A woman recently shared with me her experience of being assaulted and stabbed by her abusive husband. As she recovered from her injuries, she turned to her church, expecting pastoral care and support.
As I was presenting a workshop recently on how we should challenge the roadblocks which the church can present to battered women and affirm the resources, I noticed one participant was very quiet and reserved.
On February 8, 2009, 19-year-old Chris Brown and 20-year-old Rihanna, music icons scheduled to perform that evening at the Grammys, engaged in an argument while inside a vehicle that escalated into a fight. Rihanna suffered visible injuries and was treated at a hospital. The next day Chris Brown surrendered himself to authorities.
A head injury? Alcohol? Drugs? Depression? An argument? Everyone who knew Jovan Belcher is grasping for an answer to “why?” We only know what we read in the paper, but there is nothing all that unusual here when a man kills his partner and himself. The story is pretty predictable. This is domestic violence.
“The turning point in every social justice movement occurs when the authentic leadership of survivors is met with the genuine commitments of our most power social institutions.” So said my colleague, Judith Beals, in 2002 in the midst of the disclosure of extensive sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests.
Before “Yes, We Can,” there was “WE CAN.” Women Empowered Committed Against Negativity (WE CAN) is an organization whose office is in a house on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa. The leader of WE CAN is Loretta Joseph. She is a Roman Catholic laywoman who has organized Catholic and Protestant women outside the church in order to get the work done—i.e. the work of supporting and empowering women in their real lives.
Dear Forty-five Obstructionist Senators: The President used the word “shameful” to describe the Republican filibuster two days ago in the U.S. Senate of bipartisan legislation to address gun violence. “Shameful” doesn't even begin to describe what you did. This was an act of pure cowardice.
Since my visit to South Africa is supported by the U.S. Department of State Speakers’ Program, the Consulate staff has arranged some of my meetings. They asked me to go to a YMCA afterschool program and meet with the youth workers and the youth. It has been many years since I worked specifically in youth ministry, but I pressed ahead—and I am so glad I did.
When I was about nine years old, I remember a dinner table conversation between my father and mother. I think we had just received news that my favorite uncle, the doctor, had beaten up my aunt.
March 8 is International Women’s Day. So I was pleased this past week to be in New York City for events surrounding the 54th Annual meeting of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Not only is women’s work never done, our agenda continues to expand.
An ex-husband took advantage of the annual family gathering at his in-laws’ house to inflict his violence on his ex-wife and her family. He appeared at the door dressed as Santa, and one of the children let him in. He opened fire on the 25 people there and then set fire to the house.
So Pastor Ed Young of the Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas, got the attention of the media. And his church members. He called for a week of “congregational copulation” to take people’s minds off the economy. Pastor Young has added his blessing to our already highly sexualized culture.
Another murder in a church; another domestic terror homicide. On Nov. 23, Joseph Pallipurath entered the St. Thomas Syarian Orthodox Kananaya Church in Clifton, NJ and killed his wife.
“Compare the raw numbers. In the same seven-year period [2000-2006] when 4,588 U.S. soldiers [in combat] and police officers [on duty] were killed by hostiles or by accident, more than 8,000 women – nearly twice as many – were shot, stabbed, strangled, or beaten to death by the intimate males in their lives."
Last week, Charles Parsons murdered his wife during a couples’ counseling session at Calvary Lutheran Church south of Seattle. He turned himself in and has been charged with first-degree murder and assault.
Is addressing domestic violence a spiritual battle between good and evil? This is the question I received last week from a colleague. As I pondered this question, I sent a note to several other colleagues for their input. I think the answer we all agreed to is “yes and no.” Or as one Muslim colleague said, “Essential and not sufficient.”
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Did you know that? It’s also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I’m sure you knew that because you can’t help but see the pink all around. On my flight last week, the airline was selling pink lemonade and martinis as well as collecting donations--all to go to breast cancer research. Football players in NFL games this month are wearing pink! Pink?! How cool is that? So why aren’t the airlines selling grape soda and football players wearing purple in support of ending domestic violence?
I realize it may be a waste of time to even comment on your uninformed “advice” which you continue to dole out without reservation. But some days I just can’t let it go without comment because there are still people out there who listen to you. Your latest opinion offers an opportunity to clarify once again how a faith leader or friend can help a battered woman, and how an uninformed response risks perpetuating a violent, dangerous situation.
Some days it’s embarrassing to be a Christian – and not in a good way. It’s those days when something like “Christian Domestic Discipline” is spread across the internet and I have to wonder, who are these people? For those of you not readily familiar with this lifestyle choice, here is the definition: "A Christian Domestic Discipline (CDD) marriage is simply a traditional, male-led, Christian marriage which utilizes aspects of Domestic Discipline. It is set up according to Biblical standards." The "methods" include corporeal punishment such as spanking with objects.
A baseball game is a place where boys are socialized to become men. And in a world where men’s violence against women is rampant, it is worth considering as a place to work on changing the norm of violence against women. Help the Seattle Mariners win a $200,000 Pepsi Refresh Project grant to support domestic violence work!