The following are Web Site Links and Resource descriptions (alphabetically listed) that deal with surviving the damage that can occur because of abuse in marriage. We pray you will find them to be helpful.
Abuse in Marriage Links:
First, if you are in imminent danger, and you live in the U.S. you can call 911.
Also, there is a web site you can visit to give you information at: THEHOTLINE.ORG. Please know that your computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear. If you are afraid your internet and/or computer usage might be monitored, please use a safer computer, and/or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE (7233) or TTY 1−800−787−3224.
Additional Abuse in Marriage Website Links:
• Batteredmen.com This web site provides information and support for men who have been abused by women. They give personal encouragement to men in helping them to heal and grow in their many roles as men, husbands, fathers, and mentors. This is not a Christian web site, but appears to be a very helpful one. We encourage you to glean what the Lord shows you to use and leave alone whatever is not useful and helpful, as the Holy Spirit leads in your personal situation.
• Ccada.org This is the web site for the Christian Coalition Against Domestic Abuse. The following is a little explanation about their ministry: “We are committed to ending all abuse in our community and helping those affected by abuse. We desire that every woman, man and child is safe and enjoying the respectful and honoring relationships that God intends.”
• Changingmenchanginglives.org This is a web site that presents a “Christ-centered approach for ending men’s violence against women.” They offer information and resources as well as explaining about a 27-week program, titled, “Changing Men, Changing Lives (CMCL), which “is designed to help men develop God’s plan for intimacy, partnership and unity with women. It is predicated on the principles of safety for women, accountability for men and real opportunities for change.” They are located in Duluth, MN, but they offer opportunities to learn how to become a facilitator for the “faith based men’s nonviolence class.”
• Compassionpower.com This is the web site for Steven Stosny, PhD, who is the founder of Compassion Power. He has written many books and articles on anger and relationships and has been featured in most major print and broadcast media. His interest in the healing power of compassion grew from his childhood in a violent home. We must tell you that this is not a Christian web site. But his work is very good and very helpful to thousands of people throughout the world.
• Cryingoutforjustice.wordpress.com The aim of this blog is to awaken the evangelical church to domestic violence and abuse in its midst. Led by Jeff Crippen and Barbara Roberts who are both Bible believing conservative Christians, it seeks to untangle the misunderstandings of scripture that are exacerbating the problem of domestic abuse in the Christian church. Many victims and survivors of domestic abuse are finding support there.
• FOCUSMINISTRIES1.ORG, with co-founders Brenda Branson and Paula Silva. This is a not-for-profit organization devoted to offer hope, encouragement, education, and assistance to women who are struggling in difficult circumstances, including spousal abuse. With offices in Illinois and Kentucky, FOCUS Ministries provides help for women suffering the horror of domestic violence and for those who want to help. You can contact them at: FOCUS Ministries P. O. Box 2014, Elmhurst, Illinois 60126 Phone: (630) 595-7023. If this is not an emergency and you would like to reach FOCUS Ministries, you may contact them through their web site or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• FOCUS ON THE FAMILY COUNSELOR REFERRALS: Over the past 25 years, Focus on the Family, Focusonthefamily.org has developed a nationwide Christian referral system. As they say on their web site, “our counseling staff would be happy to speak with you and recommend any counselors available in your geographic area.” If you live in the U.S. you can do the following: “To speak with a counselors’ assistant and receive a referral to a counselor in your area, please call (719) 531-3400 from 9-4:30 (Mountain Time) Monday through Friday, and ask for the Counseling department. For an online referral, please fill out a referral form and submit it to our staff. They will be in touch with you in as timely a manner as possible. Unfortunately, we do not have area counselor referrals outside of North America.”
However, they DO have web sites for a variety of other countries such as Australia, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, Ireland, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Africa, and Taiwan, which may be able to direct you to counselors in your area when you contact them. You may want to visit their Global Outreach Sites.
• Hidden Hurt.co.uk This is a UK-based Abuse Information and Support Web Site. The articles “are designed to help understand the dynamics of an abusive relationships, the different forms (or faces) abuse can take, it’s effect on both direct victims (i.e. person being abused) and indirect victims (i.e. children living in a house where abuse occurs), specific issues facing the Christian abuse victim, and helpful links and telephone numbers inside the UK.”
This is not a Christian web site, but it has a lot of good information on it. Please glean and use as the Lord leads. It’s important to know that the founder of this web site states: “Please note that I am not a counselor, or hold any qualifications apart from having been there and survived myself. The information is neither comprehensive, nor infallible!” But we believe it can be helpful!
• Hotpeachpages.net This is a global list of abuse hotlines, shelters, refuges, crisis centres and women’s organizations, plus domestic violence information in over 110 languages.
• LifeAbundantlyFree.org Living in Freedom and Empowerment is a ministry that reaches out to help others live the life God intends. In a world of disrespect, we believe God wants to restore respectful relationships, and we are committed to helping that happen. They are a ministry devoted to helping people live lives free of disrespect and abuse so they can be all God intends. We provide help, hope and healing through counseling, support, resources and seminars.
• Lifeskillsintl.org Life Skills International is a non-profit educational corporation whose network of affiliate centers around the world teach the “Learning to Live, Learning to Love” curriculum dealing with abusive issues, developed by the Founder, Dr. Paul Hegstrom. They also have a Stepping Stones counseling ministry in Colorado, which can benefit those who are hurting from abusive relationships as well.
• MALE VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE This is not an entire web site dedicated to abuse that husbands suffer at the hands of women in their lives, but rather a UK web site that focuses on abuse, in general. However, this particular page contains a long article, useful links, and related pages dealing with this issue.
• Marriagefriendlytherapists.com, is the web site for the National Registry for Marriage-Friendly Therapists. Although this is not a Christian web site, it is one that we believe can be very helpful. Their “mission” is to “help marriages by linking couples with the most highly qualified therapists in the country. As they say, which we believe to be true, “Right now it’s hard for couples to find a good therapist. Many therapists lack training and experience in marriage therapy, and some are lukewarm in supporting life-long commitment. The Registry only accepts therapists with many years of training and experience in marriage and couples therapy. These therapists value marriage and life-long commitment, and are dedicated to helping marriages succeed if at all possible.”
• RENEWALCENTER.WORDPRESS.COM Their focus “is to provide a service of love and compassion to battered women/men by renewing the mind through biblical principles, and recover what has been lost to the person by the malicious acts of abuse.” They “have a holistic approach to concerns of: domestic violence, rape, date rape, coping with teen pregnancy, and CPS (NC only).” They also are a “Renewal Center for Battered Women: Life Coaching and Support Services, dedicated to serve clients in guidance and assistance in making better life choices through Biblical principles.” They “educate, instruct, edify, and coach. They also “encourage, help to instill confidence, persuade and support you in your efforts to live a non-violent lifestyle.” They “help to build your self-confidence and self-esteem through enlightenment, encouragement, and empowerment through biblical principles.”
• RETROUVAILLE.ORG RETROUVAILLE (meaning: “rediscovery,” and rhymes with pie). This is a program for couples with serious problems who are disillusioned, separated and/or on the brink of divorce. You’ll be helped by volunteer couples who have also “been to the brink” —who have experienced serious problems including affairs, alcoholism, gambling, violence, etc. or who have simply fallen out of love —but who have worked their way back. They’ll teach you how to fall back in love again and heal your own marriage and make it stronger than ever before. This successful program (85% when both partners work at it) teaches simple techniques of communication and exercises to work on forgiveness, healing, and restoration of trust.
The program begins with a weekend and includes 12 follow-up meetings over 3 months. These are not spiritual retreats, sensitivity groups, seminars or social gatherings —there are no counselors involved and you don’t have to say anything in front of anyone else. Couples discuss the topics and practice the skills in private. It has a blank envelope donation system and is open to couples of all faiths and to the non-religious. For those in the USA: to find a program in your area call, 800-470-2230 or you can visit their web site at Retrouvaille.org.
• WIFE ABUSE: This is a PDF document —a Quick Reference, Counseling Key Excerpt from the ministry of Hope for the Heart. It’s from their Biblical Counseling Library, that they have made available for us to read. This is not a comprehensive document, but one that can help in certain ways with questions such as, “Why does he do it?” and, “Would God have my husband abuse me in order to punish me for sin?” also, “If I am in a violent or threatening situation, is it all right for me to leave?” plus others, with Bible verses to support the answers.
• WOMEN HEALING.COM This is a website and resource for Christian women healing from abuse. They offer a variety of resources you may find helpful.
ABUSE IN MARRIAGE RESOURCES:
• Angry Men and the Women Who Love Them: Breaking the Cycle of Physical and Emotional Abuse -written by Paul Hegstrom, published by Beacon Hill Press. This book is written by a former pastor who battered his wife. Facing a charge of attempted murder and a prison term, Hegstrom got the wake-up call he needed. With professional help and an intense struggle with spiritual issues, he began the lengthy process of healing and recovery.
Through a thorough examination of the psychology behind various types of abuse, along with true examples from his own life and others, Hegstrom points the way back to wholeness and freedom. This can be an invaluable aid for the man who batters, the woman who feels trapped, and the pastor, counselor, or friend who desperately wants to help them both. It offers straight answers for those willing to overcome the cycle of violence. The revised and updated edition includes a new chapter that discusses the physiological and psychological changes in the brain when abuse occurs.
• Foolproofing Your Life: How to Deal Effectively with the Impossible People in Your Life -written by Jan Silvious, published by WaterBrook. This is a book to help you deal with difficult people. “In dealing with such people, we often try a number of coping strategies. Unfortunately, our best attempts at making peace often fail. This is because the difficult people in our lives are often what the Bible calls ‘fools.’ And dealing with fools requires a special kind of biblical wisdom. You’ve tried everything –from confrontation to passivity. You’ve found out what doesn’t work; now discover what does. Gain the tools you need to get along with others and conduct your relationships in a manner that honors God and preserves your sanity!
• Love Must Be Tough: New Hope for Marriages in Crisis -written by Dr James Dobson, published by Multnomah Publishers. In this book, Dr. Dobson offers practical help for the spouse who wants to hold the marriage together. He shows how to rekindle romantic interest and draw the offending partner back home. For new generations faced with ever-increasing threats to stable and loving bonds, Love Must Be Tough offers realistic hope.
“Dr. Dobson’s premise of tough love, which essentially means defining and maintaining the line of respect around yourself, seems sound and practical. Applying it avoids the drawn-out, torturous emotions that go with living in a decaying relationship. Dobson makes the seemingly radical recommendation that people facing infidelity or other marital crisis of similar proportions precipitate a crisis to bring the situation to a boil. Dobson’s point is that that boil will very often restore the relationship. Precipitating the crisis shows your mettle, which commands respect and even admiration.”
• Mending the Soul: Understanding and Healing Abuse -written by Steven R Tracy, published by Zondervan. This Christian-based book that “deals with the various types of abuse, the various effects of abuse, and the means of healing. Abuse can be sexual, physical, neglect, spiritual, and verbal.” One reviewer wrote, “This book was so instrumental in healing from my own past abuse in many forms.”
Another wrote, “I have read many different books on abuse, from both the abused point of view, and the counselor’s point of view. This is the most thorough, concise and ‘user friendly’ book I’ve ever run across. It’s thorough and concise in that it gives strong teaching in not only what abuse looks like, but how to unlock the damage done. It’s ‘user friendly,’ in that it provides several ‘real life’ illustrations that more clearly define the teaching that’s being done. I would HIGHLY recommend this book to both abuse victims, and their counselors. I learned more from this book than I’ve ever learned from any other given resource. If you are an abuse victim, or one working with an abuse victim, this book is a DEFINITE ‘must have.'”
• Not Under Bondage -Written by Barbara Roberts, published by Maschil Press. This book, written by a survivor of domestic abuse, explains the scriptural dilemmas about divorce which abuse victims grapple with. While carefully examining the scriptures and scholarly research, it shows how the Bible sets victims of abuse free from bondage and guilt. When is divorce biblically permissible and when is it forbidden? Is remarriage ever permissible for a divorced Christian? The questions are particularly difficult for Christian victims of marital abuse, who often believe they must choose between two unpleasant alternatives: endure abuse, or face condemnation by God and his church for disobeying the Bible.
• 10 Lifesaving Principles for Women in Difficult Marriages – by Karla Downing, published by Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City. This book helps women overcome their sense of powerlessness by giving them tools to improve their marriage. It examines misconceptions about Scriptures that cause confusion and even pain, helping women recover their faith that God cares for them. Women will begin to focus on what they can do to change themselves, instead of trying over and over again to change their husbands. As they learn to set boundaries with their husbands, they will protect themselves and their children from the effects of the difficult marriage. One day at a time, their lives will begin to change and heal as they apply the information, insights, and principles to their individual situation.
• The Emotionally Destructive Marriage: How to Find Your Voice and Reclaim Your Hope – written by Leslie Vernick, published by Waterbrook Press. This book is for any woman caught in an emotionally destructive marriage. In it, Leslie offers a personalized path forward. Based on decades of counseling experience, her intensely practical, biblical advice will show you how to establish boundaries and break free from emotional abuse. Learn to: – identify damaging behaviors – gain the skills to respond wisely – promote healthy change – stay safe – understand when, why, and even how to leave (if that’s necessary) – recognize that God sees and hates what is happening to you. This book comes HIGHLY recommended by many counselors.
• The Heart of Domestic Abuse: Gospel Solutions for Men Who Use Control and Violence in the Home is written by Chris Moles. This book is published by Focus Publishing. “Domestic abuse and violence are on the rise in our culture today, and just as prevalent in the church. With an estimated one-fourth of women in the church living with abuse and violence, pastors and biblical counselors need to have the resources to offer hope and help. It is time for godly men in the church to call abusive men to repentance and accountability. Here is a valuable resource for every church leader and Christian man.” This book comes to us highly recommended by a man who was a former wife abuser.
• Violence Among Us: Ministry to Families in Crisis is written by Brenda Branson and Paula J Silva, and is published by Judson Press. “This book offers practical help in identifying abusive situations. It has strategic counseling tips, case studies and models of effective ministry to both the victim and the perpetrator. There are resource lists which include domestic violence hotlines and shelters, faith-based organizations, abuser treatment programs, and information on legal and safety issues.
“Reading this book is like taking an intensive course on addressing domestic violence; a great deal of substance is compacted into a relatively small volume. The authors do an outstanding job of taking a reader without firsthand experience of abuse into the mind, body, and spirit of the abused, as well as that of the abuser. The feature that makes this book a stand-out is the comprehensive ready-to-use resource section. This book qualifies as a must-read for every pastoral, counseling, social work, or education student.'” (The Christian Librarian)
• Violence in Families: What Every Christian Needs to Know – written by Al Miles, published by Augsburg Fortress Publishers. This book is a powerful in that it deals with emotional, verbal, sexual, and physical abuse within marriages and dating couples. It centers on Christians who misuse scripture to justify abuse and violence. It serves a wake-up call to the Christian community and our society of a very real problem and provides guidance and information about what needs to be done in terms of both prevention and intervention. The author “presents the information in a way that respects and honors faith while naming the reality that is prevalent in too many families, even Christian families, even every church.”
• When Love Dies: How To Save A Hopeless Marriage -written by Judy Bodmer, published by Word Publishing. This is a refreshing, honest look at one woman’s journey to the edge of divorce, her commitment to stay even though she didn’t feel like it, and her eventual rediscovery of the love that she thought had died. Some of the subjects she discusses from her own experience are: You Don’t Know How Bad Things Are; You Don’t Know My Husband; I Can’t Forgive or Forget, I Can’t Change the Way I Feel; I had So Many Dreams; I Don’t Love Him; We Can’t Talk; I Feel So Angry; I Married the Wrong Man; I Don’t Want Him to Touch Me; I Don’t Feel Loved; and I Just Want to Be Happy.
• When Love Hurts: Understanding and Healing -Produced by Day of Discovery, this powerful 4-part DVD series pulls back the curtain on the dark secret of abuse and offers hope and help to those caught in its painful cycle. Join Mart De Haan and experts in domestic violence such as Steven and Celestia Tracy, Dr. Nancy Nason-Clark, and Dr. James Beck in an honest, compassionate discussion about this problem and the help and healing that can come with a proper understanding of what God has to say about marriage, authority, violence, and the important role the church today can play in guiding abused women out of the darkness of abuse and into the light of God’s protective, redeeming love. You’ll also hear firsthand accounts of abuse from victims themselves —what they have experienced, how they eventually got help, and how God can heal even the deepest hurts made by those who are supposed to love.
• When You Can’t Say “I Forgive You”: Breaking the Bonds of Anger and Hurt -written by Dr Grace Ketterman and David Hazard, published by NavPress. Licensed physician Grace Ketterman shares her own shocking story of divorce, shame, and reconciliation. Through her gentle approach, compelling stories,and David’s teaching you’ll discover the power to make it through the process of forgiveness —past the pain, and anger —toward a true change of heart.
• Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men -written by Lundy Bancroft, published by Berkley Trade. Although we haven’t read this book, it comes highly recommended. We caution you that it approaches these matters from a secular viewpoint, however as you pray and read, we believe the Holy Spirit will reveal His truth through what is revealed to greatly help those of you who are dealing with abusive situations.
As one commentator said, “Lundy Bancroft has captured within this book the heart of one of the biggest problems being involved with abusive and controlling men —the constant and never-ending struggle to understand why he can be so cruel when he swears he loves so much. It is at times a very painful read, especially when Mr. Bancroft tackles all the myths women have relied upon to rationalize and somehow justify or downplay the abuse. He has de-mystified these types of men and has explained the source of their actions and mindset with a clarity that can be as frightening as it is freeing.”
• Would the Real Church PLEASE Stand Up! – written by Susan Greenfield, published by Xulon Press. This book is a necessity for all ministers, counselors, and Christians. It is an informative resource that will help you to identify abuse in a Christian home. You will be challenged to Be the Real Church and Stand Up as you read this up close and personal account of living in an abusive environment. After reading this book you will be more equipped to minister to victims of domestic violence. Maybe the victim is a neighbor, a co-worker, or a bank teller. Maybe the victim is your minister’s wife. If you are in an abusive relationship, you will be enlightened by reading this book.
• You Don’t Have to Take it Anymore: Turn Your Resentful, Angry, or Emotionally Abusive Relationship into a Compassionate, Loving One -written by Steven Stosny, PhD., published by Free Press. This is a non-religious book, but it’s a good one. Dr Stosny suffered the effects of an abusive home life, so he knows first-hand, many of the problems that victims and abusers encounter. He’s made it his life profession to help stop the cycle of violence. This book aims to turn your resentful, angry, or emotionally abusive relationship into a compassionate, loving one.