I recently wrote a letter to ministers, entitled ‘Things I wish you understood: An open letter to ministers from a family violence survivor’. One private response encouraged me to reflect and share on the experience of coming forward in the church. Perhaps these observations on my own experience might be helpful.
I am a family violence survivor. My experiences are somewhat different than those of others, which makes me hesitant to speak, lest someone tell me ‘that’s not really abuse.’ Yet, when I sit in church, during sermons on marriage, gender roles and divorce and I struggle. As I struggle, I think to myself ‘there are some things this minister could do to help me right now. I wonder if they know that?’