Dealing with Abuse

By Marilyn Pritchard

You don't have to deal with abuse!

You are a treasure.

Let that sink in.

God knit you together in your mother’s womb. He knew you and loved you before you were born (Ps. 139:13-16). “See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are” (1 John 3:1a, NLT)!

Nothing can change that fact.

If you, or someone you know, is dealing with abuse, here’s what you need to know:

1.  It’s not your fault. Nothing you have done or will do excuses the abuser’s behavior.

2.  You don’t deserve this. Every human being deserves to be treated with kindness and respect.

3.  You can’t change someone else. You will never “be” good enough to change them. They have to want to change.

4.  There is hope. “We who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us” (Heb. 6:18b-20a).

5.  You are not alone. Help is available. If you don’t have anyone you trust to confide in, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, more than one in three women (35.6%) and more than one in four men (28.5%) in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

There are many types of abuse — physical, verbal, emotional, financial, and sexual, to name the most common. The abuser may not be your spouse or significant other; it could be a boss, co-worker, family member, spiritual leader, or even an acquaintance. Abuse can take the form of harassment, stalking, excessive or abusive texting, or online intimidation.

So what can you do? Here is what  National Domestic Violence Hotline recommends:

1.  Practice self-care. Make sure you meet your basic needs, such as adequate sleep, regular meals and physical activity. Other ways of practicing self-care may involve seeking counseling, attending a support group, praying, talking to friends, or taking up a hobby.

2.  Create a safety plan. This may include practical ways of remaining safe while in a relationship, as well as a personalized plan to leave the relationship, if necessary, and remaining safe after leaving.

3.  Reach out for help. Confide in a trusted friend, family member, or counselor. You can also call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

We at Just Between Us (JBU) want to help. We’ve compiled a list of articles about dealing with abuse─perhaps one of them will speak to your circumstances. We encourage you to pray, seek godly counsel, and reach out to a trusted friend. You can also contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

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