Dealing with Spouse Abuse

PART OF SERIES Close to Home Series
2007, 11 pp
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Abuse occurs in all cultures, and among both rich and poor. While they are never an excuse, several factors can increase the risk of abuse: personality characteristics that include a need to control; parental models of abuse; beliefs that women are inferior to men; or financial stress in the home.

While both husbands and wives abuse in various ways, most often it is the women who suffer physical abuse. Women experience more severe injuries, and they are more likely to be killed by their partners. Women are also most at risk of danger when they attempt to leave the relationship (although staying is also dangerous, since abuse tends to escalate over time).

Behavior that appears angry is usually an expression of control more than of anger. The behavior can include limiting the partner’s social life, uttering threats, denying financial resources, or using humiliation and insults. The abuser is likely not “out of control”; the violence is usually carried out in a planned way, at particular times and places, so that the marks of the violence do not show....

The Christian community is a key partner with God in bringing wholeness to broken relationships. It is called to deal with violence, protect those who are hurt, and invite all people to live lives of love and peace. As we follow Christ, our broken selves can be made whole again.

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