One Thousand Days Transformed - The Campaign for Cedarville

What God Says to a Victim of Coercive Control

What God Says to a Victim of Coercive Control

woman pushing man away(adapted from Darby Strickland’s "Is It Abuse")

As helpers, friends, and fellow image-bearers, the Christian community needs to come alongside a person who is the victim of coercive control/abuse and use words and actions that show God’s heart to them.

What might God want us to tell them?

  1. The abuse is not your fault. Mark 7:20-23 is clear that our acts flow from our heart; an abusive person chooses to do what they do because they want what they want (James 4:1).
  2. Control/oppression violates God’s design for our relationships. God desires for your relationships to reflect His relationship with His children, seeking the best for the other, caring, and edifying.
  3. God sees and understands your distress. He wishes to show tenderness and mercy to you and to rescue you.

So, then, how should Christians respond to abuse? As image-bearers, we should have no tolerance for behaviors that detract from the inherent value and dignity of God’s children. We should examine the ways our faith communities foster a culture that makes it difficult for victims of manipulation and abuse to speak up. The body of Christ should be a place of safety and healing.

There are ways each of us can create change and support those who are experiencing abuse. As a body of believers, we should:

  • Be aware of the ways in which we subtly blame the victim of abuse.
  • Challenge those who joke about the maltreatment of others.
  • Not minimize abuse. The abuser did not simply “make a mistake” — he or she chose to be coercive.

Some resources that might be helpful:

Should We Believe Victims podcast

8 Warning Signs of Dating Abuse


Posted in Title IX

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