S.O.S. My Sister's Story
August 11, 2018
Updated October 9, 2018
3 comments 375 views
This story is part of our SOS series - We are unsure of the source of this story as it came to us as a letter in the mail, with no return address. Some details were changed slightly to protect those who may wish not to be identified.
My sister was date raped when she was 15 years old. She became pregnant so they “had” to get married. They had to stand up before the church and confess to the sin of the seventh commandment. She was 16 years old for one day when her first child was born. Ten months later the second one was born, then 10 months later another one was born. When she had five, she just disappeared. She left.
Her husband came over to my house and told me that he would call her on his way home from his job driving a truck. He said he told her to have his dinner ready and be ready to have sex with him. That could happen at 2 am or 4 pm or whatever time he was going to be home. He was laughing when he said this.
My sister told me once about a “family visitation” by her pastor and an elder. When they asked her about her spiritual life, she told them that sometimes her husband beat her. Their response was “Grandpa VanBeek beets grandma VanBeek; do you think that you’re better than grandma VanBeek?” Of course not. She did not go into detail about the why of the beatings. If she did not want sex, and resisted, that is when he would beat her.
So, five children were raised without a mother in the home. Their lives have been greatly complicated as a result. My sister, of course, had not finished school; but she managed to get a job and make a life for herself. A few years later, she resumed contact with her children.
The last two years of her husband’s life, one of their daughters came to stay with him to care for him. He attempted to rape her; when she resisted he tried to kill her. She managed to get her cell phone and call the police. She went to the hospital. He was arrested and went to jail. He died in jail.
Tragic lives, all because one selfish man felt entitled to demand sex whenever he wanted it, without regard for anyone else.
This is a different time; perhaps none of this could ever happen again. However, it’s difficult to know if it’s happening or not as these issues often remain hidden. There is such a great need for a “safe church”, and it is encouraging to see something being done to get us there. It is important that pastors, as well as elders and deacons have training in how to deal with problems that arise, so that we can ensure our churches are safe places. God’s speed to Safe Church Ministry.
Domestic abuse still is a very prevalent problem that leaves a wake of devastation in families, churches, and communities. We believe that the church has an important role to play. Greater understanding and a compassionate responses can make all the difference. Safe Church Ministry has gathered and created resources about domestic abuse, and how the church can help. It takes all of us working together to make our churches safer for everyone. Think about how a different response from the church could have made a positive difference in the life of this family.
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How incredibly sad. My heart is aching for this lady and what she suffered, and her children...and all the other women this man abused, because a man like him does not usually stop there...
And God's heart aches and weeps a thousand times more, because He loves us all so and does not want His children to harm anyone.
In my Christian circles there are women who stayed with abusive spouses because who was going to help them. Especially when they were taught you have to submit, the husband rules, suffering is for your good....
If church is not a safe place where anyone who asks for help will be helped and abusers will be held to account then it is not a church, it it a place of torment.
Bless your hearts... I hope and pray, that your family is experiencing God's healing in your inner beings... that you know that you are a new creation in Christ, beautiful, spotless, pure and holy... as part of His family. The stories are heart breaking, but so necessary and I hope healing in some way for those who are sharing them as well as for others. Know that God is using your voice, on behalf of your sister and others that have similar experiences, to help bring justice to and refine His Bride, that the dross will be consumed... as these abusive situations are exposed, this unholy behavior will no longer be tolerated and those who do such will be held accountable, instead of protected... not out of vengeance, but to protect others that might be harmed in the future, and for their own souls.
Ironically, 80+% of pastors think their church is a safe place for DV victims... while... 96% of domestic violence (DV) victims that have gone to the church for help do NOT recommend going to the church. HUGE disconnect!
I am responding very late to this story. Its beyond heartbreaking. I have passed this story on to a church pastor who is responding to DV. He is responding very well and gets it. I am also passing it on to local church safe ministry teams to heighten their awareness, as I work in our classes in BC as an Abuse Prevention & Response Coordinator.
Hearing the real stories is so important to the education of the church and its leadership. I applaud this author for writing this story. It will be used for educational purposes in our classis.
I pray God's grace and healing will surround the whole family that has been victimized in this story. I pray the church will wake up and learn how to respond in supportive and healing, rather than destructive ways.
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