Abuse & The Church Wrap-Up: The Stories We Didn’t Tell (and a list of resources)

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

(Note: Look for Sunday Superlatives later this evening!)

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”

- Matthew 11:28

As we come to the end of our weeklong series, “Into the Light: A Series on Abuse and the Church,” I feel weary and heavy-laden, in need of rest. I am struck by a special longing for Easter, which, believe it or not, is just around the corner.

I am also struck with a feeling of incompleteness. We covered a lot of ground this week, and we told a lot of stories, but there are still many stories we didn’t tell—stories of human trafficking and sex slavery, stories of men abused by women, stories of redemption and reconciliation, stories of abuse on the mission field. Each story is unique, and each story is sacred. And so I hope the series has inspired you treat your own story, and the stories of others, as such. May we all be inspired to speak with more truth, more conviction, more care, and more bravery about this difficult topic, so that our awareness doesn’t end here, but continues to grow, until the day when all things are reconciled to the source of love, and the story of abuse is only a memory.

I’ll conclude the series with a list of resources and links to posts from others this week. Please feel free to add to the list in the comment section.

Into the Light: A Series on Abuse and the Church

Series Introduction

The Scar of Sexual Abuse by Mary DeMuth

No More Silence: An Interview with Boz Tchividjian of G.R.A.C.E.

"Today's Journey" : Thoughts on Healing from Grace Biskie

Proper Treatment for Sexual Abuse: 7 Questions to Consider

"God is Love" by Sarah Moon

Dianna Anderson on Rape Culture and Victim Blaming

"Don't Talk About It": Reflections on Spiritual Abuse by Kristen Rosser

Out of the Shadows: Getting Help Inside and Outside the Church

"They tried to 'fix' me with fists and cricket bats"

The abusive teachings of Michael and Debi Pearl

Spiritual Abuse Awareness Synchroblog

Day 1 Link-Up

Day 2 Link-Up

Day 3 Link-Up

The Rebel Diaries

Additional Resources / Domestic Violence

National Domestic Abuse Hotline - 1−800−799−SAFE(7233)

Signs of Abuse and Abusive Relationships

Abuse Counseling & Treatment

Peace and Safety in the Christian Home

Quivering Daughters

CBE - Abuse Resources

Seven Reasons Women Stay in Abusive Relationships and How to Defeat Each One of Them”  

Restored: Ending Violence Against Women

The Rave Project

Project Dinah

Leslie Vernick 

Faith and Freedom 

Not This Girl

Abuse/Dating Violence Statistics 

RainnOrg: Statistics 

Additional Resources / Abuse in a Christian Environment 


"When the Child Abuser Has a Bible" by Victor Veith and Boz Tchividjian

Abuse in the Church DVD Curriculum 

"Saving Bathsheba"  by Rachel Marie Stone 

Suffer the Children: Developing Effective Church Policies on Child Maltreatment

"Fear in Fanda" - Sexual Abuse at a Missionary Boarding School

Diane Langberg on Sexual Abuse Within Christian Organizations 

"Sexual Abuse on the Mission Field"  

Quivering Daughters

"10 Ways to Spot Spiritual Abuse" and "What to Do if You Are in a Spiritual Abusive Situation” by Mary DeMuth

Top 10 Signs of a Spiritually Abusive Church – Part 1Part 2 by Elizabeth Esther  

“Tips for Recovering from a Spiritually Abusive Church” and “Tips for “Moving On” from an abusive church experience” by Elizabeth Esther

Wellspring Retreat & Resource Center

Boundaries: When to Say YES, When to Say NO, To Take Control of Your Life by Cloud and Townsend

The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse: Recognizing and Escaping Spiritual Manipulation and False Spiritual Authority Within the Church by David Johnson and Jeff VanVonderen

Additional Resources / Sexual Abuse  

Thin Places by Mary DeMuth

The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Child Sexual Abuse by Dan B. Allender

Diane Langberg on The Spiritual Impact of Abuse

Child Sexual Abuse: Startling Statistics

Additional Resources/ Counseling & Therapy

Global Trauma Recovery Institute

The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology

Phil Monroe

Dan Allender

Diane Langberg

"3 Signs of Repentance Every Church Leader Should Know"  by Dr. Philip Monroe

"What Forgiveness Isn't" by Denise George

Additional Resources / Child Abuse  

Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline

"Blow the Whistle on Child Abuse"  

Child Welfare Information Gateway


Suffer the Children: Developing Effective Church Policies on Child Maltreatment

Elizabeth Esther on Michael and Debi Pearl

A Silence of Mockingbirdsby Karen Spears Zacharias  

Court Appointed Special Advocates

Additional Resources / Bullying

The Bully Project (The documentary film, “Bully,” is especially eye-opening)


Understanding Bullying” – Psychology Today

Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy by Emily Bazelon

It Gets Better Project


This is obviously an incomplete list. So please feel free to use the comment section to help me fill in the gaps with your own favorite resources on abuse

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