“The silence surrounding domestic violence affects all of us. It’s a big secret... We sit in churches every Sunday and we rarely, if ever, hear a sermon preached about the devastation of domestic violence.”
—Johnrice Newton at CBE’s conference in Orlando
Domestic violence, particularly against women, isn’t always something the church wants to talk about. After all, it hurts to admit that abuse happens within the community of God, perhaps more so than it hurts to acknowledge the violence of the secular world. But we cannot afford to remain silent or apathetic, not when the stakes are so high. Not when our brothers and sisters are at risk.
Domestic violence leaves so many people made in the image of God dead or walking wounded—physically or spiritually, and often both. We are called to throw the full weight of the church into the battle against domestic violence. This is our fight, and we can’t hesitate—not for one minute.
Many of us want to do better in protecting and affirming survivors, or we’re survivors ourselves looking for resources that give life, hope, practical help, and healing. In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month and in recognition of the pressing need for Christian resources on domestic violence, CBE Bookstore would like to recommend these ten resources:
1. The Courage Coach by Ashley Easter
“This book is a space where victims and survivors can be heard, affirmed, and equipped. Whether you have experienced abuse yourself or whether someone you love has experienced abuse, Ashley offers a warm presence and practical advice.”
2. Healing Voices: Women of Faith Who Survived Abuse Speak Out by J. Harris
“Healing Voices consists of 11 real-life stories of women who have experienced various forms of violence. Some of the women have chosen to remain anonymous and others reveal their identities, but all desire their voices be heard and want their stories to inspire hope and renewal for other women who may be in abusive relationships, or who are recovering from such experiences.”
3. We Were the Least of These: Reading the Bible with Survivors of Sexual Abuse by Elaine Heath
“This accessibly written book provides a much needed perspective, illuminating the good news of healing and liberation that the Bible offers survivors of sexual abuse. It will be welcome reading for those who have suffered from abuse as well as for pastors, counselors, therapists, and others who minister to them.”
4. Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife by Ruth Tucker
“Ruth Tucker recounts a harrowing story of abuse at the hands of her husband, a well-educated, charming preacher no less, in hope that her story would help other women caught in a cycle of domestic violence and offer a balanced biblical approach to counter such abuse for pastors and counselors.”
5. No Place for Abuse by Catherine Clark Kroeger, Nancy Nason-Clark
“In this thoroughly revised and updated edition, Catherine Clark Kroeger and Nancy Nason-Clark share with readers a further ten years of experience in listening to the voices of women from around the world and especially to those within the church. They help us hear their cries and find concrete ways to respond so that no home will be a place of abuse.”
6. Ending Violence in Teen Dating Relationships by Al Miles
“Miles, a nationally recognized expert in the field of domestic violence and teen relationship violence, explores the complex issue of teen dating violence. Through interviews and other research, he provides critical information that parents, caregivers, clergy, and educators can use to protect teens and help them foster healthy dating relationships.”
7. When Love Hurts: A Woman’s Guide To Understanding Abuse in Relationships by Karen McAndless-Davis and Jill Cory
“This practical guidebook is a supportive and nonjudgmental friend to those who don’t know where to turn and is filled with stories from women who have been in the same position. By drawing on your own wisdom and that of the many others who have shared your experience, When Love Hurts can help you find the answers you have been looking for.”
Disclaimer: This book is not an explicitly Christian resource but it has been vetted by CBE Bookstore staff.
8. Domestic Violence: What Every Pastor Needs to Know by Al Miles
“Often pastoral caregivers possess the same misconceptions about domestic violence as does the uninformed public. Al Miles addresses the issues related to inadequate pastoral response to this pervasive problem. He explores the dynamics of abusive relationships and the role that clergy members can take to heal this painful situation.”
9. Breaking the Silence: The Church Responds to Domestic Violence by Anne Weatherholt
“A handbook about domestic violence from a spiritual perspective, and the only one of its kind, Breaking the Silence contains important, action-oriented information about domestic violence and its pervasiveness in society.”
10. Strengthening Families and Ending Abuse edited by Nancy Nason-Clark, Barbara Fisher-Townsend, Victoria Fahlberg
“Strengthening families of different varieties and ending abuse in the myriad of forms through which it surfaces is God's way of bringing peace and safety to Christian homes across the world. We challenge congregations, their leaders, and the men, women, and youth who faithfully support them to consider their personal role in bringing this vision-inspired by the Scriptures into reality.”
What resources would you add to this list? We invite you to share any resources that have brought practical help and healing to you or a survivor you know, or that you believe could help survivors of domestic violence. And to all the survivors out there, we honor you for your courage, even as our hearts break for what you have faced.
Excerpts taken from amazon.com book summaries.