18 The words of the reckless pierce like swords,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
According to the National Library of Medicine website “
· Family and domestic violence including child abuse, intimate partner abuse, and elder abuse is a common problem in the United States. Family and domestic health violence are estimated to affect 10 million people in the United States every year.
· Domestic violence is a serious and challenging public health problem. Approximately 1 in 3 women and 1 in 10 men 18 years of age or older experience domestic violence. Annually, domestic violence is responsible for over 1500 deaths in the United States.
· Approximately 45 million children will be exposed to violence during childhood.
· Approximately 10% of children are exposed to domestic violence annually, and 25% are exposed to at least 1 event during their childhood.
I didn’t know anything about domestic violence when I was growing up. I don’t remember mom, dad, my cousins, or friends talking about it. I’m not even sure when I became aware of a spouse being verbally or physically abusive. It must have been when I was in Junior or Senior High School.
While attending seminary, a small group of students had the opportunity to sit down with three women who had been physically abused by their husbands. We sat quietly and listened to their terrifying stories of abuse. A woman had been stabbed. Another was hit with a frying pan. A third was thrown down a flight of stairs. They heard examples of a woman having multiple broken bones. Their stories were not about a single incidence of abuse, we learned it was common for a woman to be abused 8-12 times before leaving an abusive relationship.
In my churches, I’ve known of a spouse who would shut down emotionally when there was a problem in their marriage. He would sometimes go for two weeks without speaking to his wife. There was a young woman who was experiencing marital problems and she talked to me about how angry her husband could be. One day she called me in a panic and said they had an argument which ended with a threat of violence. She was afraid of him and wanted to move out right away. Fortunately, she had somewhere she could go. I called three men from the parish and said I needed their help moving someone out of their apartment. They came without asking any questions, but they could tell from the tension in the room that the young woman was scared.
Domestic violence is a serious problem in our city, state, nation, and around the world. Do you know someone who needs help? Tell them about the National Domestic Violence Hotline. 800-799-3224 or www.thehotline.org
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