10 Ways To Properly Control Domestic Violence
Oh no! What do I do now? This I asked myself as I stood there, pale and frozen. My wife lay still in front of me, her head oozing with blood. I had done it again but this time, for the last time. Two hours later, I was in the cell. I had turned myself in. Standing there, the gruesome events of my childhood stared right at me in the face. I was no different. Just like my dad, I was a monster.
How would you feel if as a child of God, you were constantly abused by God just because He is your Father and at the same time your Creator, the Almighty who has all power over you? The thought itself is unbearable. You would be living like a slave in hell and not a son. No one can survive this. Unfortunately, this is the painful life some people are subjected to; all thanks to domestic violence. Suffering from domestic violence is like living in hell on earth. But, first, what do we mean by domestic violence?
Violence on its own is any action that is aimed at causing destruction, pain, or suffering. The word ‘domestic’ has to do with issues pertaining to the home. So in simple terms, domestic violence is any action aimed at causing destruction, pain, and suffering in the home. According to Wikipedia, domestic violence is any act of abuse that occurs in a domestic setting, such as in a marriage or cohabitation.
Domestic violence is caused by a number of factors including poverty, unemployment, historical factors, self-defense, mental problems, and the likes. It could be expressed physically by beating, slapping, punching, verbally through foul and insulting words, sexually, financially by dominating all finances without consent of the other, emotionally, psychologically or even as neglect.
In every way, it is filled with disadvantages too many to number which could include inflicting injuries and permanent scars, loss of identity, mental problems, depression, shame, stigmatization, transfer of these harmful traits to the progeny, death, and most of all, it does not create an atmosphere fit for God’s indwelling (Eph. 4:30). God detests violence and people who are violent do not bring Him pleasure (Zeph. 1:9, Ezek.8:17).
For such woe as this, it is important to seek ways to control or mitigate it. If we are to preserve God’s beautiful creation, shine the light, and live the abundant life He desires for us, acts like domestic violence have to be done without (Jn. 10:10). With the following points, we shall consider some ways of controlling domestic violence. These are:
Have you ever been in a situation where you feel like you are being choked, with no air and no way out? I may not know if you have, but this is what some people face courtesy of domestic violence. However, the good news is that there is a way out– God. Sounds too simple, right? But believe me, it’s really that simple. The Bible tells us to pray when we are afflicted (Jas.5:13).
Countless times in the Bible, David prayed to be delivered from oppression (Ps.6:4, 10:17-18, 59:1, 140:12). Was God faithful? Sure, He was and He still is today. You just have to pour out your heart to Him in sincerity and brokenness of heart. It is amazing to know that God does not discuss our problems with the whole world but gives us the wisdom and grace to overcome them (Jas.1:5, 2 Cor.12:9). Another amazing thing about God is that He is the changer of hearts (Ezek.36:26).
I mean, He changed Paul; so whose heart is too hard? Commit that heart to God and watch how He transforms it beyond your wildest imagination. Intercession by friends, children, and others should not be left out too. Domestic violence is not a mountain too big before God. In fact, you’d be pleased to know that when God delivers someone, He is glorified and pleased. Cry out to God right now because He hears.
2) THE WORD OF GOD:
The Word of God is a mirror (Jas. 1:23-25). It shows you exactly how and who you are. If an abuser, your reflection is right there, no shadows. In God’s Word, you see how you should behave towards one another and it shows you when you have gone wrong in the relationship. I am pretty sure that no verse of Scripture encourages insulting, slapping, or abusing. Rather, it preaches love and respect for one another (1 Jn.3:18, 1 Pet. 3:7). If we are truly to obey God’s word, then domestic violence will not even be mentioned amongst us. The Word of God transforms.
Is there any who may be an abuser? Study God’s Word and let it refine you and make you who He wants you to be. Or are you a victim of abuse? God’s Word will give you hope. His promises are yea and Amen and they hold true (2 Cor. 1:20). He will show you the way out as you devote yourself to the study of His Word. Being an abuser is not a characteristic of someone who knows God’s Word. Study it and let your mindset and life be changed.
As a child, I know that if I litter the floor, I will incur the wrath of my parents. To this end, I try as hard as I can to not do this. In a relationship with one who may be an abuser especially one who you are trusting God to work on, it is important not to use words that provoke him/her to anger.
Usually, most perpetrators of domestic violence are easily flared up by tiny careless words and could end up doing things they would later regret. If we are to minimize the rate of domestic violence, then we should be mindful of our words, actions, and certain impulses that could trigger violence (Jas. 1:19). After making a nasty comment like, “I didn’t know all men are fools”, you should not expect a partner who is an abuser to just smile from a distance, pat you on the back and hug you. In fact, you might as well expect to be suffocated. There is no smoke without fire, mind what you say. If you don’t, you may not enjoy the outcome.
In addition, just as Christ would do, we should not repay insult for insult because if we do, we might as well get ready for an inferno (Rom. 12:17-20). It is also necessary to rely on God to help deal with any issues of anger. With the Holy Spirit’s help, we can learn to exercise self-control and in this way control domestic violence to a large extent in a relationship.
4) SPEAK OUT:
God Himself who is all-knowing requires us to speak out (Matt. 7:7). Why then would one think otherwise? If we never speak out, our problems die with us. Using the story earlier narrated as an example, the woman in question may have never spoken out. Consequently, she died emotionally and then physically. Who knows, maybe if she had spoken out, someone may have come to her rescue.
Although in a continent like Africa, speaking out sometimes comes with the problem of marginalization and stigmatization, left to me I’d rather prefer I speak out now, suffer a little criticism but get help rather than keep shut and die in silence. How about you?
5) PROPER CHILD UPBRINGING:
Recently, my brother started making dominating statements like, “Don’t you know I’m the man?”, “I’m the heir of this house and whether you guys like it or not, only what I say stands”. Now, imagine he grows up with this mentality, won’t his future family be in danger?
Thank God my mom intervened and quickly reprimanded him. But rather sadly, it is common to see this mentality, especially among the male folks in Africa. Almost all their lives, they are undoubtedly treated by their parents and others as better and more deserving of love, care, attention, and resources than females. Because they are the heads and this false feeling of dominion is infused into them right from when they are young, they ensure that they lord it over everyone, their wives and children inclusive.
This is not to be so. In Christ, although the man is head over the woman, we are all one. We are both children of Abraham and co-heirs with Christ (Gal. 3:26-29). If parents can get this ingrained in the minds of their children especially the males, then the lower the risk of domestic violence and the better for us all.
If I never know that a pit is right in front of me, then the probability of falling into it is high. If people do not know the dangers of domestic violence (to not just them but others around them), the signs and symptoms of abuse, or how to identify a potential abuser, then they are at risk of being affected. Homes, schools, churches, and reputable organizations should be actively involved in educating all to minimize this scourge.
Through books, magazines, websites, newspapers, and commercials, people can be made to see it for what it is. Then no matter how it is masked, it will be unmasked. Also, spreading the word on social media with engaging captions and hashtags will go a long way.
Our Lord Jesus when He was on earth made it His utmost priority to preach the good news to everyone including the oppressed as well as the oppressor (Lk.4:43). He also gave it to us as an assignment (Matt.28:19-20). If we do not preach the message by creating awareness, how will any be saved?
7) DIALOGUE AND MEDIATION (Matt. 18:15-17):
Since not all abuse is physical, one can sit his/her partner down and talk about the issues they are not so comfortable with. For example, if I don’t like the way my partner dominates our finances or tongue lashes me, I can in a very polite way tell him/her, “Dear, when you do this, it really does not go down so well with me” or “I’m not so comfortable when you do that”.
A reasonable partner will listen, if not then take the next option which is to involve a third party. To reconcile us back to God, someone was needed, a mediator who is Christ (Heb.9:15). Likewise, when situations of domestic violence are overwhelming and beyond the control of those in the relationship, it is necessary that a third party be involved.
Children (if any) who are mature, concerned friends, relatives, well-meaning individuals, elders, or clergy can come into the situation and serve as mediators in such a relationship. It is however important that the advice of these mediators be heeded if we are to truly experience victory over domestic violence in our relationships
8) LAW ENFORCEMENT:
When the wicked rule, evil advances but when the righteous rule, there will be peace and justice (Prov. 14:34). A righteous leader will enforce laws that promote justice, fairness, equity, and righteousness. I believe that if there are laws binding against perpetrators of domestic violence with penalties imposed on those who break it, then domestic violence will be minimized.
Even God who is a God of freedom gives us laws to guide us not out of spite but out of love for us and because He does not want us to destroy our lives and those of others He has created. Making laws and working by them will not kill, rather it will do a lot of good. Let us say I know that if I engage in examination malpractice, I will be expelled. Then most likely, I will have second thoughts before I even think of engaging in it. I believe the same is applicable here.
Although not advisable for a long period, separation can be an escape route for someone in a relationship where there is an existence of intense domestic violence. Now, I do not advise that one should be separated for too long from his partner, for then the devil can take advantage. But separation can be a solution in a situation where there is a very heated argument and someone in the relationship is in danger of death or possibly a permanent injury. Separation could be for weeks, days, hours, or even minutes but just as is sufficient to quell the anger at that time (1 Cor. 7:10-11).
10) REHABILITATION AND COUNSELING:
It is important that victims of domestic violence seek counseling to prevent or deal with any problems that may arise or have arisen due to domestic violence. Abusers most times have had issues that may have led them to behave the way they do. If these issues can be identified and solutions proffered, then the rate of domestic violence will reduce.
Children who grow up in homes where they experience and see a lot of domestic violence have a higher tendency of practicing this later on in the future. As a child who is mature, one can go for counseling where they can be helped and guided on what to do to avoid similar occurrences in the future.
Christ’s desire is that we live new changed lives, that is why He died (2 Cor. 5:17). We cannot just abandon abusers to destruction simply because of their past, especially if they are ready to change. The more many of them are changed, the lesser there are of them. They all need help, have you helped in any way today?
In conclusion, Everyone is a temple for God’s Holy Spirit and created in God’s image, called good and made uniquely by Him (1 Cor. 6:19, Gen. 1:26, 31). If God cherishes us this much, who gives any man the right to abuse whom God is jealous for? Domestic violence leaves scars, most times, painful and permanent ones. Some have lost their lives, their children, and friends to the hands of domestic violence.
Others never live to see a better future because they no longer operate out of a sound mind. None of these is ever God’s desire for us. God created relationships to be enjoyed with Him at the center of it and not to be endured. I sincerely pray you have gotten something and together, we will effect change and live the ‘God-kinda life’– free from domestic violence. Can I count on you?
Thanks and God bless.