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Checklist for Spouse Abuse and Domestic Violence Among Christians

For the Abused and Those Who Help Them

For Both Husband and Wife Abuse

by Patsy Rae Dawson

Scroll down to see the actual questionnaire about spouse abuse.

While spouse abuse is normally thought of as "wife" abuse, the first incident where I was called upon for help was "husband" abuse. The wife, who was a Christian, threw things at her husband, chased him down the stairs with a skillet of hot gravy, and screamed at him in stores and in their front yard. The husband finally asked for help when his wife began harassing him at work and causing problems for his whole department.

Copyright © 1990, 2004 by Patsy Rae Dawson LLC. All rights reserved. See Permission to Reproduce at end.

Another wife who filled out this questionnaire had never thought of herself as being abusive to her husband. However, as she answered the questions about the wife's conduct, she realized that some of the items described her. She had minimized her behavior over the years as, "That's just the way I am when I get mad."

A Woman Whose Husband is Abusive Is Not in Control

One woman who struggled to survive spouse abuse for nearly twenty years wrote on a previous questionnaire, "There needs to be lots of practical how-to examples. A woman whose husband is abusive is not in control. Even a woman who works hard to maintain mental health and Christianity cannot see clearly her situation. She needs specifics. The daily judgments of 'Is he going too far right now?' and 'How can I be submissive but refuse to participate in his sin?' are exhausting and time consuming. A woman becomes convinced that she is in the wrong."

She lamented, "I cannot describe how it is to be under the control of a 'godless' person, but it is a real, incapacitating situation. A woman will become incapable, as true as if she were chained, of making healthy decisions in order to remove herself from the situation." Your participation in this survey may well help both men and women to think more clearly.

How You Can Participate in an Informal Survey

You can help uncover the seriousness of spouse abuse of both husbands and wives among Christians by filling out this questionnaire. Results from previous questionnaires were used in preparing the lessons for Challenges in Marriage: How Sin Inhibits Love and What to Do About It. Read more about this audio album here.

Your response may be compiled with others and used in future publications. However, your response will remain anonymous as we are not collecting names or addresses. We are interested in the trends of data, not individual cases. Please print the questionnaire and send it to the address at the end of the form. By taking the time to answer these questions, you will aid other people in identifying and solving their problems. You may even recognize areas of spouse abuse or sin that you have minimized in the past or perhaps even thought were normal.

Sharing your experiences and feelings may help alert church leaders to the secret misery and suffering of their members. Seeing your pain and hopelessness may prompt them to obey Paul's instructions in Titus 2:2-8 to teach the older men and women and the young men and women how to act sensibly. Proper exercise of the husband's responsibilities is serious since God warns that He does not hear the prayers of men who mistreat their wives in I Peter 3:7. Possibly one reason so many congregations fail to prosper is because of hidden sin in the homes (Joshua 7). Not until husbands and wives make known their needs and the injustices done to them can godly leaders in the churches respond with appropriate support for their members. Then perhaps our leaders will teach more marriage and problem-solving classes for both husbands and wives and give better help on a personal level.

Questions Describe Different Levels of Violence Against Women

The questions describing the different levels of violence against women were adapted from the training manual for Shelter Services for Women, Inc. in California. Other questions are adapted from previously filled out questionnaires and the author's experience in working with couples and in attending training sessions at women's shelters. The questions describe the different forms of spouse abuse and the characteristics of those who submit to it. By identifying problems and focusing on solutions, your questionnaire will help determine what works, what fails, and why; and thus, can be used to help others.

Many who have not personally experienced ill-treatment know husbands and wives who have. If this describes you, fill out the questionnaire for people you know as you will have different insights than those caught in spouse abuse. Answer the first two questions for yourself, then on the remaining questions, instead of placing a check mark in the squares, write the number of women or men you know with each characteristic. You may want to fill out several questionnaires, one for each couple you've worked with.

If your spouse abused you in the past but no longer does, mark the answers that describe your marriage at its worst with "P" for "past conduct" and those that describe it now with "N" for "now." Later questions give you an opportunity to tell how you solved the problem.

Warning! Read This First!

Violence against women, children, and even men presents a real danger in many homes. All writers and authorities advise those in abusive relationships to take whatever steps are necessary to protect their own safety along with that of their children. They should trust their "gut instincts" and avoid dangerous situations.

For advice on where to obtain legal or other professional services in your area, contact your elders, minister, local women's shelter, law enforcement agency, or other suitable agencies or professionals. Women's shelters and other professionals can also give advice for specific cases and information regarding local laws to people helping those who are abused.

For additional help:

  • The hotline for spouse abuse and domestic violence in the United States is 1-800-799-7233. They can refer you to women's shelters and other services in your area.
  • Search on "violence against women" in the various search engines to find information in the United States and other countries.
  • If alcohol is involved, contact Al-Anon and Alateen at 1-888-425-2666. The Web site for both is www.al-anon.alateen.org.
  • Take care that information you put on your computer cannot be accessed by your batterer in an effort to find out what you are doing to help yourself. If he has access, he can read your e-mail and follow your search of helpful web sites. If you do not have a secure computer, use one at the library or use a friend's that you can trust.

People Helping the Abused

1. Answers pertain to: [ ] you, [ ] women you know, [ ] men you know, [ ] relative, [ ] friend, [ ] other (specify).

2. Your present religion: [ ] non-denominational Christian, [ ] Protestant (specify), [ ] Catholic, [ ] Jewish, [ ] Agnostic, [ ] other (specify).

3. Your religious convictions: [ ] strongly religious, [ ] moderately religious, [ ] slightly religious, [ ] not religious, [ ] anti-religious.

4. Your spiritual activities: [ ] elder, [ ] deacon, [ ] preacher, [ ] teacher of men's classes, [ ] teacher of adult Bible classes, [ ] participate in public worship services (specify), [ ] elder's wife, [ ] deacon's wife, [ ] preacher's wife, [ ] teacher of women's classes, [ ] children's Bible class teacher, [ ] other active congregational worker (specify), [ ] confidante of others, [ ] other (specify).

Background of the Abused and the Abuser

5. Wife's religious upbringing: [ ] non-denominational Christian, [ ] Protestant (specify), [ ] Catholic, [ ] Jewish, [ ] Agnostic, [ ] other (specify).

6. Wife's present religion: [ ] non-denominational Christian, [ ] Protestant (specify), [ ] Catholic, [ ] Jewish, [ ] Agnostic, [ ] other (specify).

7. Wife's religious convictions: [ ] strongly religious, [ ] moderately religious, [ ] slightly religious, [ ] not religious, [ ] anti-religious.

8. Wife's spiritual activities: [ ] elder's wife, [ ] deacon's wife, [ ] preacher's wife, [ ] teacher of women, [ ] children's Bible class teacher, [ ] other active congregational worker, [ ] confidante of women, [ ] other (specify).

9. Wife's education: [ ] high-school graduate, [ ] some college or trade school, [ ] college graduate or higher.

10. Wife's age: [ ] 18 to 30, [ ] 31 to 40, [ ] 41 to 50, [ ] 51 to 65, [ ] over 65.

11. Wife's substance use: [ ] alcohol, [ ] illegal drugs, [ ] tranquilizers, [ ] none.

12. Wife abused by: [ ] father, [ ] mother, [ ] grandparent, [ ] sibling, [ ] other relative, [ ] other (specify), [ ] mental, [ ] physical, [ ] sexual, [ ] none.

13. Husband's religious upbringing: [ ] nondenominational Christian, [ ] Protestant (specify), [ ] Catholic, [ ] Jewish, [ ] Agnostic, [ ] other (specify).

14. Husband's present religion: [ ] nondenominational Christian, [ ] Protestant (specify), [ ] Catholic, [ ] Jewish, [ ] Agnostic, [ ] other (specify).

15. Husband's religious convictions: [ ] strongly religious, [ ] moderately religious, [ ] slightly religious, [ ] not religious, [ ] anti-religious.

16. Husband's spiritual activities: [ ] elder, [ ] deacon, [ ] preacher, [ ] song leader, [ ] leader of prayer, [ ] adult class teacher, [ ] teenage Bible class teacher, [ ] other active congregational worker, [ ] confidant of men, [ ] respected by Christians, [ ] other (specify).

17. Husband's education: [ ] high-school graduate, [ ] some college or trade school, [ ] college graduate or higher.

18. Husband's age: [ ] 18 to 30, [ ] 31 to 40, [ ] 41 to 50, [ ] 51 to 65, [ ] over 65.

19. Husband's substance use: [ ] alcohol, [ ] illegal drugs, [ ] tranquilizers, [ ] none.

20. Husband abused by: [ ] father, [ ] mother, [ ] grandparent, [ ] sibling, [ ] other relative, [ ] other (specify), [ ] mental, [ ] physical, [ ] sexual, [ ] none.

21. Family income: [ ] less than $12,000, [ ] $12,000 to $19,999, [ ] $20,000 to $34,999, [ ] $35,000 to $49,999, [ ] $50,000 to $74,999, [ ] over $75,000.

Recognizing the Problem

22. When abuse began: [ ] courtship, [ ] living together before marriage, [ ] honeymoon, [ ] first year of marriage, [ ] first five years of marriage, [ ] first minor problem arose, [ ] first major problem arose, [ ] other (specify).

23. If saw evidence of abuse in courtship: [ ] thought could change spouse, [ ] believed spouse's promises to change, [ ] thought spouse needed her/him, [ ] thought it wasn't important, [ ] other (specify).

24. During actual episodes of abuse was there: [ ] unemployment, [ ] death in the family, [ ] financial problems, [ ] work problems, [ ] problems with children, [ ] drug use, [ ] alcohol use, [ ] natural disaster, i.e. hurricane, tornado, flood, fire (specify), [ ] other outside influences (specify). If yes, to any of the above, is abuse limited to these times? [ ] yes, [ ] no. If no, is the abuse worse during these times? [ ] yes, [ ] no.

25. Communication about non-problem matters with spouse: [ ] talk meaningfully, [ ] difficulty talking, [ ] seldom talk, [ ] never talk.

26. Communication about problems with spouse: [ ] talk meaningfully, [ ] difficulty talking, [ ] seldom talk, [ ] never talk.

27. Communication about wife's personal feelings with husband: [ ] talk meaningfully, [ ] difficulty talking, [ ] seldom talk, [ ] avoid talking, [ ] listen while she talks, [ ] wife gets angry, [ ] husband gets angry.

28. Communication about husband's personal feelings with wife: [ ] talk meaningfully, [ ] difficulty talking, [ ] seldom talk, [ ] avoid talking, [ ] listen while he talks, [ ] wife gets angry, [ ] husband gets angry.

29. Wife's verbal abuse of husband: [ ] gets angry when he discusses problems, [ ] yells and screams, [ ] harangues, [ ] intimidates with outbursts of temper, [ ] ridicules looks, [ ] belittles things he does, [ ] compares unfavorably to other men, [ ] says no other woman would want him, [ ] badgers to get a better job, [ ] says he doesn't know what he is talking about, [ ] degrades in front of children, [ ] insults intelligence, [ ] blames for everything that goes wrong, [ ] calls names, [ ] denies saying things actually said, [ ] says he's crazy, [ ] says he's too sensitive, [ ] says he shouldn't feel the way he does, [ ] denies being abusive, [ ] gives him the silent treatment, [ ] tells him what to do all the time, [ ] says he's getting upset about nothing, [ ] claims forgot the incident when he tries to talk about it, [ ] says he's making it up, [ ] says he's trying to pick a fight, [ ] speaks derogatorily of all men, [ ] jokes about men as sex animals, [ ] ridicules his sexual needs, [ ] minimizes his sexual feelings and desires, [ ] uses dirty, abusive or ridiculing language during sexual contact, [ ] jealous or accuses of being unfaithful, [ ] threatens to leave, [ ] threatens to disappear, [ ] threatens to take the children, [ ] threatens suicide, [ ] threatens to kill him, [ ] threatens to slap or harm him, [ ] says no one will believe him, [ ] causes problems at his work, [ ] harbors bitterness, [ ] judges motives, [ ] compares with previous lovers, [ ] brags about affairs, [ ] other (specify).

30. Frequency: [ ] daily, [ ] weekly, [ ] monthly, [ ] yearly, [ ] other (specify).

31. Wife's physical abuse of husband: [ ] throws household objects, [ ] breaks household objects, [ ] grabs and throws his hand down when he reaches out to touch or hold her, [ ] avoids touching him during sexual contact, [ ] pinches or squeezes, [ ] jerks, pulls, shoves or shakes, [ ] slaps, bites, scratches or pulls hair, [ ] hits, punches or kicks, [ ] creates need for medical attention, [ ] withholds sex, [ ] engages in affairs, [ ] other (specify).

32. Frequency: [ ] daily, [ ] weekly, [ ] monthly, [ ] yearly, [ ] other (specify).

33. Husband's verbal abuse of wife: [ ] gets angry when she discusses problems, [ ] yells and screams, [ ] harangues, [ ] intimidates with outbursts of temper, [ ] ridicules looks, [ ] belittles things she does, [ ] compares unfavorably to other women, [ ] says no other man would want her, [ ] badgers to get a better job, [ ] says she doesn't know what she is talking about, [ ] degrades in front of children, [ ] insults intelligence, [ ] blames for everything that goes wrong, [ ] calls names, [ ] denies saying things actually said, [ ] says she's crazy, [ ] says she's too sensitive, [ ] says she shouldn't feel the way she does, [ ] denies being abusive, [ ] gives her the silent treatment, [ ] tells her what to do all the time, [ ] says she's getting upset about nothing, [ ] claims forgot the incident when she tries to talk about it, [ ] says she's making it up, [ ] says she's trying to pick a fight, [ ] speaks derogatorily of all women, [ ] jokes about women as sex objects, [ ] ridicules her sexual needs, [ ] minimizes her sexual feelings and desires, [ ] uses dirty, abusive or ridiculing language during sexual contact, [ ] jealous or accuses of being unfaithful, [ ] threatens to leave, [ ] threatens to disappear, [ ] threatens to take the children, [ ] threatens suicide, [ ] threatens to kill her, [ ] threatens to hit or harm her, [ ] says no one will believe her, [ ] causes problems at her work, [ ] harbors bitterness, [ ] judges motives, [ ] compares with previous lovers, [ ] brags about affairs, [ ] other (specify).

34. Frequency: [ ] daily, [ ] weekly, [ ] monthly, [ ] yearly, [ ] other (specify).

35. Husband's potentially dangerous acts toward wife: [ ] verbally threatens harm, [ ] gestures to threaten physical harm, [ ] pinches or squeezes, [ ] jerks, pulls, shoves or shakes, [ ] slaps, bites or pulls hair, [ ] physically restrains, [ ] expects compulsive perfection, [ ] minimizes her sexual feelings and desires, [ ] forces abusive sexual contact, [ ] wakes in middle of night to do any of these, [ ] walks in adultery, [ ] practices homosexuality, [ ] throws or punches household objects, [ ] drives aggressively and curses other drivers.

36. Frequency: [ ] daily, [ ] weekly, [ ] monthly, [ ] yearly, [ ] other (specify).

37. Husband's dangerous acts toward wife: [ ] shakes and causes bruises, [ ] hits, punches or kicks, [ ] chokes, [ ] threatens to kill her or children, [ ] threatens to kill her family, [ ] demands all her attention and resents children, [ ] threatens with abusing or getting custody of children, [ ] isolates from friends, [ ] forces to look at or watch pornography, [ ] tells about his affairs.

38. Frequency: [ ] daily, [ ] weekly, [ ] monthly, [ ] yearly, [ ] other (specify).

39. Husband's highly dangerous acts toward wife: [ ] uses household objects as weapons, [ ] breaks bones, [ ] breaks or loosens teeth, [ ] causes internal injuries, [ ] creates need for medical attention, [ ] uses knives, guns, or poisons for disabling or disfiguring, [ ] demands unreasonable perfection--nothing pleases him, [ ] deprives of food, sleep, medicine, etc., [ ] destroys pets, [ ] engages in incest or child abuse, [ ] practices sadism (sex for the purpose of hurting), [ ] destroys property by hitting, punching or kicking walls, chairs, etc.

40. Frequency: [ ] daily, [ ] weekly, [ ] monthly, [ ] yearly, [ ] other (specify).

41. Other types of [ ] wife or [ ] husband abuse: [ ] husband fails to work to provide for family, [ ] husband frequently out of work, [ ] spends money recklessly, [ ] buys luxuries for self while denying family's needs, [ ] uncontrolled use of charge cards, [ ] expects mate to appease creditors, [ ] gambles, [ ] neglects mate's sexual desires and needs, [ ] harbors bitterness, [ ] restricts mate's attendance of worship assemblies, [ ] restricts mate's attendance of Bible classes, [ ] hinders mate's association with Christians, [ ] flirts with members of the opposite sex, [ ] accuses mate of jealousy when questions actions in regard to opposite sex, [ ] gives mate the silent treatment for [ ] days, [ ] weeks, or [ ] months at a time.

42. Frequency: [ ] daily, [ ] weekly, [ ] monthly, [ ] yearly, [ ] other (specify).

43. How abuser deals with [ ] his or [ ] her abuse: [ ] apologetic, [ ] genuinely sorry, [ ] asks for forgiveness, [ ] cries, [ ] charming afterwards, [ ] loving afterwards, [ ] promises never to do it again, [ ] promises to get counseling, [ ] promises to quit drinking or using drugs, [ ] makes promises he or she doesn't keep, [ ] makes spouse promise not to tell, [ ] makes spouse hide bruises or stay home so others can't see damage, [ ] goes with spouse to see doctor, friends, and relatives so mate is never alone with people who might help, [ ] minimizes seriousness, i.e. didn't hit, just pushed, [ ] claims spouse is too sensitive, [ ] says he or she is only teasing, [ ] expects spouse to clean up his or her messes in the home, i.e. damaged or broken items, [ ] expects spouse to smooth over emotional hurts with others that he or she inflicts, [ ] goes forward at religious services to ask for forgiveness and prayers without telling what the specific sin was.

44. Abuser controls abuse around: [ ] fellow workers, [ ] religious contacts or brethren, [ ] friends, [ ] relatives, [ ] neighbors, [ ] police, [ ] people in public.

45. Excuses abused [ ] wife or [ ] husband makes for other's abuse: [ ] minimizes, i.e. it's not as bad as it seems, [ ] had a bad childhood, [ ] too tired, [ ] overworked, [ ] ok when not tired, [ ] friends influence him or her, [ ] can't help acting that way because those people were unreasonable, [ ] he or she has problems at work, [ ] he or she was drunk, [ ] he or she was on drugs, [ ] didn't know what he or she was doing, [ ] mate deserved to be punished, [ ] other (specify).

46. Abused [ ] wife or [ ] husband blames self for abuse: [ ] all the time, [ ] frequently, [ ] occasionally, [ ] seldom, [ ] never, [ ] used to, but doesn't now.

47. Ways abused [ ] wife or [ ] husband blames self for abuse: [ ] appearance, [ ] housekeeping, [ ] personal habits, [ ] job habits, [ ] out of work, [ ] intelligence, [ ] past promiscuousness, [ ] got pregnant or got her pregnant, [ ] unable to get pregnant or unable to get her pregnant, [ ] sexual desires too strong, [ ] sets him or her off, [ ] can't control emotions, [ ] can't control tongue, [ ] inability to quit caring, [ ] can't do anything right, [ ] if could just figure out what he or she wants, then he or she would be happy, [ ] other (specify).

48. Abused [ ] wife or [ ] husband accepts role of making spouse happy: [ ] always, [ ] frequently, [ ] occasionally, [ ] never, it's his responsibility.

49. Abused [ ] wife's or [ ] husband's emotional state: [ ] spouse's problem not hers or his, [ ] full of guilt, [ ] some depression, [ ] often depressed, [ ] deep, consuming depression, [ ] bitter, [ ] extreme bitterness, [ ] feels trapped, [ ] resentful, [ ] nervous breakdown, [ ] on verge of nervous breakdown, [ ] emotionally exhausted, [ ] fears losing sanity, [ ] suicidal, [ ] attempted suicide, [ ] paranoid, [ ] hopeless, [ ] rejected, [ ] feels as if drowning, [ ] cries all the time, [ ] tears have dried up, [ ] fighting for emotional survival, [ ] emotional paralysis, [ ] inability to make decisions, [ ] envious of untroubled couples, [ ] embarrassed to admit abuse to others, [ ] thoughts of divorce, [ ] other (specify).

50. Abused [ ] wife's or [ ] husband's self-image: [ ] blames self, [ ] feels worthless, [ ] feels like a failure, [ ] angry toward self, [ ] accepts bad things spouse says as true, [ ] thinks is crazy, [ ] low self-image, [ ] good self-image, [ ] high self-image, [ ] other (specify).

51. Abused [ ] wife's or [ ] husband's attitude toward spouse: [ ] loves no matter what spouse does, [ ] can't live without spouse, [ ] spouse needs him or her, [ ] bitter, [ ] angry, [ ] hates spouse, [ ] wishes for spouse's death, [ ] blames spouse for all problems, [ ] respects, [ ] doesn't respect, [ ] admires abilities, [ ] despises abilities, [ ] afraid of, [ ] feels secure with, [ ] other (specify).

52. Abused [ ] wife's or [ ] husband's attitude toward marriage: [ ] equates dominance with masculinity, [ ] thinks has no rights, [ ] accepts guilt even when has done nothing wrong, [ ] feels must help spouse no matter what, [ ] smoothes things over between spouse and others, [ ] strong need to be needed, [ ] tells self things will improve with time, [ ] believes can do nothing about situation, [ ] determines self-worth by ability to catch and hold a mate, [ ] other (specify).

53. Time span of abuse: [ ] 1 year, [ ] 2 years, [ ] 3-6 years, [ ] 7-10 years, [ ] 11-15 years, [ ] 16-20 years, [ ] 21-25 years, [ ] over 25 years (specify).

54. How abuse changed: [ ] stayed the same, [ ] gradually got worse, [ ] rapidly got worse, [ ] stopped completely, [ ] loving cycle shorter, [ ] loving cycle disappeared, [ ] other (specify).

55. How abuser treats children: [ ] yells, [ ] ignores them, [ ] curses them, [ ] harsh discipline, [ ] withholds love, [ ] expects perfection, [ ] fails to see good in them, [ ] berates spouse to, [ ] wakes in middle of night, [ ] incest, [ ] terrifies, [ ] other (specify).

56. Frequency: [ ] all the time, [ ] most of the time, [ ] some of the time, [ ] seldom, [ ] never.

57. Abused [ ] wife or [ ] husband takes frustrations out on children: [ ] yells, [ ] ignores them, [ ] curses them, [ ] harsh discipline, [ ] withholds love, [ ] expects perfection to keep spouse calm, [ ] fails to see good in them, [ ] fails to protect from spouse's abuse, [ ] fails to protect from spouse's incest,[ ] secretly berates spouse to, [ ] other (specify).

58. Frequency: [ ] all the time, [ ] most of the time, [ ] some of the time, [ ] seldom, [ ] never.

59. Arguments the abuser uses to make the abused [ ] wife or [ ] husband submit or keep the abuse secret: [ ] "I'm the leader, and I can do anything I want," [ ] "You're just unforgiving," [ ] "You just want to be the boss," [ ] "If you say something, it will only make you look ridiculous," [ ] "People will think you are crazy," [ ] "I'll lose my job," [ ] "People will see what a bad wife or husband you are," [ ] "No one will believe you," [ ] "I'll kill your family," [ ] "I'll get custody of the children," [ ] other (specify).

Attempts to Find a Solution

60. Abused [ ] wife or [ ] husband misses worship assemblies and Bible classes because of marriage problems: [ ] Sunday mornings, [ ] Sunday evening, [ ] mid-week classes, [ ] never, [ ] occasionally, [ ] frequently, [ ] stopped going.

61. What abused [ ] wife or [ ] husband tells people who ask why missed: [ ] lies, [ ] deceives by telling something that is true to make them draw a false conclusion, [ ] pretends to be sick, [ ] schedules work during meeting times, [ ] takes advantage of minor illnesses of children, [ ] plans trips to avoid attending, [ ] other (specify).

62. Abused [ ] wife or [ ] husband considers "falling away" from brethren: [ ] never, [ ] occasionally, [ ] frequently.

63. Effect on abused [ ] wife's or [ ] husband's faith: [ ] better than ever, [ ] faltering, [ ] lost confidence in God, [ ] blame God, [ ] none, [ ] other (specify).

64. Abused [ ] wife or [ ] husband covers-up abuse by lying to or deceiving: [ ] his boss, [ ] her boss, [ ] elders, [ ] preacher, [ ] his family, [ ] her family, [ ] children, [ ] Christians, [ ] friends, [ ] neighbors, [ ] police.

65. Why abused [ ] wife or [ ] husband covers-up: [ ] hurt his influence, [ ] hurt her influence, [ ] mate threatened harm, [ ] afraid mate will retaliate, [ ] embarrassed, thinks mate is just like all the other husbands or wives, [ ] hurt other Christians, [ ] afraid of financial consequences, [ ] other (specify).

66. Abused [ ] wife or [ ] husband left mate to make abuser straighten up: [ ] yes, [ ] no, [ ] number of times, [ ] permanent results, [ ] temporary results, [ ] divorced. Briefly describe outcome.

67. Abused [ ] wife or [ ] husband confronted mate about sins: [ ] never, [ ] occasionally, [ ] frequently, [ ] other (specify), [ ] chose a good time, i.e. not when fighting, [ ] chose a bad time, i.e. when fighting or upset, [ ] controlled his or her emotions, [ ] didn't control his or her emotions. Briefly describe outcome.

68. Abuser's reaction to outside help: [ ] straightened up temporarily before got help, [ ] straightened up permanently before got help, [ ] said not to get help, [ ] threatened if mate got help, [ ] didn't care. Did abused [ ] wife or [ ] husband follow through and seek help? [ ] yes, [ ] no. Briefly describe outcome.

69. People abused [ ] wife or [ ] husband asked for help (write number of people in each square): [ ] mate, [ ] mother, [ ] father, [ ] in-laws, [ ] relatives, [ ] elders, [ ] preachers, [ ] older women in congregation, [ ] other Christians ([ ] men or [ ] women), [ ] neighbors, [ ] friends, [ ] women's shelter, [ ] police, [ ] psychologists or psychiatrists, [ ] doctors, [ ] books, [ ] other (specify).

70. People who helped abused [ ] wife or [ ] husband the most: [ ] mate, [ ] mother, [ ] father, [ ] in-laws, [ ] relatives, [ ] elders, [ ] preachers, [ ] older women in congregation, [ ] other Christians ([ ] men or [ ] women), [ ] neighbors, [ ] friends, [ ] women's shelter, [ ] police, [ ] psychologists or psychiatrists, [ ] doctors, [ ] books, [ ] other (specify).

71. How elders treated abused [ ] wife or [ ] husband: [ ] sympathized but did nothing, [ ] talked to abuser if he or she volunteered to talk, [ ] talked to abuser even if he or she resisted talking, [ ] told wife to submit no matter what husband did, [ ] told wife submitting to sin is not Biblical subjection, [ ] blamed wife for husband's abuse, [ ] preached a sermon, [ ] taught a men's class on marriage, [ ] taught a women's class on marriage, [ ] required abuser to confess sin before congregation, [ ] told abused mate to forgive abuser because of confession, [ ] failed to follow up to see if mate made real changes, [ ] followed up to see if mate made real changes, [ ] required abuser to get some type of help, i.e. study, get counseling, etc. (specify), [ ] practiced church discipline, [ ] offered shelter, [ ] other (specify), [ ] problem got better (specify how long it lasted), [ ] problem got worse.

72. How preachers treated abused [ ] wife or [ ] husband: [ ] sympathized but did nothing, [ ] talked to abuser if he or she volunteered to talk, [ ] talked to abuser even if he or she resisted talking, [ ] told wife to submit no matter what husband did, [ ] told wife submitting to sin is not Biblical subjection, [ ] blamed wife for husband's abuse, [ ] preached a sermon, [ ] taught a men's class on marriage, [ ] taught a women's class on marriage, [ ] required abuser to confess sin before congregation, [ ] told abused mate to forgive abuser because of confession, [ ] failed to follow up to see if mate made real changes, [ ] followed up to see if mate made real changes, [ ] required abuser to get some type of help, i.e. study, get counseling, etc. (specify), [ ] practiced church discipline, [ ] offered shelter, [ ] other (specify), [ ] problem got better (specify how long it lasted), [ ] problem got worse.

73. How other Christians treated abused [ ] wife or [ ] husband: [ ] sympathized but did nothing, [ ] told wife to submit to husband no matter what he did, [ ] told wife submitting to sin is not Biblical subjection, [ ] helped restore wife's self-image, [ ] blamed for spouse's abuse, [ ] taught the wife's role, [ ] taught the husband's role, [ ] offered shelter, [ ] gave emotional support, [ ] confronted the abuser about his or her sin, [ ] helped resolve the problem, [ ] other (specify).

74. How the police and courts treated abused [ ] wife or [ ] husband: [ ] how many times did police respond, [ ] charges filed against abuser, [ ] required counseling or treatment for abuser, [ ] forbid abuser from living in the home, [ ] gave support for the abused wife or husband, [ ] restraining order obtained, [ ] helped resolve the problem, [ ] other (specify).

75. The abused [ ] wife's or [ ] husband's codependent reactions to help: [ ] depended on others to tell him or her what to say and do, [ ] called the helpers day and night to help solve problems, [ ] relied on the helper's strength instead of developing personal courage, [ ] constantly wanted others to talk him or her into doing what was right, [ ] needed constant advice and reassurance, [ ] unable to take control of his or her own life and develop personal strength to deal with the problem, [ ] frequently started a course of action and then backed out when abuser applied pressure, [ ] wanted frequent emotional support from others, [ ] incapable of acting to resolve the problem without constant coaching, [ ] other (specify).

76. The abused [ ] wife's or [ ] husband's healthy reactions to help: [ ] began making personal decisions by self to help self, [ ] developed self-confidence, [ ] learned to trust and rely on God, [ ] when learned how to deal with mate's sin, had strength to apply principles, [ ] developed insights into own codependent behavior and overcame it, [ ] had courage to do what was right regardless of the consequences, [ ] practiced safe methods for not submitting to abuse, [ ] followed through on using the police to help, [ ] followed through on using peer pressure in the church, [ ] quit covering up for abuse, [ ] took steps to protect self and children from dangerous situations, [ ] insisted that abuser get help to permanently overcome problem, [ ] quit smoothing things over with other people the abuser offended, [ ] able to reject advice of church leaders and Christians who essentially advocated submitting to the sin, [ ] held abuser accountable for his or her sinful behavior, [ ] other (specify).

77. Describe how others helped the abused [ ] wife or [ ] husband:

78. Has the abuser taken a marriage class? [ ] yes, [ ] no. Describe telling name and author of book, length of class, homework required, who taught, etc.

79. Result on marriage: [ ] improved permanently, [ ] improved for little while, [ ] abuser harped on mate's shortcomings, [ ] no effect, [ ] abuser quit going.

80. Has the abused [ ] wife or [ ] husband taken a marriage class? [ ] yes, [ ] no. Describe telling name and author of book, length of class, homework required, who taught, etc.

81. Result on marriage: [ ] improved permanently, [ ] improved for little while, [ ] discouraged by other couple's successes, [ ] made abuser's faults more glaring, [ ] no effect, [ ] quit going.

82. Has the abuser gone to anger control sessions? [ ] yes, [ ] no. Describe sessions, how long went, outside work required, who taught, etc.

83. Result on marriage: [ ] improved permanently, [ ] improved for little while, [ ] made abuser's faults more glaring, [ ] no effect, [ ] quit going.

84. Has the abuser gone to a psychological therapist? [ ] yes, [ ] no. Describe sessions, how long went, outside work required, type of therapist, etc.

85. Result on marriage: [ ] improved permanently, [ ] improved for little while, [ ] made abuser's faults more glaring, [ ] no effect, [ ] quit going.

86. Has the abused [ ] wife or [ ] husband gone to a psychological therapist? [ ] yes, [ ] no. Describe sessions, how long went, outside work required, type of therapist, etc.

87. Result on marriage: [ ] improved permanently, [ ] improved for little while, [ ] made abuser's faults more glaring, [ ] no effect, [ ] quit going.

88. What part has prayer played in the abused [ ] wife's or [ ] husband's life?

89. What helped the abused [ ] wife or [ ] husband the most?

90. Has the abuse stopped? [ ] yes, [ ] no. If "yes," briefly tell how long it went on, what stopped it and how long it has been stopped.

91. Give your advice: (on a separate sheet of paper write a short paragraph of advice for each of these people) new brides and grooms, abused wives and husbands, elders and preachers, Christians trying to help abused wives and husbands.

92. Tell how you handled one episode of abuse properly whether in your own life or the advice you gave someone else.

93. Tell how you handled one episode of abuse improperly whether in your own life or the advice you gave someone else.

94. Additional comments: If you would like to address some of these areas in more detail, write your comments on a separate sheet of paper.

Return the Spouse Abuse Survey

Thank you for your interest and for caring about other men and women! Your answers will be held in complete confidence and no names will be used in future publications. Past experience with students shows that if they do not fill out the survey right away and return it, they lay it aside with good intentions only to discover it is still uncompleted months later. Please help couples in desperate situations by filling out the spouse abuse survey and returning it as soon as possible. Thank you for your time and thoughtfulness. Send to Patsy Rae Dawson LLC, PO Box 20408,
Amarillo, TX 79114.

Additional Biblical Help for Spouse Abuse

After years or decades of walking on eggshells and trying to please an abusive spouse who refuses to be pleased, both men and women often hunker down into survival-mode masking. As a result, they never rise to their full potential as a spouse, parent, or person.

Healing and developing personal strength begins with claiming your genetic personality and talents. It involves examining your masks with adult eyes so you can discard the bad and embrace the good. It helps you become authentic in spite of an abusive spouse determined to change you.

Patsy Rae Dawson, a Christian marriage, sex, and divorce coach, has been coaching men and women for over 40 years on overcoming their difficult marriages and crushed masculine and feminine spirits. Her program WHO ARE YOU? helps you uncover your authentic genetic personality while claiming your unique talents developed during years of masking.

 

Permission to Reproduce Survey on Spouse Abuse and Domestic Violence Among Christians

Survey on Spouse Abuse and Domestic Violence Among Christians by Patsy Rae Dawson. Copyright © 1990 and 2004 Patsy Rae Dawson LLC. All rights reserved.

Survey on Spouse Abuse and Domestic Violence Among Christians by Patsy Rae Dawson is available at PatsyRaeDawson.com. It may be copied for noncommercial use only, provided you do the following: 1. Retain all copyright, trademark and propriety notices; 2. Make no modifications to the materials; 3. Do not use the materials in a manner that suggests an association with Patsy Rae Dawson LLC; and; 4. Do not download quantities of materials to a database, server, or personal computer for reuse for commercial purposes. You may not use this material in any other way without prior written permission. For additional permissions, contact Patsy Rae Dawson LLC at Patsy@PatsyRaeDawson.com.

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