When our eldest daughter was 13 and before she started her period, my then husband told me he did not want her to use tampons because it would break her hymen and it was important for her future husband to do so.
Tag: Spiritual Abuse
How to Effectively Engage with Loved Ones Still Trapped in High-Controlling Churches
So, really, the bottom line is love. Love your friends/family who are stuck in their abusive church. Show them what love is, what joy is, what freedom is, what mundane is. Invite them to share a meal with you (their favorite meal). Be boring. Be you. Be kind, loving, and accepting. This is so attractive to someone in a high-controlling church.
We Must Not Exploit Survivors and Their Stories
When we start marketing the stories of survivors for personal gain, we are no longer supporting survivors, we are exploiting them.
Religious Power and Control: Economic Control
Economic control is a tactic used by abusive leaders or groups to maintain power and control over their members.
Julie Anne Gets Personal about the Silent Abuse of Domestic Violence: Emotional and Spiritual Abuse
While I was reporting on abuse in the church in 2012 on this blog, this is what I was living in my home. And while I was sharing stories of domestic violence, including emotional abuse and spiritual abuse here, I was connecting with these stories in a personal way, weeping, and knowing one day, I'd be telling my own story here. The time is now.
Survivors of Bethlehem Baptist Church And Seminary share their personal stories on Twitter
So, in an effort to consolidate some of the personal stories, especially for those who would rather not wade through Twitter, I've compiled some important tweet threads here.
Should I trust Christian media outlets to share my deeply painful church abuse story? Here’s a follow-up article based on my years of covering spiritual abuse testimonies, including quite a few high-profile cases.
The key takeaway is this: anytime an abuser is given a platform, that space will never feel safe for survivors.
My Church Leaders Were Abusive: Should I share my story publicly with Christian media? Is there something I can do that will affect positive change?
. . we can't change the culture of an abusive church, because while an abusive leader is in power, there is a system of abuse involved. We cannot change an abusive system. But what we survivors can do is provide a safe place where personal stories are told, heard, believed.
We Now See the Fruit of Doug Wilson’s Teachings on Marital Sex: Personal Accounts of Marital Rape
Let me be blunt: I believe Douglas Wilson has given the green light for all “Christian” men to sexually violate or rape their wives. Men penetrate, conquer, colonize, plant; women must receive, surrender, and accept.
To Mark Gungor: There is Nothing Inspiring about using “Humor” to Publicly Degrade Women; and Please Do Better on Sex Abuse Cases
There should be no place in Christian evangelicalism for Mark Gungor's behavior which devalues, disrespects, and demoralizes women. If Gungor is allowed to continue having platforms, then it is a clear picture that Christian evangelicalism is not, and probably has never been, a safe place for women.
Julie Anne Smith Interviewed on Almost Heretical Podcast: Spiritual and Sexual Abuse
Nate is the first person to interview me specifically about the Ravi Zacharias sex abuse scandal and ask me why I thought it took so long for the collective church to "get it."
Religious Power and Control: Isolation
Isolation is one tactic used by abusive leaders and groups to maintain power and control over their members.
When “O Holy Night” Becomes a Nightmare to Someone Whose Faith Has Been Harmed
"This performance is so sincere and heartfelt, shows a high level of skill, and may be the very one you love best of all. I think it is just awful, the perfect expression of a particular culture that I used to think was just distasteful and now believe to be rotten to the core."
Dissecting Victim (oops) Pastor Wes Feltner’s Public Statement
God has instituted qualifications for elders regardless if someone feels a certain calling. Wes Feltner's supposed calling does not override God's guideline for elders.
Spiritual Abuse: Black/White Thinking Can be Used to Harm and Control
In black/white churches, you have two choices: follow along with the pastor, or you are immediately castigated as someone who has made the wrong choice. If people know of your "bad" choice, you may be called a sinner or rebellious.
SGM Survivor Speaks Out about Josh Harris
I can't imagine the level of psychological trauma, pain & horror as Joshua (and Shannon) began to discover a lot of their framework for their life was built on religion & false fears & manipulated, pseudo acts of "love."
My Thoughts: Josh Harris (I Kissed Dating Good-bye) and His Wife, Shannon, Announce Marital Separation
But it makes me once again question those ideologies that led up to this point. It makes me think about spiritual abuse. It makes me think about Patriarchy. What significant changes were made in their journey? What ideologies did each one keep, and each one ditch?
Washington Post Article on Investigative Bloggers and Advocates: Wartburg Watch, Spiritual Sounding Board, Ashley Easter, Jules Woodson, Kelly Haines, etc.
But what it means is that we are being taken seriously. I think that gives us a bit more credibility. When we reach out to church leaders and ask questions, they will know we mean business.
Spiritual Abuse: Is This Worth Dividing the Church Over?
Spiritual Abuse, Jonathan Hollingsworth This is the sixth and final blog post referencing an article by Jonathan Hollingsworth, What Not to Say to Someone Who’s Been Hurt by the Church. The article resonated with a lot of people, so I thought it might be a good idea to discuss these unhelpful statements one by one here,… Continue reading Spiritual Abuse: Is This Worth Dividing the Church Over?
Good Friday, Notre Dame, and Resurrection
The spiritual abuse I experienced will only be a blip in my life's story, and it doesn't define who I am, just as Notre Dame's 2019 fire does not define it. Abuse is part of my story and has shaped me, and has produced life-changing fruit.