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Flourish-Meant: You Were Meant to Live Abundantly


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Jan 7, 2022

Domestic abuse impacts almost half of American women yet remains one of the most misunderstood crises faced by our nation. People question the motives of victims who return to perpetrators. Many community members fail to recognize abuse without visible wounds. Worse yet, church members and leaders sometimes (whether intentionally or unwittingly) support the abuser or shame the victim for attempting to escape.

Charlene Quint, Christian attorney and advocate for victims and survivors of domestic abuse, shares her personal story of escape and triumph. She escaped from decades of suffering in an abusive marriage. After securing her freedom, she established a law practice that specializes in advocating for victims of domestic abuse.

Charlene defines the various forms of abuse, many of which are less recognized than physical violence. We discuss the profound wounds inflicted by verbal and emotional abuse. Quint addresses the prevalence of financial abuse and the ways this serves the perpetrator's scheme to imprison his victim. Financial oppression also gives the abuser an upper hand in court. Perpetrators also threaten vulnerable family members, especially children. We explore these and other reasons why women often return to the abuser.

Charlene explains forms of abuse the perpetrator can easily keep hidden or deny, including sexual abuse and restricting access to medical treatment. She reveals abandonment in remote or dangerous areas as a common form of physical abuse. Victims left in these situations often have no money and lack the means to find safety or shelter.

Perpetrators of domestic violence might also manipulate scripture and religion to abuse victims spiritually.

Domestic abuse perpetrators are masters of manipulation and charisma. Many abusers gain the admiration and respect of the community, church, and those who might otherwise show compassion toward the victim. Women often fail to recognize themselves as victims and don't realize they are in an abusive relationship.

Charlene details the patterns of talented manipulators as they gradually entrap victims. She explains macro-cycles of behavior, from love-bombing in the initial luring of a victim to devaluation and the final phase in which he discards her with no resources.

Quint cites CDC statistics to reveal alarmingly high rates of assault, stalking, and coercion in relationships. these numbers are low due to the underreported nature of domestic crimes and their impact. 

We discuss how to recognize and respond to domestic abuse. Charlene recommends paying attention to those who seem withdrawn. We also mention the importance of making resources available for victims through churches, workplaces, and other organizations.

For women in abusive relationships, Quint states the first priority must be healing. She encourages listeners to recognize God is on a rescue mission for them.

Charlene also emphasizes that victims must realize the abuser will not change. No matter how convincing the master manipulator's promises to reform, he will resume the abuse as soon as his victim has been secured in his trap.

Quint encourages women to focus on God's promises. She highlights the verses in Joshua 1 exhorting us to be strong and courageous because God is with us. Charlene also advises against the temptation to turn back and return to the abusive relationship.

We explore the spiritual warfare involved in the battle of domestic abuse. Charlene acknowledges that escaping abuse will prove the hardest thing a victim will ever do, but assures that at the end of the battle she will be stronger than ever. As the daughter of the Lion of Judah, she will be a lioness.

Charlene encourages victims to adopt a warrior mindset. She refers to Ephesians 6 as a go-to verse to equip victims and survivors toward victory. She reminds listeners of the importance of praying God's Word. Quint emphasizes her clients are always in a better position after the battle.

Charlene Quint offers a free handbook for pastors, free downloadable resources, and is available for workshops. To get all these materials and more, visit abusecare.org.

Get a copy of Charlene Quint's comprehensive book on overcoming domestic abuse, Overcoming the Narcissist, Sociopath, Psychopath, and Other Domestic Abusers on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Overcoming-Narcissist-Sociopath-Psychopath-Domestic/dp/1951310004

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