For two years my ex-husband stalked, hounded and harassed my son and me. He jumped out of bushes, hid in my backyard, kicked in my front door and held me at gunpoint several times.
People often ask how to help when they suspect that a loved one is in an abusive situation. My advice? Offer them a non-judgmental place to talk. Help them think through an escape plan. Most important, pray with and for them. Find out what resources are available in your area. Help your loved one to access those resources.
My friends told me: “If you need a place to go, I am here for you.” “If you need to talk, I am here for you.” They never asked, “Why do you stay?” They never judged me before or after I left.
Today I no longer view myself as a victim of domestic violence. I am survivor. I am happily married to a good Christian man (Lutheran, like me), who loves my son and me unconditionally. He’s loved me with all my baggage and through all of my doubts that I could be loved and my fears that things would never be different.
“It can happen to anyone” was excerpted from the All Anew devotional coloring book produced by Women of the ELCA and Gather magazine. Today we remember Henry, Bishop of Uppsala, martyr, who died in 1156.
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