HELLO PILGRIM REST FAMILY,
I pray that you and your families continue to experience the peace, presence and participation of God in your lives and you are healthy and well.
I know that we are all struggling with the challenges of the Safer at Home Order and finding alternative ways of interacting with family and friends. I remain prayerful for your safety and security and remain available to you to listen and share regarding your needs and concerns. Please call me, text me (414-852-4010) and/or email me email@example.com so we can talk out and talk through anything that you may be going through or need assistance with.
On last week, I shared that some (especially women, children and seniors) may experience an increase in physical, emotional and verbal abuse because they are at home all day with their abuser. Additionally, their abuser may become more aggressive because they are under additional stress because of loss of work and income.
If you are being abused, please know that it is not because of you or something that you have done. I am aware that abusers will say things like, “You made me do this.” Or they may say, “If you would have not…, I would have not hit you.” They use these and other statements to place the burden of the abuse upon the abused. Consequently, the abused person enters a downward spiral of lack of self-worth, self-esteem and self-potential – which makes it easier for the abuser to be abusive.
Please know that abuse (child abuse, elder abuse, domestic violence and any other form) is about power and control. Following are ways that abusers hurt those they abuse:
– Using Intimidation
– Using Isolation
– Using children
– Minimizing, denying and blaming
– Denying access to money
– Using male privilege
– Using coercion and threats
– Using emotional manipulation
– Breaking possessions
– Sexual assault
– Using control and submission
– Instilling fear
Following are changes to look for in someone who is being abused:
1. Notice any outward injuries or frequent absences from school or work. If a person is being physically abused, it is highly unlikely that they will come out and say this. There may be shame, self-blame, or fear that causes them to stay silent.
• Identify if the person appears to have frequent injuries or bruises due to “accidents.”
• Does the person’s choice of clothing seem to indicate that they are covering up bruises or scars? Notice if they after wearing long sleeves on hot days or sunglasses when indoors.
2. Be aware of any negative changes in the person’s behavior. Does the person appear more quiet, shy, or withdrawn? If this person had an outgoing and positive demeanor before, consider if their partner or abuser has had a negative impact.
• Whether the abused is a man, woman, or child, notice any changes in their self-esteem. Do they seem to have less self-esteem overall, or when talking about their relationship with a possible abuser?
• The person may seem to act like they’re “walking on egg shells” due to a systematic attempt by the abuser to control and blame them. This may be only when the abuser is present, or just in regular social situations.
3. See if the person appears isolated. Does the person appear to have limitations on how they spend their money, where they go, what they wear, and what medicines they take? Listen to them talk about the limitations they are experiencing due to the possible abuser’s preferences.
• Abusers tend to make themselves the center of an abused person’s universe. This way the abused feels like there is no “out” or alternative except to remain with the abuser. There may be a form of psychological manipulation to make the abused feel responsible for the situation.
• Reduced or restricted access to friends, family, and community support is a classic sign of domestic violence and abuse.
4. Watch out for increased fear, anxiety, and self-blame. An emotionally abused person may be manipulated into believing that whatever bad is happening is their own fault. This may be due to threats or emotional manipulation by the abuser to make them feel less-than. This will often create a sense of heightened fear and anxiety.
• Notice if a child is acting out with increased fear and anxiety, or appears to be noticeably withdrawn. Maybe the child talks about not wanting to go home, or appears to have genuine fear when a possible abuser’s name is mentioned.
• Take note if the person appears highly anxious, depressed, or possibly suicidal. Often people who are abused feel powerless and helpless. They also may feel shame about what has happened.
If you or someone you know is in an abusive environment, please make contact with me so we can talk through options that are available to you for relief and release from that environment. Your contact with me will remain anonymous.
As you are being safe, please continue to Be Smart and Be Serious:
Whereas this season of change that we are in has brought out the best in some people, unfortunately, it has brought out the worst in others. There are several scams and cons that are being perpetrated against unsuspecting victims. In short, do not accept anything from anyone that you do not know and did not order. This includes masks, and other items that you think you may need. Additionally, do not give your personal information to anyone who calls you to sell you something or give you something that you did not call first to inquire about. If someone is trying to give you something, sell you something and/or asking you to give them something, please call the church office so we may assist you.
Please take the precautions that have been established seriously. Reduce your interactions with others outside of those in your household to only those that are necessary. Practice social distancing of 6 feet between you and others. Wear your masks (if you do not have a mask, please call the church office to obtain one) when you must go outside of your house. Sanitize your home and items that you frequently touch (cell phone, remote control, door knobs, computer keyboards, etc. Wash your hands often.
We continue to pray for you and your families.
Pastor Martin and Sis. Thresessa Childs