Domestic Violence Exists in the Church--Even if your Pastor doesn't talk about it...

A friend said to me, “I think people aren’t sharing your posts because they aren’t experiencing domestic abuse and their friends aren’t in that situation.  I don’t personally know anyone in that situation--none of my friends at church are.” 

Although I didn’t contradict her because we weren’t alone, I thought, “Well, you might have friends who are victims of domestic abuse...even in your church.  I was your friend for years at church and YOU NEVER KNEW I was living in a situation of domestic abuse.” 

The subculture of domestic abuse can only exist in silence and fear.  There are certainly Christian women and their children sitting in the pews every Sunday who go home to “Hell on Earth.”  The statistics for Christian families are that 1 in 4 Christian women experience physical abuse during their marriage.   

From the “Church for Men” website: “Here are the facts: The typical U.S. Congregation draws an adult crowd that’s 61% female, 39% male. This gender gap shows up in all age categories. On any given Sunday there are 13 million more adult women than men in America’s churches. This Sunday almost 25 percent of married, churchgoing women will worship without their husbands. Midweek activities often draw 70 to 80 percent female participants.”

Fact:  The church body consists of more women than men.  Yet, the #1 threat to a woman’s health and a very real threat to marriage and family is NOT EVEN MENTIONED.  NO ONE talks about domestic abuse—certainly not at church.  NO PASTORS (have you heard this subject discussed in your church on a Sunday morning?!)  NOT EVEN WOMEN’S MINISTRIES (how can a subject so important be so ignored?!)  It’s treated as an unmentionable…as something too awful to talk about or like something that might be contagious.  The fact that domestic abuse is never mentioned from the pulpit makes it a taboo subject and leaves a woman feeling further alone and trapped. 

No one considers that families who are church members may be in that type of trouble.  Yet, the statistics ensure there are many Christian women suffering silently while they pray without ceasing for their husband to change his heart, bound by the fear of breaking covenant with someone who has already broken it. 

It is time for change.  It is time to let women know they are loved and valuable members of the church body and if they are being abused, they will have pastoral support and sanctuary in the church to get the help they need to leave their abuser safely.  


"Quick Facts on the Gender Gap - Church for Men." Church for Men. Web. 21 Jan. 2016.