If you approach counseling a couple where there is physical or verbal abuse as if you are doing marriage counseling, then you have already derailed and are hurting the victim even further. You cannot address this like you would a difference-of-opinions type argument expecting to work things out in a reasonable way. When violence is involved, violence changes everything. This is a domestic violence situation and its not just a disagreement. Don’t make it worse. Get out of the way and get experienced abuse counselors involved immediately.
A MUST READ for ANYONE who may at ANY TIME IN THEIR LIFE have a conversation of ANY length with a victim of verbal/physical abuse. (Note: verbal abuse always proceeds physical abuse in a relationship but verbal abuse doesn’t always evolve in to physical abuse. I lumped them together to be inclusive of all victims).
If you would like to make a significant difference in the life of an abused woman you care about, keep the following principle fresh in your mind: Your goal is to be the complete opposite of what the abuser is.
The Abuser: Pressures her severely
So you should: Be patient. Remember that it takes time for an abused woman to sort out her confusion and figure out how to handle her situation. It is not helpful for her to try to follow your timetable for when she should stand up to her partner, leave him, call the police, or whatever step you want her to take. You need to respect her judgment regarding when she is ready to take action — something the abuser never does.
The Abuser: Talks down to her
So you should: Address her as an equal. Avoid all traces of condescension or superior…
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I am sharing for the purpose of others seeing their story in mine – and then getting help and to safety for themselves and their children. I was looking for confirmation for many years that there was something wrong with my marriage or husband. I kept thinking it was me. I read books, went to counselors, asked friends. I never told anyone that I had been hit and my husband never ever apologized or thought what he did was wrong. I never told anyone of his rage and temper and control – I was pretty sure if I shared the darkest secrets I would pay for it later at home. I kept silent because he told me I was the whole problem, and I believed it was me too. He used my gifting of being outspoken against me. He told me with his actions that I shouldn’t have an opinion, or stand up for myself or my children because he was boss of the household. I share simply so other women will see what abuse looks like, how it disguises itself in the cloak of warped (not true) Christianity and twisted scriptures.
Dr Phil Shows 9/22 & 9/23/2014
Kirby hit Renee with paddle when she wouldn’t say yessir.
Show #1, Kirby: http://youtu.be/O30enhHPtmU
I think the fundamental thing people must understand about Kirby is that Kirby has a profound sense of entitlement to power and control over others, particularly over his wife and children. In addition, we must understand that Kirby is not delusional at all. This is not a man who is delusional about being Jesus Christ and therefore he acts like Jesus Christ. No. Kirby believes that he is entitled to power and control, and his chosen means of obtaining it is to claim that he is simply acting consistent with God. And what Kirby does is provoke and precipitate scenarios which will put him on stage where he can play the role of God. He provokes his wife, demanding she call him “sir” and when she will not, he simply (for her own good, just as Christ would) must punish her. He doesn’t want to. It hurts him. But he does it for her own good. He provokes his children and then punishes them “as God would.” And in all this, Kirby knows exactly what he is doing. Like God, Kirby is never wrong. Even when he expresses remorse for something, in reality Kirby does not believe he was wrong.
And this all leads to a critical error that Dr. Phil and the pastor in the audience made. The pastor said that it grieves him that a “Christian” man would twist Scripture like Kirby does, and the pastor said that he will “pray for Kirby to see the light.” But Kirby is not a Christian. The pastor should have said so and never called him a Christian man. Further, why not pray that the Lord would judge Kirby and do whatever is necessary to keep Kirby from tormenting or hurting Renee and the children further? Dr. Phil’s error at the close of the second show was that he announced that Kirby is delusional, and that he (Dr. Phil) is going to get some hand-picked counselors, starting with a Christian counselor, to help Kirby. So the show really ended with the focus on helping Kirby!! In fact, Kirby does not need help. Renee and the children do. Kirby is not going to changed, ever. Kirby has already shown this by being kicked out of an anger management class. Dr. Phil made this error because he did not have any experts in abuse there on the show. This is not to say Dr. Phil did no good. He really got in Kirby’s face and exposed Kirby’s lies and deceptions, and for that we thank him.
Show #2 Renee: http://youtu.be/m5FtvcSpuFE Renee handled herself very well and tried to reach out to other abuse victims who might be watching. She responded very well to a hard question from Dr. Phil regarding why she kept filming Kirby doing the “belly reddening” on her 14 year old son instead of intervening. Her answer was that in truth she knew that filming it was the best way she could help her son. The evidence gathered would be shown to the police. Dr. Phil agreed with her.
Were there red flags that Renee should have seen before she married Kirby?, Dr. Phil asked. Of course there were. There always are. But who among us can say that we spotted them all and were never duped by them? It took me, for example, some 20 years to realize what was happening to me as a pastor through the tactics of abusers in the churches I have pastored.
Many, many thanks to Renee for her courage in telling her story to such a large audience.
Jeff Crippen, Pastor
Christ Reformation Church
A Cry for Justice cryingoutforjustice.com
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