in an abusive relationship is already dealing with a seriously impaired sense of self-esteem and distroted discernment. And
these are constantly being attacked in an aggressive systematic manner by the abuser.
filters every word through the "abuser screen" before uttering it. She tries to anticipate and diplomatically
control his reactions, but the crazy unpredictability of the abuser keeps her constantly off
She has been
programmed by the abuser to feel that anything she does for herself is wrong and selfish.
She is often counseled
to stay in the marriage and hope for the best. If she follows this advice, the church officially approves, but
individually, fellow Christians have trouble hiding their contempt and condescension.
If she divorces, she
often faces eccleciastical disapproval, with the fickle congregation following suit.
is damned if she does and damned if she doesn't.
So called Christian Counselors further chip away
at the victims self-esteem by blaming them in part for the abuse with such statements as: "You've
taught him he can get away with..."
Who can the victim be completely honest with about her situation
and maintain the respect of her family, friends and fellow church members while she struggles to make the
Friends and family become disgusted with her and so sick of the situation
that they often abandon her, or become so condescending she refuses to turn to them for support.
withdraws from most everyone and shuns new
friendships, so her isolation becomes complete.
ends up with no support except the abuser, who usually professes to love and care for her, and doesn't hesitate
to point out that she has no true friends.
In order to find the inner strength and resources needed to
escape her situation, the victim needs the unconditional support of her family and friends.
And the sad
truth is, this is often not available.