In May 2016, a hashtag started trending which reminds us of the need to “be our sisters’ keeper”. #MaybeHeDoesntHit
DOMESTIC ABUSE: THE WARNING SIGNS
Every week two women are killed by a current or former partner in England and Wales, reports domestic abuse charity, Refuge, which helps run the National Domestic Abuse helpline (0808 2000 247).
It outlines some of the key signs that for women to look out for in new partners, and clues for friends and family that someone they know and love is being abused.
- Is he jealous and possessive?
- Does he cut her off from family and friends and try to isolate her?
- Is he charming one minute and abusive the next? Does he have sudden changes of mood – like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde?
- Does he control her life – for example, her money, who she should see, what she should wear?
- Does he monitor her movements?
- Does he blame her for the abuse?
- Does he humiliate or insult her in front of others?
- Does he verbally abuse her?
- Does he constantly criticise her?
- Does he use anger and intimidation to frighten her and make her comply with his demands?
- Does he tell her she’s useless and couldn’t cope without him?
- Has he threatened to hurt her or people close to her if she leaves?
- Does she change her behaviour to avoid making him angry?
- Does he force her to have sex when she doesn’t want to?
- Source: www.refuge.org.uk
It’s hard to know whether it is our place to become involved in someone else’s business or not – especially when it come to marriage or relationships, but in answer to the question posed in the title….. Yes we are our sister’s keepers!
She may not fully realise what she is experience is not a normal relationship. She may not be fully aware of the change to her personality. She may not understand the oppression she is under. But she will know and recognise when someone has stood alongside her and helped her. She will recognise those who shine a light toward which she can begin to turn and walk. She will recognise when a sister has been her keeper.
If we think this type of thing doesn’t happen in Church, we need to take a reality check. The church isn’t filled with perfect people, but broken and hurting people. And you know the saying, hurting people hurt people. We need to be a safe environment for our sisters to know they have keepers around them who will walk with them. Who will link arms with them and uphold them when they don’t have the strength to walk.