Domestic violence series

I mentioned a few weeks back that the issue of domestic violence has been on my mind recently, and things keep popping up about it everywhere I go! This week I read a great piece about it in a Christian periodical, so I've decided to spend the next few posts quoting from the article.

The article is called Clergy Responses to Domestic Violence by Steven R Tracy. It comes from Priscilla Papers, vol 21, no 2. Spring 2007. It's 5000 words long, and most likely copyright in its entirety, so I'm pinching bits and pieces. Everything below is a direct quote unless indicated otherwise, but the quotes are not necessarily in the same order in the article.

Domestic violence is an issue that is probably more common than most people think, but no -one talks about... ever!


Domestic violence is the use or threat of physical violence to control a family member or intimate partner. In other words, it is the use of force to control someone who should be treated with great love and respect.

Domestic violence involves more than just acts that cause physical injury. It involves both the use of physical force and the threat of physical force to control another. And domestic violence that does not cause actual physical injury does cause emotional/psychological injury.

Various research studies reveal that physical and sexual abuse rates are not appreciably lower amongst the churched than the unchurched, but are shockingly high.

[A 1989 study by the Christian Reformed Church (US) based on adults’ self-reporting of previous abuse found that] 28 per cent reported having experienced at least one of three types of abuse – physical abuse or neglect, sexual abuse or emotional abuse.]

In general, 22-33 per cent of American women will be assaulted by intimate partners in their lifetimes.

The Surgeon General (US) has reported that domestic violence accounts for more adults female emergency room visits than traffic accidents, muggings and rapes combined, and is the greatest single cause of injury to American women.