It’s 5:30 pm. Rachel* sighs heavily as she collects her things to leave work. As she stands up and lifts her bag onto her shoulder, she winces in pain. Her chaotic day at the accounting firm caused her to forget about the knot on her shoulder. Before she left for work that morning her husband, James*, confronted her after their three daughters caught the bus for school. James didn’t like how Rachel arrived home late last night from work and was too tired to prepare dinner for him and their daughters. To ensure this wouldn’t happen again, James yanked her by the arm and dragged her into the kitchen, all while intentionally slamming her into every corner along the way.
When you look at Rachel you don’t see evidence of her husband’s violence towards her. Her husband has never punched her in the eye, or anywhere noticeable. He never leaves any marks she has to explain away.
James’ graphic design company went bankrupt a year ago, and he hasn’t been able to find another job. Once he became unemployed, he felt a loss of control in his life. This shift caused his outbursts to become more frequent and more violent.
James was always known to be impatient and he always had an anger problem. While James and Rachel dated, Rachel often justified James’ behavior to her friends. She would explain, “He’s just really invested,” when friends asked why he always had to know where she was located at all times. Or whenever he would obsessively yell when things didn’t go his way she would reply, “He’s just really passionate.” When they got married he would push her every now and then when he became frustrated, but Rachel never thought twice about it. “Life is hard,” she would tell herself. “Everyone loses it every now and then, right?”
“Besides,” Rachel often thought to herself, “as long as I take care of the kids, keep the house up, and fix all the meals, James won’t have a reason to get mad at me.”
She stays with her husband because as he said, leaving him would break up their family and set a bad example for their daughters. Rachel also doesn’t want to get a divorce. She made a vow before God, her family and her friends when they married. She just knew her and her husband would grow old together. Just last month they celebrated their twelfth wedding anniversary. James planned a wonderful trip to the Bahamas. “He’s such a romantic,” she reasoned.
So she stays. She copes with her pain in silence. She deals with the abuse, with no end in sight.
*Names and details have been changed.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church wants to end all types of violence towards women and girls now.
EndItNow is a campaign by the World Headquarters of Seventh-day Adventist Church to stop violence against women and raise awareness worldwide. EndItNow was established in 2009, and has extended to more than 200 countries and territories through the various humanitarian and women’s ministries efforts.
EndItNow addresses sex trafficking, domestic abuse, sexual assault, honor killings, female genital mutilation, child marriage, emotional and verbal abuse, and other forms of violence.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church has prepared a message for the United Nations, but we need your help in order to deliver our message. More than 500,000 people have signed our petition on EndItNow.org addressed to the United Nations to represent the Adventist Church’s commitment to end violence against women, but we still need 500,000 more signatures.
Please help us reach this goal. Sign and share the petition today.
Seventh-day Adventist beliefs are meant to permeate your whole life. Growing out of scriptures that paint a compelling portrait of God, you are invited to explore, experience and know the One who desires to make us whole.
Come sign the petition at change.org to say NO to violence against women.