October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the United States. It’s an epidemic affecting women and men in staggering numbers around the world. It’s something we simply cannot ignore as followers of Jesus. Violence against the vulnerable must be brought to an end. This week’s Link Up is focused on blog posts that raise awareness about domestic violence and/or provide practice solutions to bringing an end to it. I had hoped to find a slew of posts, but oddly enough the Christian blogosphere was mostly silent on this topic lately. Maybe I’m just not reading the right people. I’d love your help in curating these posts. If you’ve read any other helpful articles or blogs lately on this topic, please share them in the comments.
The Silent Epidemic, by Corrie Cutrer (Today’s Christian Woman)
“The enormity of the problem, combined with the fact law enforcement officials and church leaders often lack the skills to address it, led Don to author Refuge (New Hope), a book helping victims understand and flee from violence in their homes. “I consider Don to be a missionary who offers hope to hurting women and presents a wakeup call to the Christian community to get involved,” says Brenda.
Kyria.com spoke with both Don and Brenda on how battered women can get help as well as how Christians can respond to this crisis.“
Why I Decided to Write about Domestic Violence, by Gail Wallace (The Junia Project)
“I was aware that 1 in 3 women will experience physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner in their lifetime2 (and 1 in 4 men, though it is less violent in nature), but I recently learned that it makes no difference if you are a Christian or not. The next time you sit in church look around and think about that.”
Soapbox Warning: On Jian Ghomeshi and the acceptability of sexualized violence against women, by Sarah Bessey
“Violence against women is epidemic and evil, it’s not to be mined for sexual pleasure. How dare we forget our sisters? How dare we make light of or sexualize for our own pleasures the unmitigated horror that is endured by women even at this moment? Whether in the context of a classroom power dynamic or a war torn refugee camp, women are preyed upon, groomed for abuse and abused in horrifying numbers in this way from the youngest to the oldest. There are women who believe they deserve to be treated in this way – think about that for a second.”
The more I read the Bible, the more I am convinced that God is a God who provides for and advocates for the marginilaized, the outcast, and the oppressed. From Genesis to Revelation, the story is the same. Breaking down social hierarchies, declaring liberation, and proclaiming that the first will be last and the last will be first. Violence against women and girls, against children, against vulnerable adults, against ANYONE is in direct opposition to the God of Abraham and Sarah, in direct opposition to the God who spoke to the prophets, in direct opposition to Jesus of Nazareth, and in direct opposition to the teachings of Paul and practice of the earliest Christians.
It’s time to bring an end domestic violence.
If you are currently experiencing violence at the hand of an intimate partner, I urge you to seek help. If you’re not sure who to go to, and you live in the United States, call the National Domestic Violence hotline. This confidential resource can provide you with advice, information, and resources to get help.
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or www.thehotline.org