Conflict is inevitable and normal in all relationships. However, if conflict or anger is not managed effectively it can lead to abusive behaviors. Domestic violence, also referred to as intimate partner violence, is a pattern of abusive behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship. These destructive behaviors strike at the very heart of relationship safety and trust, fracturing its foundation and giving Satan entrance. Some examples of domestic violence include: hitting, slapping, punching, kicking, throwing, biting, restraining, or any act of physical coercion or violence directed at another person. Physical control and intimidation are abusive even if this does not lead to visible injury of the victim. Some resources about domestic violence and related topics are linked below.
For Further Information:
Emotionally Destructive Marriage
This site has articles, videos, and resources to help identify and set appropriate boundaries with destructive behavior in the marriage relationship. [Leslie Vernick]
Domestic Violence Help: Developing a Safety Plan [Focus Ministries]
Domestic Violence – What is it? – This site contains information and a diagram (the power and control wheel) that help identify domestic violence.
Domestic Violence, Domestic Abuse and Spousal Abuse Help For Women. FOCUS Ministries is a not-for-profit organization devoted to offering hope, encouragement, education, and assistance to women who are struggling in difficult circumstances, especially dysfunctional marriages, spousal abuse, separation or divorce.
National Domestic Violence Hotline
This free service is staffed by advocates 24/7/365 and is reachable by phone 1-800-799-7233 [SAFE] or online chat. They provide support, information, and can connect individuals with local resources and shelters. Advocates are available just to talk or can help someone in need of crisis intervention.
Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No, To Take Control of Your Life
Authors: Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend
This 304-page book is about developing emotional and relational boundaries. It focuses on helping you take responsibility for your own actions and to not let others run over your boundaries by using guilt, anger, or manipulation.
The Emotionally Destructive Relationship
Author: Leslie Vernick; 256 pages
This practical and thorough resource will help countless individuals, families, and churches view abuse from God’s perspective and understand how vital it is for victims to embrace His freedom from the physical, emotional, spiritual, and generational effects of emotionally destructive relationships. Readers will understand how to:
- Reveal behaviors that are meant to control, punish, and hurt.
- Confront and speak truth when the timing is right.
- Determine when to keep trying, when to get out.
- Get safe and stay safe.
- Build an identity in Christ.
The Emotionally Destructive Marriage
Author: Leslie Vernick
This 240-page book helps the reader identify damaging behavior and gain skills to respond in a wise and biblically sound manner. It provides insights that promote healthy change within an abusive relationship.
Angry Men and the Women Who Love Them: Breaking the Cycle of Physical & Emotional Abuse
Author: Paul Hegstorm
This 152-page book offers help for those who want to break the cycle of physical and emotional abuse. This book discusses both stopping the abuse and the process of healing and recovery and is helpful for individuals in an abusive relationship as well as for those trying to help them.