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A self-help workbook to lead abused women of faith through a path to freedom with a stronger relationship with God.
Problem: Religiously sanctioned domestic violence is present globally in most religious systems in spite of sacred texts forbidding it, as a corollary of the second class spiritual view of women. Our culture is no exception. Within the predominant Christian tradition, battering is a persistent and intractable women’s issue. Being the spouse of a religious leader or church member is not a guarantee or protection against it. The woman of Christian faith will still be told to believe, pray and love. Also, many religious groups stop short of supporting a woman in escaping this violence because of teachings against divorce. This leaves the Christian woman who is being battered, even if married to a church leader, without support. She does not seek help that other battered woman seek because of toxic beliefs.
New or Breakthrough Technique to Treat It: Misconceptions about battered Christian women contribute to her difficulty in leaving. Lack of recognition of women’s emotional investment in the success of relationships contribute to these misconceptions. Also the subtle complexities of faith concepts and cultural expectations conspire to make it more difficult for women to overcome this trauma. The workbook helps her disassemble these ideas. It also helps her see the objective, pervasive nature of the abusive syndrome so she can give herself permission to leave.
I have developed a three-part process that is applied to the seven levels of confusion. The woman can work the process on whatever level of abuse she is in. This process helped me escape and is supported by my graduate study in communication and counseling, and support and understanding of how the Bible and church teachings are used by the abuser as an additional tool for control.
Key Selling Points:
- I have not found a realistic self -help workbook for battered women of faith.
- I have not found a book from a woman of faith who communicates an approach as thorough and specific as this workbook without placing the burden of making the marriage work on the battered spouse.
- Women of faith have an additional shame factor that hinders their seeking community resources for victims of domestic violence. I myself did not seek these because I had worked with shelter directors as part of my community leadership position as a minister’s wife.
- The book has been developed with victims of domestic violence who had religious ‘ teachings and Biblical references used as part of the control system or who were married to abusive church leaders
- Most books from Christian publishing houses are trying to cope with the horns of a doctrinal and political dilemma. They have recently condemned domestic violence but they must stop short of allowing for divorce. This book allows the victim to process this for herself along with the other faith concepts rather than thinking a believer has only one option: to stay.