For many years, I was a victim of physical abuse. The shock of brutality left me feeling paralyzed by self-doubt. I was educated, with marketable skills, and I had friends and family who loved me. Still, I felt unable to move out of my situation. Then, one night, after another vicious attack, a heartfelt prayer rose up in me as a simple plea: "Dear God, get me out of here." A few minutes later, I walked out. I had no income and had a family to care for. Yet I knew that God was going to help us.
New friends who are Christian Scientists knew of my situation. They'd been sharing what they knew about God. This helped me to understand my perpetual relationship to God. I began to study the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy. Through its teachings, I began to glimpse that I was the blessed child of God. With God as the Father-Mother of each of us, we're eternally in possession of the gifts of peace, joy, and security, and are exempt from all that is not loving. I began to consider that God empowered me to make wise choices through silent, expectant prayer. I really could not blame anyone, living or dead, for my problems if I understood the nature of my heavenly Parent as the supreme source and guide. I could choose to give God, and not some person, power over my life.
Some victims think they have no place to go. The place to go is to God. All are richly endowed with the eternal capacity to be governed by God's love. Accepting that His love is eternally yours, you can hear God imparting to thought practical steps to take to free you from an experience that spiritual law never sanctioned. Your life is a sacred gift to be used to express happiness and usefulness. If you choose to let Him, God will show you how to do this. Today, there are many practical resources available to assist those ready to escape from abuse.
I found this statement by Mrs. Eddy very helpful: "Well may we feel wounded by our own faults; but we can hardly afford to be miserable for the faults of others" ("Miscellaneous Writings," pg. 224).
Spiritual reasoning and common sense leave no place for choosing to be someone's punching bag. There is no legitimate excuse for abuse. In the United States, battering is a crime. The fact that the criminal may be a family member or acquaintance in no way exempts him or her from the crime. If the battering is being witnessed by children, this is child abuse.
Allowing battering to continue doesn't protect any party involved. In addition to the misery it causes to the abused, it also keeps the batterer from being forced to get help for his or her violent behavior.
Should there be forgiveness and compassion for the abuser? Should we pray for his or her deliverance from destructive behavior? Of course. But sometimes, wisdom tells us this should be done at a safe distance. Prayer brings about the exercise of good judgment. Divine law supports any action that is righteous. It certainly is righteous to obey the laws of the land and to do whatever is lawful and needed to cause others to obey them.
Accepting our identity as God's dear offspring, we have every right to expect Him to lead us out of the prison of abuse, with no fear that any element of past harm has the power or right to trail us or keep us from going forward in our lives.
When I awoke to the understanding that, as God's child, I had always been entitled to live a safe and happy life, I began to hear His loving guidance. Healing and practical opportunities began to unfold. In the 20 years since my escape from abuse, as long as I've let Spirit guide me, my life has continued to be progressive. What's more, no one has raised a hand to me again.
Violence shall no more be
heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders;
but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.