The impact of childhood abuse and conservative church culture on the re-victimisation of women
The impact of domestic violence on Australian society is widespread. Research has told us that women who have been abused in childhood are three times more likely to experience domestic violence or sexual assault in their adult life. The research presented in this article involves a focus group of Christian women who have experienced some form of domestic violence, either in childhood or as an adult. The study reveals that conservative church culture has the potential to render Christian women more vulnerable to abusive relationships and domestic violence. This is particularly true of women who have experienced childhood abuse. When there is particular emphasis on certain doctrines, such as male headship, submission and forgiveness, abuse victims may be further disempowered and lack the ability to recognise and respond appropriately to abusive relationships. The findings of this research highlight the need for change within certain church communities in order to protect women and children against family violence.
Domestic violence, conservative church, abuse, submit, re-victimisation
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