The NFL and the church share the same culture of silence on abuse (COMMENTARY)

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Autumn Miles is author of “Appointed” and the founder and president of The Blush Network, a conference ministry dedicated to spiritually challenging the way young women think. She is also the co-host of “Power Talk,” a Christian radio show in Dallas, Texas. Photo courtesy of A. Larry Ross

Autumn Miles is author of “Appointed” and the founder and president of The Blush Network, a conference ministry dedicated to spiritually challenging the way young women think. She is also the co-host of “Power Talk,” a Christian radio show in Dallas, Texas. Photo courtesy of A. Larry Ross

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(RNS) The culture of silence that kept me in an abusive marriage continues to haunt churches in America and across the world.

  • Jon

    Thank you, Autumn, for your voice. Your bravery benefits everyone in society – women, men, children – both today and in future generations. We need to finally break this code of silence and victim-blaming.

  • I too have been in those shoes. I wanted to leave but felt like if I did I would be sinning. I was abused emotionally, physically, and sexually. My children were very little. When I started counseling I finally realized I had to leave. I didn’t want my daughter growing up marrying a man thinking abuse was ok. Not did I want my son to grow up thinking being an abuser was ok. I know God understands my decision from many years ago and I know He loves me anyways!

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  • The Church represents less than 1 % of abuse. Homosexual and psychiatric abuse of adults and minors is under reported and represents more abuse than most demographic sectors including the Church. The hypocrites pulling their support as in Anheuser Busch and Nike are both guilty of abuse and promoting it. Chocolate, oil, food, other goods and services all promote abuse which all in society are buying. Step outside and look at what is happening and see that media and others are abusing and bullying Rice, Peterson and others whereas those chronic abusers are ignored. May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year, shalom, peace be with you, God bless you…

  • Greg

    Your experience is a shame and the culture of silence over sin should not exist in the church, no matter what the percentage. God still hates divorce however. It is a universal statement applied to a specific in Israel. Just as the universal statement of love in 1 Cor. 13 applies to all relationships, not just to the selfish, unloving, narcissistic church at Corinth. Paul does condone separation if a women finds herself in an untenable situation. No one (female or male) should be required to stay in an abusive marriage because of the church culture of patriarchy or a misunderstanding of God’s high value of the marital covenant.

  • gilhcan

    Unavoidable observation if one is going to be honest! And big money is involved in both. The difference with churches is that all their money comes from the people in the pews. Let us hope that what goes on in sanctuaries is not a kind of spectacle entertainment in return for money dropped in passed baskets or plates as what takes place on the playgrounds of professional sports for which those who fill the stadium seats pay their money at the gate.

  • gilhcan

    People are human, real. Relationships are human, real. Marriage and even divorce are real. No need to build excuses involving God because of the breakdown in human relationships. Face the realities. Handle them. And move on. Marriage is human, so are break-ups, just like all other human relationships.

  • Susa

    I stayed for 10 years for these teasons plus the fact that church leadership reinforced it was my fault by asking what I had done to “make” him hit me. I was told if I was more “submissive” he wouldn’t have to hit me. This was omt the beginning of my escape that destroyed the next 25 years of my life. Today my adult son still sees my ex husband as a victim of me…. And The nightmare that became his life after we were shunned and abandoned…well – the “church” has been missing it in these issues pretty much forever….

  • Susa

    Apologize for typos. On mobile…autocorrect…

  • Jennifer Avery

    “While some biblical verses state that God hates divorce, the admonition was directed toward Jewish husbands who were mistreating their Jewish wives because they wanted to marry pagan ones. The statement “God hates divorce” was meant for the husbands as a warning to stop mistreating their current wives.”

    That’s interesting. What’s your sources?

    I always assumed that Matthew 5:32 meant that people divorcing good people make them run off with someone else, which is why, in Matthew 19:7-9, Jesus also says divorce was aloud because some men were mean. Those divorces were given by mean people, not victims.

    You’re a victim. Your elders should have been more understanding. I hope you’ve found a different one, in a denomination that believes in spiritual gender-equality.