God's Roadmap

Now may the Lord Jesus Christ and our Father God, who loved us and in his wonderful grace gave us eternal comfort and a beautiful hope that cannot fail, encourage your hearts and inspire you with strength to always do and speak what is good and beautiful in his eyes (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 TPT).


Friday, October 15, 2021

Recognizing Domestic Violence Awareness Month

 

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

The world's attention has been on domestic abuse the last few weeks with the death of Gabby Petito. As October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, guest blogger Terri Webster, shares some vital information about this stain on our society. Terri is a true Titus 2 woman and has been instrumental in helping women in need and at one time started a ministry that helped women who sought a safe refuge after abuse. Her novel, Journey to the Forgotten Coast, spotlights the trauma of domestic abuse. She recently released the sequel to this story in, Island of Refuge. Read to the end of the post to find out about a giveaway for Terri's book. 

by Terri Webster

She may stand in line behind you at the grocery store. You might pass her on the street every day or work side by side at your job. She even sits next to you every week during worship at church.

Women cross our paths every day who are struggling to survive in an abusive relationship or marriage. They range from teen girls to elderly women. While most victims are women and children, statistics show men aren’t excluded from the violence unleashed in domestic abuse.

The horrors of domestic violence reach beyond all cultures, races and economic and social status. The deeper we delve into this painful reality, the more we discover about the destruction that touches millions and destroys lives.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. For today’s post I’m focusing on women victims, and hope to raise more awareness and offer hope and resources that are available.

On average, nearly twenty people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States.

One in four women experience severe physical violence. On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.

How can we know for sure if we suspect someone is being abused or in danger of her life when she attempts to cover up what’s really going on? She hides under smiles, yet her eyes will tell her story if we look a bit closer.

Below is a short list of signs we can look for. There are many signs, but this list focuses on the most prevalent and extreme.


  • Repeated broken bones and facial bruises explained away by clumsiness. Oftentimes, visible signs will be hidden underneath makeup, clothing and excuses.
  • She goes above and beyond to defend her abuser.
  • An almost non-existent social life, especially time alone with friends. If she does get out, her time is limited and controlled.
  • She’s not allowed to work or works part-time.
  • If she does have a job, she calls in sick often.
  • Cancels lunch dates with friends or doctor appointments.
  • Absentees from school or other obligations.
  • Changes in personality when their abuser is with them in public. For example, someone from church who you suspect is experiencing abuse, may be outgoing and friendly when their abuser isn’t around, then quiet, timid and shy when they’re with them.
  • They exhibit stress-related health problems such as non-specific aches and pains, chronic headaches, digestive problems, and flare-ups such as with eczema or other inflammatory problems.

While this evil still permeates homes, there is hope and help for anyone who will accept it. Safe houses are available with protection, programs, legal assistance and education for victims who want and are ready to end the abuse.

There are organizations and individuals who continue to work to end the stigma that sometimes continues to plague brave survivors.

There is help to transform lives from victims to victors at this resource provided by abuse survivor, Kathy Super. She formed a 501c3 nonprofit, called Place to Prosper, an interactive podcast and workshop that educates and empowers people wanting to come out of an abusive situation.

Anyone is welcome to tune in to her podcast at anchor.fm/placetoprosper. To join as a guest confidentially, feel free to email her at placetoprosper19@yahoo.com.

Visit www.placetoprosper.org for more information.

Thankfully there is now a National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), with a wealth of resources at https://www.ncadv.org.

Also visit https://www.stepsvt.org for printable outreach materials including a “Steps to End Domestic Violence Information Packet”.

If you or someone you know is living in abuse or needs help, call the National Domestic Violence hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).

While there is help and hope for victims, and those who want to get involved, the greatest of all hope and help is found in the unstoppable, matchless, perfect love only found in Almighty God through His Son, Jesus Christ. He is our hope for all. He is where true help flows from.

If you want to get involved I would encourage you with these words found in Isaiah 58:6.

Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen; to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? (NIV)

If you don’t know where to begin, start with some of the above resources and pray for His guidance.

For the victim who needs assurance of what the Lord will do for you when you seek help, look to His promise in Isaiah 58:11-12. The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundation, you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

 Please feel free to share your thoughts.

All those who leave comments between Friday, October 16 and  midnight ET Thursday, October 21 will be placed into a drawing to win Terri's first book, Journey to the Forgotten Coast. Winner will be announced on next week's blog. 

 Recognizing Domestic Violence Awareness Month (click to tweet)

How can we know if someone is a victim of domestic violence (click to tweet)

Terri Webster is an author and blogger with a passion to inspire and encourage others to stay on course while running the race God has for them. She published When All Seems Lost, Prayer Markers for Finding Your Way and Markers for Single Moms, Finding God's Direction in the Chaos. Terri is a contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul and Pens in the Piedmont anthologies and is a member of Word Weavers. She lives with her husband in a small Georgia town, enjoying the simple things in life, being outdoors, and traveling. You can connect with Terri at her website, All Things Write.

 

11 comments:

  1. Very sad commentary about our nation and world. Yes, this has been happening for many decades now, and in some parts of the world for centuries. We stop this by not allowing such reprehensible behavior to go unchecked and unchallenged. We stop this by repenting and inviting God to restore His law within our hearts and upon our land. Thank you ladies for raising these ugly truths to the forefront for honest discussion and I pray a call to action.

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    1. These situations are sad and you are right about the solution, J.D. Our world needs to know Jesus and His love. He is the only one who can heal hurting hearts and relationships. Thank you for sharing. Blessings!

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  2. Thank you for highlighting this very important subject with some practical tips for being aware and helpful.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by to share your thoughts. Blessings!

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  3. Thanks, Terri for this eye-opening and timely post. It’s easy to overlook the victims you describe. Thank you for making me aware they may be right next to me.

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    1. It is easy to overlook these victims in our everyday walk of life. We can be so focused on our own tasks we don't see the need surrounding us. Terri gave us some good information to follow and help us keep our eyes open. Thanks for stopping by, Candi. Blessings!

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    2. Candi, you won the drawing for Terri's book. Please email or private message me with your mailing address so I can have the book sent to you. Congratulations!

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  4. Thank you for sharing this message on the extremely important, but the often hidden tragedy of domestic violence. We all need to know the signs and how to seek help. It will take everyone working together to end the cycle of abuse.

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    1. Katherine, it is important to share the message because this is a sometimes hidden tragedy. Terri gave us some great resources for helping those in trouble. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Blessings!

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  5. A woman in our neighborhood was just rescued last week from the couple next door who invited her in when she escaped a brutal choking at the hands of her abusive husband. In our county, 1 in 4 women live in abusive homes. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon statistic. Thank you for these resources and for shedding light on a dark subject.

    Blessings,
    Tammy

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    1. Thankfully, this woman had a safe place to go with some compassionate people who cared for her. These statistics are sad but it can only be stopped by people's hearts changing. The many resources Terri shared are helpful and I hope those who need them will utilize this assistance. Blessings, Tammy and thanks for sharing!

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