These posts are excerpts from Julie's monthly email newsletter, where she shares updates, info, resources and food for thought about violence against women, human trafficking and other related issues. Click below to subscribe.
Most of you know I’m a P.K. (preacher’s kid) and have spent nearly 30 years educating pastors and faith leaders about domestic violence (DV). During this month of Father’s Day, I’m delighted to spotlight my amazing Dad who has supported my work, preached and written on DV alongside me all these years. He is one of the few older prominent male pastors who has loudly condemned the abuse of women in the church for decades, calling on the church to embrace true biblical gender equality.
For years the evangelical Christian church denied and covered up the abuse of women by church-going men and pastors. In the last few years, though, particularly especially since the emergence of #TimesUp and #MeToo, Christian survivors have found their voices, and recently a #ChurchToo movement has developed.
This past week I came across a newly published article by a DV lecturer. I heaved a huge sigh of disappointment. It was all about "the cycle of abuse". I decided to post about the cycle on Facebook and hundreds of people responded. Most did not have correct information about current DV theory. I am always concerned when those who train others in this vital topic are not themselves well trained, so I want to share a bit about that here.
The "Cycle of Violence" is a psychological theory of how DV abuse occurs in a relationship. It was developed in the 1970's by Dr. Lenore Walker, who wrote the book "The Battered Woman" and coined that term. Although the theory is not scientific, is outdated and is no longer used by experts in this field, it is still widely taught and referenced.
March brought beautiful blossoming dogwood, cherry and redbud trees to N.C., but freezing temperatures, cold rain and sleet soon followed. April is here, but the chaotic weather patterns mean many buds will never bloom. Likewise, #timesup and#metoo have recently moved the dial towards a new season of believing victims, but has been followed by an angry backlash by those uncomfortable with changing the status quo. (See this article to learn about these movements.) We are headed in the right direction but have a long way to go towards full gender equality and ending violence against women.
Welcome to my first newsletter. My goal is provide you with up-to-date information, resources, training opportunities, current events and food for thought on issues surrounding violence against women, human trafficking and other forms of interpersonal violence. I also plan to provide information on aspects of trauma, victim advocacy, and self-care. I'll keep you in the loop, too, about my latest projects and upcoming events.