CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

June 27, 2013

Breaking a Confidence to Protect a Friend

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

BREAKING A CONFIDENCE TO PROTECT A FRIEND

When is it OK to break a confidence? My teenage daughter Sandy was confronted with this dilemma when her friend was at risk in an abusive relationship.

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One day, my teenage daughter Sandy sadly confessed that she had to break a friend’s confidence. Her friend, Tracy, trapped in an abusive relationship that she didn’t know how to free herself from. While sharing her difficulties with Sandy over the months Tracy always instructed Sandy not to say anything to anybody.

But the burden became too heavy for Sandy, who believed that her friend was in real danger. She reluctantly shared pertinent details of Tracy’s story with me, all the while feeling like a traitor.

As we helped Tracy out of her situation I told Tracy that Sandy felt she had betrayed her. Tracy’s response surprised us: “I told Sandy because I knew she would tell you.”

Sometimes, what someone says is the opposite of what he or she means. Abuse victims often send hidden cries for help. Identifying the real message (more…)

April 10, 2012

Preach Christian Principles to an Abuse Victim????

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

PREACH CHRISTIAN PRINCIPLES TO AN ABUSE VICTIM????

     Recent statistics confirm former research that one in three (or four) women will experience abuse, even  sexual assault, in their lifetime— many being victims of child sexual abuse.  Studies also confirm that one in four women are victims of domestic violence.

Church congregations include many of these women, who come bearing the effects of their traumatic, destructive, life experiences. Often, dare I say mostly, the pastor is unaware of their congregant’s experiences, their secrets.  And the pastor, rightly, preaches his message according to Biblical principles.

Below are five situations that are common in church congregations:

  • Becky was raped by her father when she was eight years old.
  • Judy was molested by the church organist when she was nine.
  • Mary’s teenage brother played doctor with her at age five.
  • Alice is adopted. Her biological mother gave birth to her out of wedlock.
  • Barb escaped a physically and emotionally abusive husband through divorce.

What are the messages that these women hear preached, not only from the pulpit, but throughout the church? Typically they emphasize the following:

  • to remain sexually pure until marriage—sex is only to be between  wedded husband and wife.
  • that the offspring of a sinful relationship, a relationship between two unwedded persons, is a bastard, illegitimate  (there is actually an adoption website named bastard)
  • that marriage vows state ‘til death you do part

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(to read about Spiritual Obstacles to Leaving Abuse click on http://www.hiddenhurt.co.uk/spiritual_obstacles_to_leaving_abuse.html )

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     From the perspective of the congregant, whether a teenager or an adult, the traditional message only increases their shame, guilt, (more…)

June 30, 2011

Short Life Long Lived

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

SHORT LIFE LONG LIVED

Russell E. Roy

The following poem was written by a board member of the Greater Jamestown Family Support Program, a former child abuse program in Jamestown, Pennsylvania.  It received  funded from a Pennsylvania Children’s Trust Fund grant. Its mission statement was to heal adult survivors of abuse to prevent them from passing their abuse on to their children.

I was pleased to be the facilitator of the grant, which I wrote. I directed the program, presented educational classes to the board and community, and in general performed administrative tasks. In counseling persons who were experiencing problems I learned as much as they did.

Russell E. Roy was blind by the age of 19. He was in his sixties when I came to know him. He delighted in writing poems on a tape recorder, and his friends often called on him to write special poems for their family and friends. He wrote this poem when the Family Support Program ended after a four year run.

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In November of 1990 and one,

The Family Support Program was begun.

Some of us who are here today,

Were not there on that starting day.

We cannot tell the good that was done,

Or the goals that were gained by the race that was run.

Members come and members go,

But the facts live on through the ebb and flow.

As individuals we kept in touch,

We each might think we don’t count for much.

As a group we thought (more…)

February 19, 2010

Laughter Heals Dry Bones

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

LAUGHTER HEALS DRY BONES

 

Proverbs 17:22   A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.  Ezekial 37:4  Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. (KJV)

      Joan sat at our dinner table, her head bowed so low her hair fell into her food and her nose would need to be washed if she leaned forward any closer.

     She was our guest while undergoing three months of intense abuse counseling. As a victim of incest by her father and others, her spirit had become so dry, so buried, she couldn’t raise (more…)

May 25, 2009

Why women stay in abusive relationships: Is this the right question?

CAROLYN’S COMPOSTITIONS

WHY WOMEN STAY IN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS:

IS THIS THE RIGHT QUESTION?

      Why would a woman who’s been savagely beaten by her boyfriend run right back into his arms?

     That was the question people asked when singer Rihanna, who not only didn’t press charges after her boyfriend (singer Chris Brown) allegedly assaulted her in February, but may have even reconciled with him.

     It’s a question asked repeatedly by persons familiar with any abuse situation where the victim returns to a dangerous situation. And it’s a hard situation for most people to understand.

     Most often, the abused woman’s self-esteem is (more…)

April 23, 2009

How to plan to escape from a domestic violence situation

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

HOW TO PLAN TO ESCAPE

FROM A

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ABUSE SITUATION

(learn the signs of domestic violence: http://www.wcspittsburgh.org/page.aspx?pid=354

to read about Spiritual Obstacles to Leaving Abuse click on http://www.hiddenhurt.co.uk/spiritual_obstacles_to_leaving_abuse.html )

      Escaping an abuse situation can be dangerous. The first days, weeks, months, after leaving are the most dangerous days in the relationship. My husband, Monte, a pastor, buried one young woman whose ex-boyfriend returned and gunned down both her and her new boyfriend within weeks of their separation.

     A viable plan is necessary. The steps below need to be carried out cautiously to prevent their detection.

     First, familiarize yourself as best possible with domestic violence services in your community, especially the (more…)

April 20, 2009

Hope for Victims of Domestic Violence

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

HOPE FOR THE VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

 

 

This post is part of a continuing series about child abuse and parenting. At the end of this article are links to the other posts on this subject. If the links do not work, go to www.carolyncholland.wordpress.com , click on the folder CHILD ABUSE, and scroll down the posts to find answers to your questions. Some applicable devotions will be filed in the DEVOTIONS folder.

 

     Although abuse victims learn to accept their worthlessness, there is hope for those who are caught in abusive lifestyles and for adults suffering the effects of childhood abuse, even though remnant effects of the abuse may never leave. The cycle of abuse can be broken—in your own life and in your children’s lives. Abusiveness is learned behavior. As such, it can be (more…)

April 17, 2009

Breaking the Cycle of Abuse: A Devotion

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITONS

BREAKING THE CYCLE OF ABUSE: A DEVOTION

 

SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 25 instructs husbands to “love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church…Christ gave himself for it….men ought to love their wives as their own bodies…two shall be one flesh.”

 

DEVOTION: I have pictures in my files of bruises given to women by their husbands. How could this be if the men loved their wives they way Christ loved the church, as they loved their own bodies, and if they were one flesh? How is it that a spouse will (more…)

April 8, 2008

A PASTOR’S ROLE IN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

A PASTOR’S ROLE IN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Carol J. Adams, is author of Woman-Battering, a pastoral counseling book, and a teacher at Perkins School of Theology, Texas, where she teaches a course on sexual and domestic violence. She said she is angry at seminaries that graduate pastors untrained in domestic violence issues. The following article comes from seminars she presented to pastors a few years ago. (To view photo illustration click on: http://www.flickr.com/photos/carolyncholland/2397849702/ )

One pastor attempted to speak with a woman he knew was experiencing domestic violence, but she “didn’t want to talk about” her marriage problems. She is now divorced.

Another pastor had a woman approach him about her abusive relationship. He made arrangements for her to go to a local woman’s shelter, but she returned to her husband instead. “I was almost feeling kind of guilty. Could I have done more?” the pastor wondered. “But I left the door open (more…)

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