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.
When I tell people what I do for a living, they usually say, “Wow! I could never do that. It must be so hard!” I always respond with, “Oh, but it’s so rewarding.”
Every time this conversation topic comes up, I am struck by how intense people’s reactions are. Few people believe they would be capable of handling the kind of work that I do, and I want to change that.
I am a mental health counselor who specializes in working with people who have experienced sexual assault or intimate partner violence at some point in their life...