There is an old song that I love called, “Jesus is Still the Answer”. That one little phrase can be applied to any situation of our lives. We can try every solution the world offers; we can try any solution we can think up for ourselves. But, no matter what we try we will still come back to the reality that Jesus is the answer for whatever we need in this life.
When I was a young woman I met and married a man who I found out too late was abusive. For many years I did everything I knew how to make that marriage work. I didn’t even know what abuse or domestic violence was because violence didn’t happen in my parents’ home. For this reason it took me a long time to recognize that my husband’s behavior would never change. When I finally divorced I was broken into so many pieces that I thought I’d never be whole again.
The good thing was that I’d had a relationship with Jesus since I was a small child and was saved as a teenager. So, even when I tried to give up on God he refused to give up on me. Four years later I received God’s healing and deliverance from all the pain and suffering of those years of abuse. Once God healed and delivered me I felt free and light, like I’d never felt before in my whole life.
It’s been more than twenty years since that happened and I can tell you that no matter what troubles life threw my way, no matter what challenges I faced, Jesus is still the answer. God never promised that we would never have pain or trials. In fact he said we would have them. But, he did promise that he would walk through them with us.
If there is one thing I could tell someone who was or is a victim of domestic violence it is that Jesus is still the answer. If your heart is broken Jesus can heal it. If your spirit is broken Jesus can heal it. If you feel like you’re missing pieces of your life, Jesus can rebuild your life. If you feel like you have no dreams left, Jesus can give you new dreams.
Whether you are still living in your abusive situation or not Jesus is walking beside you waiting for you to reach out to him, to call to him and to ask him to help you. He loves you and wants to bring you close and shower you with his love. Jesus can give you peace the world cannot understand. Jesus can give you a knowing deep within your heart and soul so that you know that you know that you know that God will take care of you no matter what your situation. All you have to do is reach out to him.
Mina R. Raulston writes extensively about domestic violence and loves to give her testimony of healing and deliverance from the pain and suffering of domestic violence. Contact her by phone at 614-507-7893 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a speaking engagement.
You can buy copies of her book, Home Should Be Safe: Hope and Help for Domestic Violence Victims from her website
Ever since I began writing about domestic violence some readers asked why I didn’t include male victims of domestic violence in my information. Frankly, the reason was that I didn’t find much information about that side of it except as it related to male children and I included that information in my book. There is now more information available about male victims of domestic violence such as husbands and boyfriends so I will be researching that topic and write about it here. So, if you have questions related to domestic violence in any way please post them here and I will research and answer your questions and provide referrals when available.
If you are a male who has been a victim of domestic violence and would be open to an interview please email me at email@example.com and I will contact you. Also, please know that even though domestic violence shelters are for women and children, there is help available for male victims. Call the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence hotline at 800-799-7233 for assistance.
I didn’t start out to be a writer. I didn’t even think very seriously about a career even though I was an honor student in high school. I certainly never thought I’d be writing about domestic violence. But, the path my life took made it imperative that I write about my life experiences as related to domestic violence.
At the age of 19 I married a man I met in my church after a six month courtship. I found out all too soon that he was not the man I thought. Within months after our marriage the cycle of violence began even though it would be many years, after the divorce, before I even knew what that term meant. Finally, the abuse became intolerable for both my children and I so I obtained a divorce with the help of Legal Aid.
Four years after the divorce I was finally able to receive God’s healing and deliverance. I began journaling to get all the pain out because people had tired of listening to me and more than one said that I should “just get over it and on with it.” They didn’t know what it was to live in fear in your own home. You can’t just “get over it and on with it” quite that easily.
That journaling developed into Bible studies that I taught in my local church. Then I began writing for local newspapers and later for denominational magazines. One of the main topics of many of my articles was domestic violence. As I studied and researched, interviewed and wrote, all my information began to take form into something larger than I ever expected.
About 2004 I realized that I had accumulated all that I needed; the new information I was finding was merely a duplicate of what I already had. I began to put together what I thought would be a simple booklet to give to the church to help them deal with domestic violence victims in their churches. In 2009 I realized I had to finish my book and for a number of reasons I quit my job and concentrated on my book. Although I eventually had to return to work I had finished my book.
After going over it carefully I hired a writer/editor friend of mine to do a professional edit. I sent out requests for formal endorsements for the book and received very favorable ones. I submitted book proposals to traditional publishers and one showed interest but then the economic crash hit and they were unable to move forward. After much prayer and deliberation I decided to self-publish.
The challenge with self-publishing was that I didn’t have extra money to pay the publishing expenses. So, I took it one step at a time. The push came in 2010 when my church held an Author Sunday to promote authors within the congregation. In order to participate I printed up the few copies I could afford and sold all of them that day and took orders for more. Later an editor I wrote for referred me to his book packager and graphic designer and I was able to print paper back copies of the book to sell. Almost everyone who has read the book, even total strangers, has given me positive feedback.
This week I reached another milestone with my book. I purchased my ISBN number and bar code. My book is now in the Licking County Public Library in Licking County, OH. Very soon I will have it on Amazon and some independent book stores.
Check back often for updates on the publication and distribution of my book, which can be purchased from my website.
Myth: Women stay and tolerate abuse because they like it.
Reality: No woman likes being hit, insulted, manipulated, and betrayed. There are many complex reasons they stay which I discuss in my book, Home Should Be Safe: Hope and Help for Domestic Violence, in Chapter 6, “Why Don’t They Just Leave?”
Many times over the years I have heard the question asked, “If the violence is so bad and she is in such danger, why doesn’t she just leave?” There are many reasons why a woman will not or can not leave her abuser. There are economic reasons, social reasons, personal reasons, family reasons and a variety of other reasons. When people use to ask me this question I responded a bit antagonistically. I would respond by asking them questions. “Are you going to help her leave? Are you going to help her find a place to live? Are you going to help her find a job? Are you going help her connect with Social Services or legal assistance?” I had many more questions for any who would listen. I felt that unless someone was willing to help a victim of domestic violence in some way they had no right to judge or criticize her.
But, in a training session with Choices Domestic Violence Shelter, I watched a video where a survivor of abuse answered that very question. Her response was much more telling and effective. She said, “Why should I have to leave? It’s my home too and he’s the one who broke the law.”
The use of physical abuse to injure, kill or coerce a person is never acceptable. If it happened in public by a stranger it would be called assault and battery but for centuries society considered abuse in the home a “family affair” and no one interfered with what happened behind closed doors. As a society we need to take a stand against family abuse. We need to ensure that abusers, regardless of gender or age, know that if they injure someone they will face legal consequences just as if they had injured a stranger in public. Abuse is a crime and we must treat it as such.