Counselling Christian Women on How to Deal With Domestic Violence

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9781921513503: Counselling Christian Women on How to Deal With Domestic Violence
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"Lynne Baker shows her compassion and determination to wake the religious and secular communities to action and care. " — Len Matthews, Salvation Army

This book takes a very real look into the lives of Christian women who cope with domestic abuse on a daily basis. It explores their experiences of physical, verbal, emotional, sexual, financial, and spiritual abuse at the hands of their perpetrator husbands who claim themselves to be good Christians. Through extensive interviews combined with academic research, the reader comes face to face with the complexity of issues surrounding such domestic abuse and how counselling can be effective through the encouragement of a variety of religious and non-religious coping strategies. Of interest to victims of domestic abuse, as well as to the members of the clergy, psychologists, and counsellors, this book shows there is a place in the Christian church for women to separate and to be divorced without losing their faith.

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About the Author:

Dr Lynne M. Baker completed her PhD focusing on the coping strategies employed by Christian women experiencing domestic violence. Lynne has worked as a teacher and lecturer and as a counsellor with Salvo Care Line, during which time she assisted clients in areas of domestic violence, relationship crisis, suicide, crisis intervention, and welfare relief. She also provided support, guidance and debriefing for counsellors working with clients experiencing similar issues.

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This publication is an outcome of an investigation into the experiences, and in particular the coping strategies, of Christian women who identify themselves as victims of domestic abuse. In this setting, Christian women are viewed as a unique group who, while remaining part of society as a whole, are not only confronted with what might be considered the usual issues surrounding domestic abuse but also faced with the potential complication of these issues as a result of their belief system. Each chapter progressively builds an image of the difficulties confronting Christian women who are victims of domestic abuse, and provides an accurate coverage of their stories in relation to both secular and religious experiences. Excerpts from the interview transcripts are utilised throughout to highlight the significance of particular issues in the lives of the women.
Domestic abuse is identified as a multifaceted issue that has the potential to permeate every aspect of the life of the victim as well as the members of her family. Not only has domestic abuse permeated secular society, it is also found within the Christian church, where it presents substantial difficulty for women who desire to practise their faith but find conflict between the teachings of their church and the need to protect themselves and their children, physically and/or emotionally, from the damaging effects of domestic abuse. This book identifies power and control as key elements of domestic abuse, particularly when set within a patriarchal societal structure that fosters the subjugation of women.
Each of the 20 women who chose to share their stories has been allocated a pseudonym, and is introduced according to her age, profession, denomination, current family, the length of her marriage and her current marital status. The women come from diverse backgrounds, both professional and religious, vary in age from 26 to 70 years, and report a variety of experiences within their respective denominations (chapter 2).
The experiences of the women include the forms of abuse they suffered and some of the obstacles with which they were forced to deal, sometimes on a daily basis. Forms of abuse experienced include physical, verbal, emotional, sexual, social, financial, spiritual, property and child abuse. The ongoing nature of domestic abuse, combined with the effect of the cycle of violence, often results in extreme confusion for the victim, who frequently endeavours to pacify the perpetrator and maintain a harmonious balance within the household. The image of perpetrators presented by the women highlights the issues of power, domination and control, together with the intimidating and manipulative means by which perpetrators choose to maintain their power base (chapters 3 and 4).
The key theological issues pertaining to Christian women who are victims of domestic abuse are presented in a sequence of three chapters that focus individually on the Scriptural principles of forgiveness (chapter 5), marriage as a sacred union (chapter 6), and female submission to male headship (chapter 7). The foundational principles of specific Scriptures are discussed with regard to issues of context, setting and culture, with particular consideration being given to their operation and relevance in the light of domestic abuse situations. Such Scriptures, if misused, have the potential to create extreme difficulty for Christian women who are victims of domestic abuse. It has been indicated, however, that the scriptural principles in question in no way support domestic abuse in any form, nor do they condemn a victim who chooses to remove herself from an abusive relationship.
The specific coping strategies employed by Christian women who are victims of domestic abuse are expounded. A variety of strategies emerged, both religious and nonreligious, in addition to a blend of both problem-focused and emotion-focused approaches. Their Christian faith proved to be extremely important, and also effective, in the lives of the women represented. The choice of religious coping strategies included maintaining a relationship with God, praying, and drawing encouragement from Scripture and from scriptural song. Nonreligious strategies included focusing on the children, turning to activities, reading as a source of learning and encouragement, and planning a specific course of action (chapter 8).
As a final gesture, the women offer advice, based upon their own experiences, to both victims of domestic abuse and to members of the clergy who desire to support and encourage those women seeking their assistance. Victims of domestic abuse are advised to maintain their faith in God, not to accept abuse, and to constantly seek assistance, because domestic abuse is not their fault. Separation (and subsequent divorce) is presented as a viable option, with the choice of action remaining with the individual woman. Members of the clergy are advised by the women to listen attentively and believe the victim, while demonstrating unconditional love and respect and refraining from judgment. Additionally, they are encouraged to ensure that they become informed on matters of domestic abuse, avoid issues that can potentially inflame the situation (such as theological understandings of female submission to male headship), and exhibit a willingness to confront the perpetrator regarding his behaviour. Ultimately, it is recommended that the church as a whole, adopt a proactive approach to domestic abuse. This includes denouncing injustice, developing relevant policies, and networking with churches and professional organisations within the greater community (chapter 9).
This publication highlights the ongoing need for the Christian church as whole to remain relevant to current society by continuing to offer practical and meaningful assistance to those in need. While this particular book relates specifically to the requirements of Christian women and their experiences of domestic abuse, the universal maxim of listening to the voice of experience can be aptly applied.

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Book Description Australian Academic Press, Australia, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. General ed.. Language: English. Brand new Book. This book takes a very real look into the lives of Christian women who cope with domestic abuse on a daily basis. It explores their experiences of physical, verbal, emotional, sexual, financial, and spiritual abuse at the hands of their perpetrator husbands who claim to be good Christians. Through extensive interviews combined with academic research, the reader comes face to face with the complexity of issues surrounding such domestic abuse and how counselling can be effective through the encouragement of a variety of religious and non-religious coping strategies. Seller Inventory # APC9781921513503

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Book Description Australian Academic Press, Australia, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. General ed.. Language: English. Brand new Book. This book takes a very real look into the lives of Christian women who cope with domestic abuse on a daily basis. It explores their experiences of physical, verbal, emotional, sexual, financial, and spiritual abuse at the hands of their perpetrator husbands who claim to be good Christians. Through extensive interviews combined with academic research, the reader comes face to face with the complexity of issues surrounding such domestic abuse and how counselling can be effective through the encouragement of a variety of religious and non-religious coping strategies. Seller Inventory # APC9781921513503

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Book Description Australian Academic Press, Australia, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. General ed.. Language: English. Brand new Book. This book takes a very real look into the lives of Christian women who cope with domestic abuse on a daily basis. It explores their experiences of physical, verbal, emotional, sexual, financial, and spiritual abuse at the hands of their perpetrator husbands who claim to be good Christians. Through extensive interviews combined with academic research, the reader comes face to face with the complexity of issues surrounding such domestic abuse and how counselling can be effective through the encouragement of a variety of religious and non-religious coping strategies. Seller Inventory # LIE9781921513503

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Book Description Australian Academic Press. Paperback. Condition: New. 288 pages. Dimensions: 8.4in. x 5.5in. x 0.8in.Lynne Baker shows her compassion and determination to wake the religious and secular communities to action and care. Len Matthews, Salvation ArmyThis book takes a very real look into the lives of Christian women who cope with domestic abuse on a daily basis. It explores their experiences of physical, verbal, emotional, sexual, financial, and spiritual abuse at the hands of their perpetrator husbands who claim themselves to be good Christians. Through extensive interviews combined with academic research, the reader comes face to face with the complexity of issues surrounding such domestic abuse and how counselling can be effective through the encouragement of a variety of religious and non-religious coping strategies. Of interest to victims of domestic abuse, as well as to the members of the clergy, psychologists, and counsellors, this book shows there is a place in the Christian church for women to separate and to be divorced without losing their faith. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9781921513503

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