Summary: Domestic violence is a plague destroying our families. We must take a stand against domestic violence of any kind and we must take a stand to support the victims of domestic violence.
A. Today’s sermon will not begin with a joke or a cute cartoon, like many of my sermons do, because there is no funny or humorous side to our topic for today.
1. Today I want to address the problem and plague of domestic violence.
2. This is going to be a very hard sermon for all of us to hear, but that is especially the case for those who have experienced domestic abuse in the past, or are presently living in an abusive home.
B. My purpose today is twofold.
1. First, I want to make it perfectly clear that we as a church stand against any kind of domestic violence, and that we will not tolerate it in our midst.
2. Second, I want to make it perfectly clear to victims of domestic abuse that we are here for you.
a. We are here to stand with you, and to serve you any way we can.
b. You do not deserve what has happened to you, and you don’t have to continue to allow it to happen to you.
C. It is probably obvious to you why I’m addressing this subject today.
1. You would have to have just arrived from another planet to have missed the stories of domestic abuse by a couple of high profile NFL players that have recently dominated all news outlets.
2. What Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson have done to people in their families is tragic and wicked.
3. Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson may never play football again, but what you probably don’t know is that a dozen other players with domestic violence arrests are still suiting up on Sundays.
4. I won’t name the 12 players, but they have been arrested for domestic violence or related charges since 2005, according to a USA Today database that tracks players' arrests.
a. Some of those players have fought the charges and won.
b. Others have accepted blame, served short suspensions and returned to the game.
c. The rest are still waiting for their day in court.
5. The cases, some dating back nearly a decade, reflect the NFL’s evolving and sometimes erratic approach to domestic violence.
a. The league has struggled to balance justice, fairness and its obligations to the players’ union, but has failed to satisfy critics who say that, too often, the game fails to hold itself and its players accountable.
6. Domestic violence and related incidents rank among the NFL’s biggest off-the-field problems, with 87 arrests involving 80 players over the last 14 years.
1. The only other crime category with a larger number of arrests involving NFL players is DUI.
2. But while the domestic violence arrests of NFL players are troubling, the rate is lower than the national average for men of similar age, according to an analysis by FiveThirtyEight.
I. Domestic Violence – The Statistics and Definition
A. One positive outcome of these highly publicized NFL stories is that these stories have brought to light a problem that has been kept in the dark for far too long.
1. Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop labeled domestic violence “the single most important health issue in the US.”
2. Why would he say something like that? Well the facts and statistics are staggering.
3. Every 15 seconds a woman in the United States is battered by a husband, boyfriend, or partner.
a. That’s 4 per minute, 240 per hour, 5760 per day, and 2.1 million per year!
4. Every day at least 3 women are murdered by their intimate partners in our country.
5. One out of every three women experiences domestic violence during her lifetime.
6. As startling as those statistics are, it is even more startling when we remember that domestic violence is one of the most chronically underreported crimes.
7. The Public Policy Office of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence estimates that only about one-quarter of all physical assaults and one-fifth of all rapes are ever reported.
B. These statistics would indicate that there are women among us this morning who have been or are still victims of domestic violence.
1. Our hearts go out to you.
2. We hope and pray that you will find freedom from the violence.
3. And we hope and pray that you will experience healing from all your wounds – those seen and unseen.
C. We might think that domestic violence happens in other communities, but not in ours, but this is not true.
1. According to sociological studies, domestic violence occurs equally in every community, no matter the race, social and economic class, or religion.
2. Domestic violence is destroying families and inflicting suffering on women and children in every community.
3. Of course, men are also victims of domestic abuse, but only a minority of victims are men around 15% of all domestic violence (and this may also be very underreported).