Chances are you know someone who is a victim of domestic violence. You just don’t KNOW that your family member, friend, or acquaintance is suffering because we don’t always define domestic violence correctly. There are so many victims with no visible bruises. It’s the silent epidemic that flourishes in darkness. This episode was originally scheduled to be out during October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, but the issue is really something we need to be talking about all year long.
Our book this week is “No Visible Bruises” by Rachel Louise Snyder and our guest is Author, Speaker, Certified DV Advocate & Abuse Recovery Coach Julie Bonn Blank. We are going to talk with her about why domestic violence continues to claim, in average, 137 women’s lives across the world. Every. Single. Day. But first, we are going to look at just one woman’s death - Michelle Monson Mosure.
Julie is a trained domestic violence advocate, a survivor, and an abuse recovery group leader. She facilitates the Survivor Voices Committee for the Family Justice Center of Washington County, Oregon. Julie is also a speaker and author.
We’ll also talk about Ephesians 5:21-27 because too often, verses 22-24 are pulled out of context and used to justify abuse if a wife isn’t “performing” correctly as defined by her husband or a set of church elders. But what about verse 21 where spouses are called to mutual submission? A man’s actions toward his wife should be unselfish, nurturing, and kind. A husband or boyfriend should never talk down to you, pressure you, isolate you, control you, or be violent towards you.
I’m going to lay out a practical action step this week that’s a little more involved than some have been. The church has not always done a very good job handling things when women have come forward for help in a domestic violence situation. That’s just a fact that we need to accept, but then become determined to change. I’m challenging us all to open up our eyes and ears a bit. If you see anyone in your faith community who seems to have a lot of bruises or injuries, she’s not allowed to attend study groups or other church functions that don’t include her husband, or her ability to communicate is being controlled - see if you can let that person know that you are a safe person to talk to. You can make a difference in someone’s life like Michelle’s before it’s too late.
You can learn more about domestic violence on this previous episode of The Unlovely Truth. I interview author Karen DeArmond Gardner who has first-hand experience with leaving an abusive relationship. We had an interesting conversation about practical tips to help someone who is ready to be free. You’ll also learn why abuse victims stay silent.
Please visit my website to access more episodes, read my blog posts, or check out ways you can financially support the podcast so that together we can impact more people, more families, and more communities. If you would like to contact me about booking me as a speaker, or ask about my consulting and investigative services, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get a copy of “No Visible Bruises” here.
Get a copy of Mary DeMuth’s “We Too: How the Church Can Respond Redemptively to the Sexual Abuse Crisis” here.
Julie Bonn Blank’s website
Email Julie here or here
Check out ARMS, Abuse Recovery Ministry & Services here