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Help for Victims of Domestic Abuse

“Violence against women is a global public health problem of epidemic proportion, requiring urgent action,” says the World Health Organization. That organization estimates that almost 30 percent “of all women who have been in a relationship have experienced physical and/or sexual violence” by their partner. And a UN report estimates that in one recent year, 137 women died each day around the world at the hands of their partner or another family member. *

Statistics may reveal the magnitude of the problem of domestic abuse, but they cannot begin to describe the emotional and physical pain that each victim suffers.

Are you a victim of domestic abuse? Or do you know someone who is? If so, consider the following points from the Bible that can help.

 Domestic abuse is not your fault

 Help is available

 You are not alone

 Domestic abuse will end

 How you can help a victim

 Domestic abuse is not your fault

What the Bible says: “Each of us will render an account for himself to God.”—Romans 14:12.

Remember this: Your abuser is responsible for his actions.

If your partner blames you for the abuse he inflicts, he is wrong. Wives deserve to be loved, not abused.—Colossians 3:19.

At times, an abuser’s actions may be influenced by a personality disorder, his family background, or the misuse of alcohol. Even so, he is accountable to God for the way he treats you. And he is responsible to do what it takes to change his actions.

 Help is available

What the Bible says: “There is accomplishment through many advisers.”—Proverbs 15:22.

Remember this: If you feel unsafe or do not know what to do, others can help.

Why may you need help from others? Domestic abuse is a complex situation. When deciding how to deal with it, you may struggle to weigh factors that seem to compete with each other, such as:

  • Your personal safety

  • The well-being of your children

  • Your financial situation

  • Your love for your partner

  • A desire to salvage the relationship if your partner changes his actions

Naturally, you may feel confused and overwhelmed. Who can you turn to for help?

A trusted friend or family member may be able to provide practical and emotional support. Talking to someone who cares for you can make a big difference.

Hotlines for victims of domestic violence may offer immediate support. Those who work these hotlines can help you develop a safety plan. If your partner acknowledges his problem and sincerely wants to change, a hotline may be able to help him with the first steps he needs to take.

Other emergency resources can help you if you are in immediate danger. These resources may include doctors, nurses, or other trained professionals.

 You are not alone

What the Bible says: “Jehovah * is close to the brokenhearted; he saves those who are crushed in spirit.”—Psalm 34:18.

Remember this: God promises to help you.

Jehovah cares deeply about you. (1 Peter 5:7) He understands your deepest thoughts and emotions. He can comfort you through His Word, the Bible. And he invites you to pray to him. When you pray, you can ask him to give you the wisdom and strength you need to deal with your situation.—Isaiah 41:10.

 Domestic abuse will end

What the Bible says: “They will dwell, each one under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one will make them afraid.”—Micah 4:4, footnote.

Remember this: The Bible promises a time in the near future when the home will be a peaceful place for everyone.

Jehovah God has the only complete and permanent solution to all of our problems. The Bible promises: “He will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore.” (Revelation 21:4) At that time, even bad memories will fade away as they are replaced with good ones. (Isaiah 65:17) This is the peaceful future that the Bible offers you.

^ par. 2 This article refers to the victim as female, but many of the points discussed also apply to male victims.

^ par. 29 Jehovah is God’s name as revealed in the Bible.