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18333 Exciting Idlewild Blvd.
Lutz, FL 33548

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8209 N 19th St
Tampa, FL 33604

Iglesia Bautista Idlewild

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IBC Women’s Ministry Blog – October 26, 2023

IBC Women’s Ministry Blog – October 26, 2023

Healing After Domestic Violence

By Kathi Snyder

“A time to heal…” Ecclesiastes 3:3.

In a world where it is estimated that 1 out of 4 women will experience a form of domestic violence, it is possible that someone sitting beside you in church, in your small group, or in the choir is recovering from being a victim of domestic violence. As a community it begs  the question “What can we do to help?”

As a survivor of physical domestic violence, it took me some time to realize that women suffer in many other ways. These abuses include but are not limited to: sexual, financial, emotional, verbal, spiritual, and physical abuse. While physical and sexual abuse might be easy to identify, emotional or verbal abuse is not; they leave invisible scars. When my abuser left me and our children in 2001, I could not remember if I had a favorite food, color, or genre of music. I didn’t even know for sure how God felt about me. I was thrust into the role of single mom and provider. I didn’t know what I enjoyed or my skillset.  Every energy had been spent doing what he wanted to keep me and the children from being physically harmed. During my time with him, I lost who I was. The children suffered as well.

If I could give advice to someone leaving a domestic violence situation it would be to call the police, get a restraining order, find a Christian trauma counselor, and find a good attorney (free legal services are available). Even though your abuser left, he may try to come back. Document EVERYTHING. Keep a journal. After leaving there are emotions that will hit you for which you weren’t prepared. Sometimes you will think about getting back together with your abuser because you know how to survive with him, but you don’t know how to survive without him. Your children are going through a lot right now, too, and there is trauma counseling available for them as well.

In today’s technological society where we are connected by social platforms, it is necessary to find a way to block your abuser from being able to contact you on Facebook, Instagram and Linked In. Trusting God. Trusting Others. It is important to help those who have suffered abuse find their new identity in Jesus. This will be a struggle. We are commanded to trust God, but we think He allowed the bad stuff to happen, so does He really care?

Yes, He does care. It is hard to surrender that control when you have spent years protecting yourself. Eventually, you will be able to let other people in again. Idlewild has resources that can help. In addition to a counselor on the Idlewild campus, there is also i-work which can help with job placement. Idlewild also offers finance counseling to help with budgeting and saving money. Additionally, we have the Abuse Care program which gives women a woman she can talk to while she is going through abuse or leaving the abuser.

If you are currently in an abusive relationship, please call the Florida Domestic Hotline at 1-800-500-1119. If you are in an emergency situation call 911.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction,
with the comfort which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
-II Corinthians 1:3 & 4

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