Health Ministry

MVPC offers these programs to help us to be good managers of our bodies and to promote healing and wellness.  
MVPC acknowledged National Breast Cancer Awareness Month on

Sunday October 15, 2017

at both services.  We wore PINK to show  support for breast cancer survivors, those currently doing battle with the disease, and those who are now gone but not forgotten.
 

October 15, 2017

 
Domestic Violence and Abuse
What does it bring to mind? The police calls, beatings, battered women and children, and hospital visits?  Naturally it does, because those are the big news items we hear about much too often. I want to discuss other parts of the equation to which most of us don’t give much thought: mental abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, and spiritual abuse.  The goal of the abuser is to shatter self-esteem and self-will, to instill self-doubt, shame and isolation, and to control the abused.  Many of us either witnessed such things, or have been victims ourselves. Women AND men suffer from these forms of abuse, and need support and help. Nearly 
* (NCADV) have suffered from domestic violence and/or abuse. Physical battering may leave visible scars, but battering with words, negative attitude and controlling actions leave invisible scars that run deep and sometimes last forever. 

Abusers have often been abused themselves. They are typically private bullies with low self-esteem who feel out of control of their circumstances or environment. They can be masters of manipulating, even convincing the victim that the abuse is all their own fault. Battering someone they love seems to serve the abuser by elevating their self-esteem, and providing a sense of power and control.  Often, they outwardly seem to be the perfect mate or parent. Those who live with them know a side of them that is rarely, if ever, shown to others.  But they also know the sweet, loving side that made the victim fall in love with the abuser in the first place.  Theirs is a complicated situation.  Many victims elect to stay with their abuser. Most are afraid to let friends and family know the truth of their dysfunctional relationship. So, why do they stay?

Some barriers to escaping a violent/abusive relationship:

The fear that the abuser’s actions will become more violent if the victim attempts to leave.

Unsupportive friends and family
  • Knowledge of the difficulties of single parenting and reduced financial circumstances
  • The victim feeling that the relationship is a mix of good times, love and hope along with the manipulation, intimidation and fear.
  • The victim’s lack of knowledge of or access to safety and support
  • Fear of losing custody of any children if they leave or divorce their abuser or fear the abuser will hurt, or even kill, their children
  • Lack of means to support themselves and/or their children financially or lack of access to cash, bank accounts, or assets
  • Nowhere to go (e.g. no friends or family to help, no money for hotel, shelter programs are full or limited by length of stay)
  • Fear that homelessness may be their only option if they leave
  • Religious or cultural beliefs and practices may not support divorce or may dictate outdated gender roles and keep the victim trapped in the relationship
  • Anxiety about a decline in living standards for themselves and their children
  • Belief that two parent households are better for children, despite abuse
Some societal barriers to escaping a violent/abusive relationship:
 
Reinforcement of clergy and secular counselors of “saving” a couple’s relationship at all costs, rather than the goal of stopping the violence.

Dissuasion by police of the victim filing charges.

Despite the issuing of a restraining order, there is little to prevent a released abuser from returning and repeating abuse.

There are not enough shelters to keep victims safe.

Some religious and cultural practices stress that divorce is forbidden.

The rationalization of the victim that their abuser’s behavior is caused by stress, alcohol, problems at work, unemployment, or other factors.

Isolation from friends and families, either by the jealous and possessive abuser, or because they feel “ashamed” of the abuse and try to hide signs of it from the outside world. The isolation contributes to a sense that there is nowhere to turn.

Inconsistency of abuse; during non-violent phases, the abuser may fulfill the victim’s dream of romantic love. The victim may also rationalize the abuser is basically good until something bad happens and they need to “let off steam.” 

What Can I do?

Don’t be afraid to gently inquire if your friend or family member is OK, if you suspect something. Support that person by listening. Do not try to “fix it”. Do not trivialize their experience. Do not be judgmental. DO offer the phone # of a local shelter or hotline, and uplift them all in prayer..

For anonymous, confidential help available 24/7, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) now.  *For more information, go to  https://www.ncadv.org