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Domestic Violence does not take a back seat during the holidays. If anything it gets worse. As Thanksgiving has passed us by so quickly and December has arrived, the stakes in a domestic violence relationship have been raised. December brings the excitement of winter as well as the joys of Christmas. But unfortunately the stresses in many homes escalate. If there is a shortage on finances, the tension grows stronger. The kids are out of school half of the month, so food expenses go up and the house is louder, even during the daytime hours. Most utility bills will sky rocket because of the weather. A time that should be full of laughter and celebration instead is full of stress, worry and hightened tensions of how to maintain the basic daily needs of the home.
Even with the tree decorated and stockings hung, the risk of an outburst looms just around the corner. While many are wrapping gifts and baking sweet treats, others are instead walking on egg shells waiting for the inevitable to happen. Sadly for these homes the holidays bring sadness instead of cheer, sorrow instead of joy, weeping instead of laughter, or the scent of fear instead of the aroma of delicious food. So during this holiday season, greet others with a warm smile and spread the Christmas cheer! This may be just what they need to help endure the pressures of another holiday season.
Some would wonder, is domestic violence really in the church? Sadly the answer is yes, domestic violence is in the church. Many would beg to differ, but I know it’s true because I was actively involved in my church but still caught in the vicious cycle of abuse. Now he on the other hand was not an active church goer and certainly was not interested in becoming involved. When I found the courage to ask for help, the church I was attending wasn’t well equipped to handle domestic violence. Unfortunately most churches still aren’t prepared to handle it. Some situations are serious enough that it requires more than just prayer. It requires a judgement free environment, housing, food, clothing, counseling, treatment, support, advocacy, patience and a lot of time.
The church (body of Christ) needs to educate itself about domestic violence and find ways to educate it’s parishners. Domestic violence carries so much guilt and shame but it’s a shame when the church will not uncover the abuse by discussing it. Of course this is not all churches but there are so many that refuse to open itself to really helping those in need.
How should the church help victims of domestic violence?
How real is it? Well to the perpetrator that continuously abuses the woman he declares he loves; it’s not real. He feels the abuse is a figment of her imagination, a love tap, or something she deserved. But to the woman being abused, it’s VERY REAL!!!
It can be mental & emotional, physical , verbal, economic, isolation or sexual abuse. Merriam-Webster defines abuse as: (1) a corrupt practice or custom; (2) improper or excessive us or treatment; (3) obsolete: a deceitful act; (4) language that condemns or vilifies usually unjustly, intemperately, and angrily; (5) physical maltreatment.
Domestic Violence is so real that it’s on your street, in your neighborhood, in your school, work place and church.
What are you going to do to help others understand; Domestic Violence is REAL?