Adj. Pertaining to complementarianism and egalitarianism.

***Working to be a safe place for all sides to share.***


Friday, February 8, 2008

domestic violence, again

Periodically, the question comes up about what do complementarians and egalitarians agree upon. One point that has become clear in posts and comments on this blog is that both sides agree that abuse of a spouse within marriage is absolutely wrong. Complementarians make clear that abuse of a wife is completely wrong and does not follow from any of their views on headship, authority, or male leadership. When abuse occurs in the context of such teachings, they insist, it is a distortion of those teachings.

I am guessing that DV (domestic violence) occurs in approximately the same percentages in the homes of those who at least nominally espouse either comp or egal beliefs as they do in homes of those who claim no religious affiliation. I say this based on studies which have shown that DV occurs approximately in the same percentages of marriages in Christian homes as it does in non-Christians homes. I sincerely hope that my guess is wrong. Remember, it does not require physical beatings for there to be abuse. Abuse can be verbal and emotional. I cringe whenever I hear one spouse in a Christian home berating the other, even in ways which they think may not be very harmful.

I have been struck by the number of people who have mentioned in comments that they experienced DV. I myself grew up with it in our conservative Christian home. It was repeated, frightening, dangerous, and demeaning.

I thought it would be interesting to poll visitors to this blog to see how many have experienced marital abuse in one form or another. It doesn't have to have been enough to cause physical bruises. The bruises may be emotional.

There is a new poll in the margin of our blog asking about DV. Your answers are completely anonymous and no one can discover your email address when you respond to the poll.

My hope is that results from surveys like this will cause churches from either side in the gender debate to include more preaching against abuse domestic abuse and provide safe resources and referrals for those experiencing it.