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Is It Abuse?

A Biblical Guide to Identifying Domestic Abuse and Helping Victims

Jenn Kintner

You would think abuse would be easy to identify, but because of many dynamics of oppression including coercion, blame-shifting, manipulation, threats, and danger, it often takes patient care over time to identify domestic abuse. Abuse can be disorienting and distressing for victims and for those walking alongside. Because of this, many don’t venture into those troubled waters. But the church must care for the vulnerable in their midst and confront oppression. In her book, Darby Strickland helps the church answer the question, “Is it abuse?” and equips the church to walk faithfully with care where abuse is present.

The book is immensely practical with inventories, cautions, encouragements, and steps for counselors and friends, but it’s also nuanced. It recognizes the need for wisdom and dependence on God to respond to specific situations. The book acknowledges the need for help from experts and reminds the reader of their specific role, whatever it might be. The resources at the end alone are worth the price, but every pastor, counselor, or women’s ministry leader should read this book and then keep a copy on their shelf for reference and to utilize in the future. 

Jenn Kintner serves as the Office Coordinator for the Nashville office of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. She holds a Doctorate of Education from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Prior to her work at the ERLC she spent 10 years discipling and teaching women in Christian higher education.