Domestic violence is far more prevalent than what you would ever think. As a law enforcement chaplain, I can say that most of the homicides I have assisted with over a 22 year period have been the result of some form of domestic violence. Several years ago I was with an officer the night he raced to a woman’s home, because an offender pulled the phone out of the wall, as she frantically gave the 911 dispatcher needed information. It transcends race, religious affiliation, and socioeconomic factors. At some point you may find that you have someone close to you impacted by verbal, physical, or sexual abuse. Tomorrow I am conducting a training session for some great people that have committed to volunteering at a center that will reach out to victims of this heinous crime. (Yes it is a crime…) In assimilating some training notes, I put together a list that might prove helpful in serving a friend in need someday. Here it is…
Everything will be all right.
What did you do to provoke him?
He will never see daylight again. (The implication that the offender will remain incarcerated forever.)
Nice girls don’t end up in relationships with guys like that. (abusers)
He is an upstanding citizen. He would never do anything like that.
It is God’s will for you to remain with him.
He has never acted like this before.
If you file criminal charges, he won’t be able to earn a living.
Why didn’t you fight back?
I know how you feel.
Your children need their father.
He can’t help it…(He has issues.)
I suppose the moral of this little listing is: think before you speak! The key in serving crime victims is to be quick to listen and slow to speak. Think carefully before you draw erroneous conclusions. And most of all don’t hesitate to extend compassion to those that have been victims.