By Carol L., CCSF
For those in the church, there is always a huge problem with Christian outreaches because they cannot address every possible need that people have. This is one of the sad facts that we cannot really do anything about – not enough teachers, trained lay people or information/curriculum to address everything the human race is experiencing. There is a special need, however, to reach one segment of women who are sitting in our pews every Sunday, silently sad, troubled and even desperate to know what to do. These women are experiencing abusive words, actions and even physical violence in the home. They are doubly suffering if there are children caught up in the cycle of violence. Before they actually become a statistic, there are usually years of confusion, leading to eventual hopelessness and living behind a mask of pretense and fear.
People who know such women may suspect there is something “off” about their home life, and they may care about and comfort them, but it is so easy to believe there is some place or someone these women can go to for help and support. Unfortunately, approximately 95% of the women who are suffering from hidden abuse do not have resources, (i.e. money) to go to personal counseling or pay for a class that will undergird them and give them the support they so desperately need.
When I think of this dynamic, it speaks to me loudly that God is calling the church to minister to these forgotten women. I know, the need seems too large, too complicated and too far reaching to even start. However, the fact is that there is a whole system in place to address the problem of known abuse. There are perpetrator intervention classes (often called anger management), court ordered protection orders, etc. But the huge missing piece to this terrible puzzle is education classes and support groups to help women before they are in a situation that is dangerous. There are about 3-7 at most of these classes for survivors (victims) in the Seattle area, depending on which special interest group is appropriate.
I would like to call our churches to step into this arena and begin simply offering relationship classes such as Boundaries, Changes that Heal, Safe People, which are great resources not only for women caught in abuse, but for church members and interested people from the community. The need is so great!
I ask you to speak to your church leaders about offering such classes as Safe People, Boundaries, etc. These classes are a place for women to understand God’s truth about themselves. And a safe place to clarify the true picture of their lives and begin to plan for a safer, healthier future.
©2019 Christian Coalition for Safe Families