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Summary: This teaching is taken from my book “Beaten, Battered, Bruised & Blessed” (Christians Recognizing and Responding to Domestic Violence) more information can be found at www.c21c.org My prayer is it will help you in Pastoral ministry.

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This teaching is taken from my book “Beaten, Battered, Bruised & Blessed” (Christians Recognizing and Responding to Domestic Violence) more information can be found at www.c21c.org My prayer is it will help you in Pastoral ministry.

Categories of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is sometimes referred to as “wife abuse,” “wife battering,” “wife beating” or “wife assault.” It must be borne in mind that domestic violence does not only take place in the marital home, many women in cohabiting relationships are victims of domestic violence and need to be shown the same degree of compassion and support the Church would demonstrate towards a couple who are married.

Domestic Violence is not a domestic argument or conflict. An argument can be a positive act within a relationship with productive outcomes for a couple. Rob Parsons in his book “Love against the Odds” suggests ten rules to how a couple can have a good argument.

When domestic conflict leads to an abuse of male physical power to dominate and control their partner it is domestic violence.

Domestic violence of course involves more than broken bones, the abuse of male power leaves many women with broken spirits. A victim can be broken in many different ways but a victim can only be broken in so many pieces before their whole life is shattered beyond repair. However, the hope of the Gospel compels Ministers and Church workers to confess that God can rebuild and restore the broken hearted. This spiritual dimension of the Church’s mission, coupled with the practical demonstration of the love of Jesus to the disadvantaged and vulnerable, puts the Church in pole position to reach out to victims of domestic violence.

The following categories of domestic violence in practice overlap:

Broken Bones

PHYSICAL ABUSE The most common and visible form of domestic violence involve punches to the face and the body often leading to bruising, bleeding and broken bones.

Physical abuse takes many forms including hitting, punching, pulling hair, slapping, violently grabbing, biting, kicking, breaking bones, bruising, bending fingers back to the point of pain, burning, twisting arms, throwing victims against walls and furniture, throwing objects at the victim and using weapons. A considerable percentage of victims are threatened or assaulted with weapons such as knives, firearms and axes. For many, there is a real and constant threat of death because of the gravity of the abuse.

Often physical abuse can be of such a severe nature it results in broken bones, miscarriages and other serious injuries. Physical abuse at times results in murder. Physical injuries are not always obvious as abusers often make sure the signs of their attacks are hidden under clothing and many victims fearfully comply with their abusers threatening demands to cover up their bruises, bleeding and broken bones.

Physical abuse can also include damaging household goods and furniture in a threatening manner, taunting victims with the damage of sentimental objects, killing pets and denial of basic physical needs, like sleep and/or nutrition and freedom to relax.


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