Domestic violence. It’s one of those “dirty” phrases we so often attempt to sweep under the proverbial rug, skip over in our newspaper reading or attempt to block out when we hear someone talking about it.

The sad truth is that one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. One…in four.  Look around you.  The odds are very high that you either know someone who is being abused, or you yourself are or will be abused.  Scary? You bet! Domestic violence knows no boundaries. It’s blind to the color of your skin, your age, how much money you make… and it certainly doesn’t respect the lines of faith, either. It doesn’t care if you spend your time in a bar soaking up the night life, if you help with your local PTA, or are a part of your church’s children’s ministry. Domestic violence is ugly and it’s everywhere.

Most abusive relationships don’t start off abusive. After all, who in their right mind would be willing to become involved with someone who is cruel or hurtful to them from the get-go? But, more often than not, the abuser is very charming. He knows how to play the game because he’s played it before. He sweeps you off your feet with romance, gifts and too good to be true fairytale promises. Abuse starts off very simple.  It could be a cutting word, a slanted look or maybe he just intimidates you in an argument or blocks the door so you can’t leave the room.  Sweetheart, it’s all part of a test. The abuser is secretly asking:  “How much will she take? Will she give up the control of her life, her finances or her freedom to me?”  The answers to those questions lie directly with the victim.

So many times women are afraid to reach out and tell someone that they’re being abused. After all, it IS taboo. Especially in church! Shhhh….don’t let the secret out! No one must ever find out that there’s a problem in your marriage or dating relationship…NO ONE! Right? Wrong.

There isn’t any shame whatsoever in reaching out for help. In fact, that’s what we are supposed to be doing!  The first step, and the scariest, is to find a safe person to talk to…someone who really has your back, who has been there and wants the best for you.  If you are unsure of who to contact, feel free to message me…I’ve been there. I know what you’re going through. And I want to help you get to the top of your mountain. But the first step is to bring the problem to the light. Expose it by sharing it with someone who is trustworthy.

You know, the Bible talks about things we tend to keep in the dark…”For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. Luke 8: 17 ESV.  Don’t hide the problem from someone who can truly help you. Don’t be ashamed…it’s not your fault.

If I were to leave you today with a parting scripture and word, it would be this:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10 ESV. Wow…God really does love us. He want us to enjoy life!

And a word from a sister, to a sister: You are precious. You are valuable. You are not to blame for being abused. Reach out and tell someone you trust. And above all, I want you to know that God has more for you and it’s all good!