(The Lifeway Research study mentioned in this podcast was sponsored by Autumn Miles. You can read more about the project and resources on Autumn’s website.)
To read the full transcript of the interview, go to page 2.
Why this topic is important to Autumn
“One day, I believed I was going to be killed, or I was going to kill myself, because I couldn’t live in the situation any longer. I told my parents, and we took it to the church. The church did not handle it well. They sided on the side of, “Divorce for no reason, no matter what,” and didn’t support me.
I found myself being abused and my church forsaking me at the same time. That’s why I’m interested in this, because I was this. I lived this. I lived a church, dealing with this very unhealthily, because churches don’t know how to do deal with it sometimes. That’s where my passion comes from.”
Why victims often remain silent
Domestic violence, there’s a lot of brainwashing that takes place. “If you tell your parents, I’ll kill you. If you tell our church, I’ll kill our kids. You’ll never see our kids again.” There’s a lot of brainwashing. There’s a lot of threats.
What do supportive churches do differently than those that are unprepared
Of course, I do hear good stories. I think there are some awesome churches out there that really do come alongside of victims and support their women. Honestly, it’s about equal. I hear about 50 percent good and about 50 percent bad.
The characteristics of the churches that are helpful are those that understand the grace of God. There is almost a righteous anger that someone would mistreat a child of God. Those are those churches that are incredible. These churches:
- Understand how much support this victim needs during this time.
- Surround these women and men with the love of Christ and the grace of God, because that’s what they need during this time.
- Believe the victims.
- Support victims by helping them get access to counseling, a safe place to stay.
- Provide them with practical resources such as little packs of toiletries.
(See the full transcript for the episode –with links–on next page)