Breaking the Silence of Domestic Violence—”God does NOT want you to be abused…”
From yet another brave woman, telling her story of #DV and survival. Be encouraged as you read her story:
I would just like to say that I am one of those woman who Neil has helped escape the domestic violence that I lived with for too many years. It feels so tremendous to say!! I made a video and every time I think about it, it brings me to tears to think, I was one of those woman. How on earth did that happen. I think it is important for woman to know that it’s not just physical abuse that is considered domestic violence. I endured years of emotional and verbal abuse which eventually turned into what I would say is sexual abuse. I still struggle with excepting that but I am working on it. You don’t even realize it is happening because the abuser is so smooth in their tactics. You begin to question your own thoughts, feelings, and opinions and are ALWAYS trying to say or do the right thing. But it will never be the right thing in his eyes. I think Emotional and verbal abuse are often pushed aside because you have no proof, no bruises to show, but by no means is this to be minimized as anything but domestic violence. All abuse leaves a woman feeling defeated, unworthy, scared and unable to make sound decisions. You are constantly questioning everything you do and say whether it is good enough or was the right thing. I lost all sense of myself, I rarely saw friends and when I did I payed for it with verbal attacks for days afterwards. I felt like I was going crazy. I was told repeatedly that I would never get custody of my children he would say to scare me, I was told I had to have sex because he had needs, I was not allowed to go to family birthdays because he was not welcome because of his actions, this is very minimal to what I could write, but you get the point. I still remember the night before I left. I cried out to God to just rescue me, I knew I alone could do nothing to get out of this situation. I cried to God, alright In your time Lord, I trust you will open the door for me to leave. He answered me in less than 24 hours. You have to understand that for many years I prayed for a way out, but I was not fully leaning on my God, I was to be patient and he would open every door for me that I needed, and he did!! I got an order of protection and filed for divorce. I have been free physically for several months now, but the mental, emotional attacks continue most often daily through text messages, because I am in the custody battle of my life. I know God still has a great plan for me, I (and you) just have to trust him. I still struggle with feeling defeated, constantly checking over my shoulder when I hear familiar noises in public, and whenever I see him I slouch as if I am a beaten dog. I constantly tell myself to sit up straight to not allow him this power, I am a strong woman of God. And as all abused woman know this is very hard to believe when you’ve been told for so long other wise. the churches need to become very aware of domestic violence, because woman seek guidance from their church and when you are constantly told under no circumstance is divorce ok, you feel like you have no way out. This is why I am so thankful for Neil and is commitment to make churches more aware of domestic violence. The church I had been attending at the time made me feel like I was making my situation sound worse than it really was. You have to know that most churches response to divorce in a domestic violence situation is very wrong. God does NOT want you to be abused and would NEVER want you to stay under any circumstances. Neil has helped me understand this, he is a great pastor!!! If you don’t do anything to get yourself free, at least for your sanity put yourself in the word of God daily. Psalms is a wonderful book to read anytime you need a lift in your day. I tell myself and my children EVERYDAY to put on the armor of God. Just try it once it feels funny but, you will feel so empowered.
Armor of God ( you actually have to physically stand up in a room by yourself and pretend you are putting on all this armor)
Belt of Truth- God fills you with truth when Satan is filling you with lies, physically pretend to put on your belt.
Shoes of Peace- he is walking with you and helping you find peace. Physically pretend to put on your shoes.
Sword of the Spirit- hold it in your hand!
Shield of Faith-Hold it in your hand and claim it!
Helmet of Salvation- you are saved, Jesus loves you NO MATTER WHAT YOU have done in the past, present or will do in the future!
Put on the full body Armor of God!! It makes me feel awesome and more confident knowing I am protected. Also, make sure you are surrounded by people that can build you up daily, and reassure you that you are going to be okay and that you are not crazy! I am so thankful for people like Neil, Paula Silva, Susan Murphy-Milano and my mom and sister who always believed me and all of the other woman out there too. There are people who care!!