the Hope of Survivors

15 Key Points On Handling Abuse—Sarah McDugal, Nicole Parker & Jennifer Schwirzer

(From the October 2017 edition of HopeSpeak)

General Principles:
1. What you don’t confess, you don’t repent. And what you don’t repent, you will repeat.
2. Where secrecy dominates, there can be no healing.
3. Keep grace and justice where they belong. Too often we give all the grace to the abusers, and give all the law to the abused.
4. "But it's not my business." Yes it is our business. The church is responsible for showing the character of Christ. Jesus never sat by when someone was being hurt.
5. When step 1 of Matthew 18 is applied in an abuse situation, that’s how victims can get killed.

Victims Under Age 18:
6. Under age 18—no Matthew 18.
7. When there’s abuse (or situations of unequal power) accelerate to part 2 of Matthew 18. Never send an underage victim to confront an abuser.

Genuine Repentance:
8. A repentant abuser (and any safe person) will be willing—even eager—to take on & submit humbly to accountability structures that keep people safe.
9. A truly repentant person won’t point the finger when you provide accountability and accuse, “you just want to make me suffer”.

Spiritual Abuse:
10. When someone pretends to be highly spiritual, but tells the victim that they’re not as spiritual as a way to control them, that's abusive.
11. A spiritually healthy person gives grace to others, and holds themselves to a high standard. A spiritually abusive person holds you to a high standard while excusing their own sins with grace.
12. Holding the victim to unreasonable standards, such as “doesn’t the Bible say you need to forgive me even though i keep violating you?”

Churches & Abuse:
13. Churches/spouses can’t force anyone to change. If an abuser is unwilling to admit fault + surrender to God, the church can't force them. However, the church must stand and say, “this is not ok and we stand united to protect the victim.”
14. No genuinely safe person will excuse abuse. Safe people do not lie, minimize, or seek to avoid accountability that would keep victims safe. If someone does, they are not safe.
15. Nobody murders, becomes sexually addicted, or commits adultery on a whim. These sins are the result of years of numbing one's conscience and rejecting or drifting from God/spouse.

These 15 points are the summary of discussion in a #bucketbrigade facebook live video. They are not intended to be a comprehensive overview of all abuse principles.

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Created by: sarah mcdugal + nicole parker + jennifer schwirzer

The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart...Psalms 34:18