In review of Part 1 The Silent Cry of the
Lambs, we talked about why women remain silent in the midst of physical, emotional and mental abuse. We
talked about the keywords that are the symptoms of women who are being abused, mistreated, and/or manipulated by someone they
believe has control and authority over them. We wrote about domination and how it relates to and affects those who are
intimidated, or feel threatened, if not for themsleves, than for someone they relate to, care for or love.
FEAR, DOMINATION, INTIMIDATION
are the spirits of witchcraft!
LACK OF SUPPORT from family,
friends and associates breeds isolation, and leaves an open door for the individual to become vulnerable and oppressed by
spirits of depression and suicide.
IGNORANCE is the tool that
is frequenstly used to manipulate women to remain in an abusive relationship, because she doesn't know what to do, where she
can receive help that will truly benefit her without exposure of what is happening in her private life. Many women tolerate
abuse, because they don't know who they can trust.
WHAT CAN THE CHURCH DO ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
Provide a refuge or safe envirmonment that
victims of domestic violence can come to immediately in a crisis. There needs to be a "cooling off period" that the
parties involved" are separated from each other. Most law enforcement officers will escort either party out of the home
or away from the environment until the issues can be resolved or reconciled in a peaceable manner. If it is necessary
to remove one of the individuals or spouse away from the home, the church should have a place that allows women and
children to find solitude, security and guidance counselors that are familiar with crisis intervention, or such counselors
are able to refer individuals to someone that has been trained or has experienced in working with domestic problems.
It doesn't mean that the church is interfering in the mairtal or domestic relationship between the "parties involved" it is
providing an option, a choice, an alternative for those individuals who want to remove themselves temporarily from a hostile
or potentially life threatening situation.
Include classes or have small cell groups meetings eithin the churchas
part of your Christian Education that deals with, or provides vital information regarding "Women's Issues" and "Relationships."
Domestic violence and/or abuse are not always realted to those who are married.
A woman may not be willing to expose herself or her personal problems
to be held in contempt by those who lack understanding, or act self righteous because of their inability to comprehend what
that person is experiencing. There is a big difference between empathy (identification with and understanding
another's situation, feelings or motives) and sympathy (an expression of pity or sorrow for the distress of another) it's
difficult to assist someone in a life threatening crisis, or hostile domestic relationship; without acquired knowledge or
preventive care of genuine experience that you can relate directly with that person and their unique situation.
Small cell groups should prevent one individual from monopolizing
the conversation and these groups provide more open discussion than larger groups or congregations.
A.) Divide the women in groups of two's or three's
and then bring them together as a whole, to summarize what they have learned from each other or how the open discussion benefits
B.) Have the women who are elders, mothers and established
in the church to give counsel or advice. Appoint a group leader that is knowledgeable in dealing with domestic problems,
marital difficulties and relationships, that recognizes the signs of abuse.
C.) Small children shouldn't be allowed to attend,
or be in the presence of adults attending these sessions, these meetings need to be for adults only, even if the church has
to provide child care or Children's Church; if necessary have women take turns watching the children away from the discussion
where the children can play, be themsleves and not demand constant attention. It is vital to the outcome of the"parties
involved" that they remain focused on the issues presented. Children can be a distraction, and further more they shouldn't
be submitted to adult converstaions, especially that which involves people they are familiar with or know.
What you don't know, can hurt you! Provide as much
information as possible that relates to strengthening family relationships, marraige and divorce, domestic violence, self
esteem and personal moral values. We often preach at people, and even teach them the Word of God, but we seldom provide
resources such as books, pamphlets, audio and visual materials that can be easily accessed without embarrassment to any individual
that needs help or request information.
Use every available means to your ministry or organization
to expose domestic violence and sbuse. There is a wealth of information and resources available to churches, non-profit
organizations and ministries from community organiztions for women, hospitals, safe places, women's shelters, and the internet.
Leaders should assign someone in their ministries to seek out agencies and community organizations (local,
county and state levels) that offer moral support and financial assistance and place that information on your church
bulletins boards, newletters, bookstores or display tables.
Along with your Christian Educastion Classes, Department
or Auxiliaries include Seminars, Workshops and Fellowships for Women, Men and Couples that directly affects these issues,
and allow enough time for open panel dissucsions with the speaker, teacher or educator that can directly address any concerns
or platform regarding abuse and/or domestic violence.
Appoint and designate people that are sensitive in the
Holy spirit that are willing to volunteer to serve in this area of ministry. Everyone is not called to minister to everybody!
The wrong advice can do more harm than good! Someone who is insensitive, can cause irreparable damage and feel
justified by what they've said or even worst be blind to the harm they've done, because they don't possess the sensitivity
necessary to work and/or assist those who have specific needs. Just because they are/were married or have been
in a similar situation doesn't qualify them to counsel someone, especially if they haven't foregone the healing process
in their own lives.
To those in ministry, pray and seek God for directions
and wisdom. Many people will come into your pasture and cross your path, some may even be assigned to your
ministry; that makes you accountable for what happens to that person. You are the watchman, and you must cry
"wolf, bear, lion, snake or even goat!" The blood of the slain sheep will be on your hands if you sit by and do nothing.
Don't ignore the silent cry of the lambs.
article written by Editor, Pastor Loretta Williams