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& Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of frequently asked questions, as well as a selection of resources about domestic abuse, sexual assault, and human trafficking.

  • What is domestic violence?
    Domestic Violence is a pattern of one person trying to dominate or control another person. It is repetitive and it can take many forms. See “Weapons of Abuser” section for additional details.
  • How common is abuse in a relationship?
    Most domestic violence is hidden behind closed doors, however current statistics approximate 1 out of every 3 women have experienced domestic violence.
  • Are there warning signs in a relationship?
    A relationship is not healthy when… Your value and your accomplishments are belittled; Your opinions count for nothing; You are called names that are embarrassing, hurtful and degrading; Your likes and dislikes are disregarded; You are intentionally kept away from family and friends; There is extreme possessiveness or jealousy; You are threatened; You, your family, your work, your church and your friends are disrespected; You are pushed, kicked or hurt; Your faith is ridiculed; Your every move is monitored; You are denied access to food, money or other family resources; You are blamed for all the problems. *Adapted from Refuge from Abuse
  • How can someone recognize the presence of abuse in a relationship?
    It is not easy to tell someone that you are being abused by someone you love. As a result, most battered wives choose to keep the secret for a long time. And when they do choose to disclose, they often do so in a way that minimizes the fear and the hurt. Almost all abuse victims feel alone, abandoned and afraid. They often blame themselves rather than their abuser for the violence. They may feel pressured to keep silence and to pretend that everything at home is okay. That is why it is so important to ask a woman whether or not it is safe for her to return home after she has sought your help for a family-related problem.
  • Why don’t women leave men who abuse them?
    Fear is the most common response amongst victims of domestic violence. There is fear that the violence could escalate and fear of reprisal should they tell someone. Fear leads to secrecy. So much energy can be taken up by trying to pretend that everything is alright at home that there is little energy left over to take action. Many women are economically dependent on the men who abuse them. Others cling to the promise of changed behavior. Some women feel that they must stay in the marriage no matter what the cost. Others believe it is their personal cross to bear. On the whole, women who are abused want the violence to stop, not the relationship to come to an end.
  • Why do men hurt women that they claim to love?
    Control is a central feature of abusive behavior. Abusive men attempt to control what happens at home and in the lives of their wives and children. Often they feel a sense of entitlement to services and emotional support from the women they love. When they believe they are not getting what they deserve, they use power and control to punish their wives or to achieve or maintain dominance. Sometime men who act abusively were violated as children or watched their fathers hurt their mothers. Others suffer from low self-esteem or struggle with addictions.
  • Can abusers change?
    Some men who have acted abusively are determined to alter their violent ways and seek with the support of the wider community to change their behavior. Most do not. Yet, many abusive partners promise to change, and some even use religious language in an attempt to convince their wives, probation officers, pastors or facilitators in a batterer intervention program that they are new men. Change can happen, but it is slow process. It is often very difficult for the man involved and occurs under conditions of ongoing accountability (which may include justice, therapeutic and religious sources). Abusers’ statements that give abuse victims cause for hope include, “I understand why you were frightened of me.” Abusers’ statements that should worry abuse victims include, “I said I was sorry. What more do you want?”
  • What can the church do?
    Religious congregations and their leaders help women to address the spiritual questions that surface when abuse impacts their relationships and home. The language of the spirit speaks of healing and of connecting with God and with sisters and brothers in God’s family. When the resources of the community are brought together with resources of the spiritual world, believers who have suffered abuse are given strength and support to combat even the greatest of fears. When clergy condemn abuse from the pulpit or in the privacy of their office, they bring hope and healing to women who have suffered. Christian women need to hear that abuse is always wrong, never part of God’s design for healthy family living.
Power & Control Wheel
Post Separation Abuse
Equal Non-Violent Healthy Relationships
Teen Power & Control Wheel


Online Resources
Power & Control



Lies Overcome by The Love of Christ - For Victims of Domestic Violence

This book focuses on finding God's truth to combat the lies of the enemy giving survivors hope and resilience.

When Love hurts

“Every woman who is struggling to understand the mistreatment she is experiencing in her relationship should begin by reading [this] wonderful book.”—Lundy Bancroft, author of Why Does He Do That?

Refuge from Abuse: Healing and Hope for Abused Christian Women 

By Nancy Nason-Clark and Catherine Clark Kroeger

Abuse is ugly. It is always wrong. It is never part of God's design for healthy family living. It distorts relationships and shatters dreams. It creates pain and despair...

Keeping the Faith: Guidance for Christian Women Facing Abuse

by Marie M. Fortune

Practical guide addresses issues of faith for battered women—an invaluable resource for victims of domestic violence and the crisis centers that counsel them.

Called to Peace

by Joy Forrest

If you or someone you love is in, or has been in an abusive relationship, this companion study to Called To Peace: A Survivor’s Guide to Finding Peace and Healing After Domestic Abuse is the perfect resource.

No Place for Abuse: Practical Resources to Counteract Domestic Violence

by Nancy Nason-Clark and Catherine Clark Kroeger

Domestic violence is a leading cause of injury and death to women worldwide. Nearly one in four women around the globe is physically or sexually abused...

Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men

by Lundy Bancroft

Lundy Bancroft has spent the last thirty years of his career specializing in abuse, trauma, and recovery. He is the author of Why Does He Do That?, the largest-selling book in history on domestic violence...


Lies Overcome by The Love of Christ - For Victims of Sexual Assault

This book focuses on finding God's truth to combat the lies of the enemy giving survivors hope and resilience.

Beyond Abuse in the Christian Home: Raising Voices for Change

In this volume we have tried to present an accurate, faith-based analysis of abuse in the Christian family context.

Healing the Hurting: Giving Hope and Help to Abused Women

by Catherine Clark Kroeger and James R. Beck

Abuse is ugly. It is always wrong. It is never part of God's design for healthy family living. It distorts relationships and shatters dreams. It creates pain and despair...

What Every Pastor Should Know About Domestic Violence

by Al Miles

Al Miles addresses the issues related to inadequate pastoral response to this pervasive problem. He explores the dynamics of abusive and the role that clergy members can take...

The Emotionally Destructive Marriage: How to Find Your Voice and Reclaim your Hope

byLeslie Vernick

You can’t put it into words, but something is happening to you. Your stomach churns, your heart aches, and the tension in your marriage is...

Violence Among Us: Ministry to Families in Crisis

by Brenda Branson and Paula J. Silva

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. 


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