Guilt and regret have kept me awake some nights.
It’s Sunday, and as I swept my eyes around, I noted that she was not in her usual spot. But I tucked my curiosity and focused on the service instead.
Later that night, I heard the news that she and her kids had packed their things and traveled back to their hometown. I felt a momentary confusion. I could not identify my feelings about her leaving without any goodbyes. Somehow, I felt left out for not knowing but I also felt guilt. Why did she not tell me?
Days after what happened, everybody has an opinion to say. We were all caught off-guard. And
each is trying to deal with the unknown of what just happened. Somehow, we were divided.
Some are happy that she finally decided to leave her abusive husband. Some were dismayed that she gave up on her battle.
But we were united about a few things. We cried and regret that we were not better equipped to
And so what we lacked in action, we raised in prayer.
A few years back…
Churches are teaching women and children to be a weaker gender to men.
These are the words of the speaker of a gender and development seminar that I attended. And I cringed inside. I asked myself, how many more seminars do I need to take and listen to these sorts of litany?
Because the truth is, I am starting to dislike this type of seminars. I feel that it is attacking the faith that is keeping me sane in my crazy life.
I’ve learned in church that God’s love is equal regardless of gender. It teaches us biblical principles and trains us to build a personal relationship with our Almighty. It teaches us about free will according to one’s faith and seeking God.
I believe that faith is not black and white. It is a multitude of colors and varying experiences.
I found a book with a title “Heartfelt” written by Dr. Joneal Kirby. It is a complete guide about women’s ministry specifically on discipleship. In the pages of this book, I heard the Lord speak to me. And a new life mission was born from it. The Women of Hope was the first fruit of this life purpose. It is a group of women who built sisterhood in the concept of Christ-like love.
In this group, I also found confidantes, girlfriends, cheerleaders, and prayer partners. I considered it a beautiful gift from God.
I remember a series of activities we created about being life coaches. It started with learning activities about self-awareness and self-love. And among all the participants, one person stood out. Unknowingly, she needed it the most.
This life mission has since then evolved. And I felt that the Lord is impressing for me to study a biblical approach to gender and development. But my fear to tackle such a sensitive subject prevented me from obeying God.
But one thing about God is that He is all-knowing and all-powerful. We can say no all we want, but the Lord will orchestrate our life so we can obey Him.
Back to where we started...
it was domestic violence…
I wasn’t blind to the terror of her life. I knew that she was in an abusive marriage. But because she was not physically abused, we were complacent. She told us about all the threats she heard from her husband, including the life of her children. But we thought it was all empty threats and that God will preserve their life.
Unbeknownst to us, those threats were not empty.
Yes, he had never hurt the kids. But he was chipping away on her sense of security. He was posing dominance and fear in the very home where she should feel safe. He was hurting her emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
He was also involved with multiple cases of sexual relationships outside their marriage. He refused to provide for the family and prevents her to find any means of income. He was also verbally abusive. And yet she cried in silence and had prayed unceasingly.
We stood nearby, offering comforting words and prayer. But if only we knew that she needed more help. It would not have ended with her escaping with no one to help her.
These days, she is a survivor…
She is a strong woman, and that is a gift from God. She is now in a safe place away from her abusive husband. It’s still not easy for her, but God is her sustenance. And only God knows what her future holds.
As for me, I became an advocate of anti-violence against women. My journey will be long and I know that God is orchestrating everything for me.
My story is only beginning. I met Charlyn June and her Break Free advocacy after I left the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), started a business, and enrolled in her freelance writing course. And with her help, my life mission is being realized. Besides being an Anti-VAW advocate, I also inspire women through Delighted Woman.
For the days to come, we give hope to the victims of violence…
To all women who are going through abuse in their homes, we apologize that we do not have all means to help.
But we are learning how to be of help in any way. Know that you are not alone in your battle and we are here to listen and help. Reach out to us or call the VAWC hotlines.
To all churches, it’s time that we talk about this in our midst. It’s time to put up programs to help abused women. I encourage you to provide a safe place for them. A community where they can
exercise their faith, seek God, and get needed support.
One of the most hurtful things to do to abused women is to perceive their story like it’s not important. Because this is the very thing that their abusers do to them.
If you think you and your children are being abused, physically, emotionally, psychologically, or economically, by your partner, your husband, or your boyfriend, there is a way to break away from that situation.
Or if you know a woman in that circumstance, listen and be of help in any way. You can help the abused woman to file a complaint against the abuser in the and avail a barangay protection order from her abuser. Feel free to visit our website anytime or tell other abused women about it. Reserve a free copy of the book and we pray that it will give you hope and help you break free from the clutch of abuse.