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October DV awareness month – Christian Woman’s Testimony

In continuing in the vein of domestic violence awareness month, I am sharing my second story today.

The link below is from a woman who experienced domestic violence for many years and she is now using her story to empower others and train churches. her story will bless you.

 

God’s Best Kept Secret ~ Zenice Harasymchuk

October DV awareness month ~ Testimony from a Christian Domestic Abuse Survivor

 

October is Domestic Violence awareness month. so this week I will be sharing two stories from Christian women who have lived through this awful experience.

Today’s  blog post is from a Christian woman  I reached out to  and she agreed to write for my blog anonymously. To this special woman, thank you so much and you are truly one God’s best kept secrets!

There Go I…But For the Grace 

“Why don’t you just leave and come with me?” ”You don’t need him, he needs you!” “I don’t understand Cory (renamed), you’re smarter than this.” “You’re a social worker helping women get out the exact type of unhealthy environment that you yourself are in. These are the questions subtly hidden in the form of judgments that I offered a friend Cory during our senior year in college. She had been married for only a year, but I learned later that she had endured such horrible emotional and physical abuse even before she agreed to marry him. I was so disgusted by her choice to remain that I ended our friendship, citing that I could no longer sit idly by and watch her show up to school or lunch pretending not to notice a new puss-filled bruise on her face, neck, ear, eye, or forehead. To me, I was being a hypocrite to the profession of social work as well as to the definition of being a friend.

Fast forward 22 years, I found myself married and in a similar situation. However, unlike Cory, I had no friend standing on the other side of my apartment door, admonishing me to leave. Instead, I had the accusing voice of the enemy, telling me that I am “not smart” and if I shared what was happening to me- not only would I be an embarrassment to the social work profession but an embarrassing blemish to the body of Christ!

‘Your witness about the great and mighty God you serve would be a lie. Who’s going to believe how awesome God is if you are supposed to be the example? Just make it easy for yourself and everyone you care about and keep it to yourself. No one has to know that your husband is abusing alcohol and emotionally and physically abusing you. No need to share that during the first week of your “live together portion” of your marriage he held you down in a violently painful and air-restrictive chokehold. You don’t have to suffer through revealing that you became so desperate to survive that you anchored your teeth into the lower palm of his right hand taking out a small gulf of his flesh.”

The truth is, I felt cornered and trapped inside between the inescapable tight walls of my mind and living quarters that felt like an oversized jail cell. I was 900 miles away from the closest immediate family and I was no place near home. I initially shared my matter with an older, respected motherly-type member of a church I began attending nearby-but I was quickly shunned from discussing the details of my situation. I was given a subtle response that (paraphrased) “It was to be expected early in marriage and that after many years, it would eventually improve.” Truth?… I only knew to pray. When the abuse continued and escalated for 5 more months, I eventually called the former pastor (who married us) to disclose my heartache along with a contemplated plan to leave. Preparing myself to be advised to continue with prayer for strength to endure the worse portion of my marriage vows, I was pleased when my plan to separate and leave was being supported with advisement to take caution with my planning. I was also led in prayer for God’s intervening, guidance, protection and successful completion to my reaching physical safety.

With continued fasting and prayer, my heartache and pain has been replaced with gratitude as well as compassion for my abusive husband (now, thankfully “was-band”). My regret has now been replaced with the Word of Romans 8:28.

 

 

 

 

 

 

God’s Best Kept Secret ~ Zenice Harasymchuk

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Image courtesy of Zenice Harasymchuk

One in three women are victims of domestic violence worldwide. That is too many women in my opinion. Hi, my name is Zenice and I am a 48 year old survivor, mother and disciple of Jesus Christ. My life has not been easy, it has been a series of one type of abuse after another but about eight years ago I began a journey with Jesus that has transformed my life.

Transparency and vulnerability in the church is important to me. Many churches don’t talk about domestic violence. My question to those churches is why? It’s a topic that many would like to sweep under the rug as though it were not a huge and growing problem. Think about this: there are upwards of 20 people per minute who are suffering from physical violence by an intimate partner, and that is just in the United States! That is just one type of abuse! So in the last hour, 1200 people were physically abused by their intimate partner. That’s too many.

There are so many types of abuse: child abuse, physical, emotional, mental, financial and sexual abuse, elder abuse, human trafficking and bullying. This is out of control. The church is silent on most of these things although human trafficking is growing in awareness. I cannot sit in my church any longer and be silent. I know that God has called me to help those who are broken and abused. My role is to walk alongside and point them to Jesus who is the Healer. My passions are Jesus, prayer, revival, awakening and helping women. How do these things come together? By being the church to this lost and dying world. Being a voice to bring awareness to the Body of Christ to no longer turn a blind eye to those who are being abused in their midst.

I have a dream of seeing women who have survived abusive situations to rise up and share their stories and come alongside the women who are in abusive relationships now or trying to get out. I believe that Jesus heals us from all of the effects that abuse can leave as long lasting scars on our lives whether it be depression, PTSD, suicidal thoughts, anxiety or isolation and fear. Jesus alone is our healer. On January 11, 2009 Jesus healed me and the healing was instantaneous but I had to learn how to walk out my healing. I had to learn how to live a life that didn’t include pain, fear, depression and suicidal thoughts. This journey has taken me seven years but today I am an on fire disciple of Jesus dedicated to seeing women set free from bondage to the effects of abuse.

I am at the beginning stages of starting a ministry in my region that is what I believe to be different than what is available now. My desire is to begin with a support group that will really be more than a support group. I’ve been in support groups before and I only see that people talk about their issues and nothing changes. I believe the missing element is Jesus. I believe there needs to be prayer and worship along with education and support. I pray that this will not just be for my region but that others will take this to their regions as well. One in three women worldwide are victims of domestic violence. How many will the church reach? Let’s get started now.

The link below shares Zenice’s social media and contact information.

http://en.gravatar.com/losing4christ

God’s Best Kept Secret introducing Dr Lanette Kincaid

image courtesy of Dr Lanatte Kincaid 

Beaten before I was beaten

Hello My name is LaNette Kincaid and I’m the founder of Women With Gifts and I’m the VOICE for both sexual abuse and domestic violence. God gave me the vision of creating a platform to speak openly about my past but I ran from this vision for along time because the pain was so deep and to help others meant telling my story and this time telling it without shame.

My story isnt really different from any other women in the world. The only difference from my story and the next person is I’m telling my story and most women will die trying to hide their story of abuse. Before I was ever physically abused I abused myself mentally. I was molested at the age of 12 and raped by the age of 19 which you can read about in detail in my upcoming book.

I named this article Beaten Before I Was Beaten because I beat myself up mentally well before my physical and sexual abuse experiences started. As a child I saw my mother beaten by the man that was supposed to love her. It didnt stop there….I saw two of my aunts with bruises and sometimes broken bones from their spouses. After seeing so much domestic violence at such a early age, I equated being loved with being beaten by the person  who loved you. So mentally I was prepared for being BEAT because in my mind I was already beaten down and probably already gripped with low self-esteem.

I stayed in my situation of being abuse because I didn’t know any better. Its a known fact that when you know better you do better. I also stayed in my situation because it was my way of creating the greatest façade known to man.. It was my way of painting a white fence for a house that was run down and delapatated. So basically I stayed in my abusive relationships for those who were watching. For the people that didn’t care about me or my well-being but pretended to just to see the outcome of my downfalls…Yes I stayed for them. I was too ashamed to be that family member who just couldn’t get their life right-AGAIN. Even after I was beat up physically I beat myself again mentally not trying to leave but beating myself up trying to figure out how to make myself stay comfortably and make the other people around me happy.

I’m now the voice of domestic violence and sexual abuse because no little girl ever deserves to live in fear the way I did. Every women is beautiful and doesn’t need the accent of a black eye or bruises to intensify their beauty. No women should every die by the hands of a fists.

In closing I would like to thank Heart of Refuge for accepting me as a person and sharing my story. It is my prayer that my story and my book will save another life.

Image courtesy of Dr Lanatte Kincaid

LaNette Kincaid is a marine wife and mother of two. LaNette is the Chief Executive Officer to Just Pearlz, a fashion and jewelry company and of Vendor’s Preferred, a business consultant company. LaNette founded both Vendors Preferred and Just Pearlz shortly after graduating from Texas Wesleyan University and receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with emphasis Criminal Justice.  she is also founder of WomenWithGifts.com

 

In addition to being an entrepreneur and a volunteer, LaNette is an author, radio personality, motivational speaker, business and fashion expert. Currently LaNette contributes to several fashion and business publications .

LaNette is a strong advocate of religion, high education and family and has been recognized for the following skills: Public speaking, writing, business planning, business management, creativity, event planning, social media, sales and marketing.

LaNette Kincaid recently received the  “Pearl” award from Perfected Magazine and was noted as the best blogger of the year by Examiner.com (2012)

A time to speak out by Windsor Queensborough  

This book is an important read for every person in church leadership.  Windsor Queensborough does an excellent job in discussing the issue of domestic violence and the church. He uses the stories of Tamar and Joseph in the bible to speak out about this issue that the church has kept under the carpet for to long.

This book can be purchased on Amazon. Your church needs this book!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coping with the ‘domestic violence season’

The festive season is now in full swing, and with it the holiday traditions: Taking the children to see Santa, swathing the tree with bright baubles, checking out the latest domestic violence awareness campaign… Wait, what? Amid all the Christmas chintz and cheer, an important message is vying to be heard. Charities, activists, and public […]

The continue reading click the link below. 

https://avalancheofthesoul.wordpress.com/2015/12/24/coping-with-the-domestic-violence-season/

Domestic Violence and the Church Workshop

  
On Saturday 21st November 2015  I attended a workshop to discuss domestic violence and the church. It was a very thought provoking day organised by Marcia Dixon and the Pentecostal Credit Union.

We had speakers from the church, agencies and survivors. They all shared from their unique perspectives. After the meeting we agreed that these types of workshops need to happen on a regular basis so we can formulate strategies for the faith community.

I was really encouraged by the fact that domestic violence is coming out of the closet and into the light. Most churches are made up of women and an issue that affects them affects the church they attend and ultimately the vision of the church. What would happen if women stopped going to church for a month? Think about it for a moment. They are the corner stone of the church volunteer workforce and programmes.

Let’s start a conversation in our churches which will lead to the healing of hurting families. Sweeping these issues under the carpet only makes it worse and in the long run hurt the church and its spiritual endeavours. Lets prayerfully make our churches a safe house  for hurting families by raising awareness through posters, messages, awareness days and advocacy.

It is time to break the silence.

Lending the Gift of my voice – Guest Contributor to WomenwithGifts.com

  

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to contribute a blog post to women with Gifts. It is a great website which raises awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault.

It also showcases the gifts and talents of many women. It was truly an honour to write for them. God is truly blessing the works of their hands in many ways.

Please take a moment to read my article and also look at the great work they are doing. They are currently doing a drive to purchase coats for women and children fleeing domestic violence situations. If you canplease  make a contribution to this great cause.

The link to my article is below. 

http://womenwithgifts.com/2015/11/05/lending-the-gift-of-my-voice-advocate-for-domestic-violence/

KBS Domestic Violence Awareness Faith Conference.

   

 
I had the privilidge of attending  this conference on Saturday and It was so impacting. It was great to see women and men for the church and other faiths share their stories.
In our communities we tend to hide what is going on because of the shame associated with it and we go to church each week and worship God who sees our pain and scars from the abuse suffered.
Over the past week I have met and spoken with people who are determined to bring this out from under the carpet. It is time to heal from the shame. It’s time to come out of the darkness and into the light. Jesus came and took our shame and has provided a garment of praise and joy for us to wear.
Exposing the pain and wounds of domestic violence is a journey of healing not just as individuals but as a community of believers. I listened to stories of christian women who suffered silently for years in their church with no support from those shepherding them. A representative from a male DV organisation shared stories about men who suffer in silence. 
So many people sit in church and pretend and then go home to a living hell. My encouragement to you is to get the help that you need. It is not going to be easy but take it one step at a time.
This conference showed me that church communities have a responsibility to administer healing to this hidden issue by firstly creating forums and raising awareness from their platforms and pulpits. 
Over the last week I realised that the The Holy Spirit is at work by using people to bring this hidden abuse out and into the open. 

Please visit Kim’s Website at  www.Kimbacchus.com

Please also visit my Domestic Violence Awareness page at the top of my blog for church resources and other information.

Domestic Violence Advocate ~ Jenny Allen’s Voice

   

I have had such a great response to my posts this month that I just wanted to share why I decided to start raising awareness.

I have worked in the field of education for over twenty years and seen many cases of domestic violence and its affect on the children who attended the schools I worked in.

I have also had the opportunity to assist these women escape from there abusers by just being there for them and encouraging them.  

Raising awareness is one of my new missions in life. 

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