic ideas, family is still the best structure the world has ever known; and will ever know. To destroy this godly framework is sending a message to God that He made a mistake when He ordained this first institution for man, which is the family. Seemingly, those godless persons are still asking the question, “Did God say?” (Genesis 3:1. “Hath God said…”).

Despite God’s plan, the family has been weakened with new formations creating instances of abuse and various types of violence in the home, and often in the presence of children. Abuse was never part of God’s plan. We may ask, “What is causing the breakdown of family life with the intrusion of violence and all manner of abuses?” To answer this question, we could look at the radical erosion of the traditional godly family structure which has given way to an evil and devilish set-up excluding morals, men, and godliness. There is also the open display of uncensored television programs, portraying faulty methods of behaviours leading towards violence in the home. This violence can be against children or between parents and/or significant others. Violence in the home leads to various kinds of abuse – physical, emotional, verbal, psychological, physiological, spiritual, and financial.

Recognizing Domestic Violence

What is Domestic Abuse/Violence

Domestic abuse occurs when one individual in an intimate relationship tries to control the other person. The perpetrator uses fear and intimidation; and may threaten to use or may actually use physical violence. Domestic abuse often escalates from threats and verbal abuse to physical violence. I will add adultery to this definition since the symptoms are similar to the after effects of physical abuse.
The incidence of domestic violence has become one of the most prevalent crimes against women causing some to lose their lives.
Although a small percentage of men do experience domestic violence, statistics have shown that women are the most reported victims.
Domestic violence occurs in all cultures.

Signs of Domestic Abuse: Self-Awareness

  1. Are you fearful of your spouse a large percentage of the time?
  2. Do you avoid certain topics figuring out how to talk
    about them so that you do not arouse your spouse’s negative reaction or anger?
  3. Do you ever feel that you cannot do anything right for your spouse?
  4. Do you ever feel so badly about yourself that you think you deserve to be physically hurt?
  5. Have you lost the love and respect that you once had for your spouse?
  6. Do you sometimes wonder if you are crazy, and over-reacting to your spouse’s behaviours?
  7. Do you sometimes fantasize about ways to escape from your spouse?
  8. Are you afraid that your spouse may try to physically harm you?
  9. Are you afraid that your spouse will take your children away from you?
  10. Do you feel there is nowhere to turn for help, and feeling emotionally numb?
  11. Were you abused as a child, or grow up with domestic violence in the household?

Your spouse’s controlling behaviour

  1. Does your spouse try to keep you from your friends or family?
  2. Are you embarrassed to invite friends or family over to your house?
  3. Has your spouse limited your access to money, the telephone, or the car?
  4. Does your spouse try to stop you from going where you want to go?
  5. Is your spouse jealous and possessive, and checks up on you?

Your spouse’s diminishment of you

  • Does your spouse verbally abuse you?
  • Does your spouse humiliate or criticize you in front of others?
  • Does your spouse often ignore you, put down your opinions or contributions?
  • Does your spouse always insist upon being right, even when wrong?
  • Does your spouse blame you for his/her violent behaviour?
  • Is your spouse often outwardly angry with you?
  • Does your spouse disrespect those of your gender?
  • Does your spouse see you as property, rather than as a person?

Prayer: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays @ 6:00 am
Thursdays: Prayer, Bible Study, and Fasting @ 10:00 am
Sundays: Family Hour @ 1:00 pm
All are invited. For information 679 964-4096

Shekinah Theological College-Faith Restoration Ministries International

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