My grandparents lived on the Apache mission in East Fork, Arizona when I was young. I’ll always remember our car trips to visit them. We’d leave from our home in Ohio (and later, Oklahoma) and drive. The trip literally took an entire day.
Once in the mountains, the end seemed tantalizing near. But it wasn't. We still had to travel back and forth on switch back roads. Ascending and descending along the way to our seemingly unreachable destination. Talk about frustrating!
Working with survivors of abuse can feel the same...
How do you know if something is abusive? Start by looking at what love does...and does not.
Chances are good that if you have more than three members in your church, one of them will be touched by domestic/dating violence during his or her lifetime.
Sadly, most of these hurting parishioners (both women and men) will never find their way to your office and receive the spiritual nurturing they so desperately need.
Understanding what an abusive relationship looks like is a key step toward getting help.
But abuse can be hard to spot, especially when it is not easily visible. When we think of abuse, it is common to think of physical abuse because it results in scars and bruises that we can see.
Yet physical abuse is just one kind of abuse that can happen. Abuse can also be emotional, sexual, psychological, financial, or spiritual. For Emily, the abuse she endured was emotional and financial.
How to help survivors of domestic violence
Knowing how to help a survivor of domestic violence or intimate relationship violence can seem like an overwhelming challenge. Several questions can flood your mind when you are presented with the opportunity to help someone who confides in you that they are surviving abuse.