An Ounce of Prevention


"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." - Benjamin FranklinDo you want to help prevent abuse? Do you part by learning more about it.

Because it’s so prevalent among us, abuse needs to be a concern of churches and church leaders. We need to be active in preventing abuse. As well, we need to be ready to respond to those who have been hurt by abuse. If you would like to do your part in preventing and responding to abuse, begin by learning about it. Here are some excellent resources:

Responding to Domestic Violence (Faith Alive, 2002)

This handbook helps pastors and other church leaders respond to and prevent domestic violence. It includes resources for premarital counseling, addressing legal issues, and a variety of other topics. Author Beth Swagman, forner director of Safe Church Ministry for the Christian Reformed Church, carefully and candidly describes the dynamics of domestic violence, characteristics and behaviors of victims and offenders, treatment and spiritual issues, the pastor's and congregation's response, and victims' safety plans.

Bethesda: Come to the Water (Faith Alive, 2009)

This Bible study is especially for women who have suffered abuse or who are hurting in other ways. The guidebook is a resource for group members, but it can also be used individually as a workbook. It provides plans for ten biblically based sessions, selected to address a foundational Christian concept that is relevant to the experience of abuse and other forms of emotional pain. Each session includes a creative, experiential learning activity to engage group members at different levels and in different ways.

Emotional Abuse: what you should know (CRCNA, 2005)

This valuable resource provides foundational knowledge about emotional abuse, definitions, signs, effects, reporting and what you should do.

Other Resources: Wheels

The "Power and Control Wheel" has been used for many years to describe the central power and control dynamic that operates in many kinds of abusive relationships. Abuse is not always physical or sexual; there are many other ways that power and control can be maintained in a relationship. By contrast, the 'Equality Wheel' shows characteristics of a relationship that is based on equality and respect. The 'Faith Leaders Wheel' shows how churches and faith communities can make a positive difference in preventing and responding to abuse in relationships.

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Hello, just spending a few moments going through some older network posts here via safe church, and the link to the CRCNA 2005 emotional abuse report did not work... just wondering what happened... thanks.  Bev

Community Builder

Thanks Bev, we'll have recently made a list of Network articles for review and revision and perhaps deletion. We have done a better job updating our website than keeping our Network pages updated. Our booklet about Emotional Abuse is available from Faith Alive.