Stalking, rape, harassment, trauma, murder . . . these words represent the enormous reality that domestic violence has become a global epidemic. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence defines domestic violence as
Willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another.
The frequency and severity of domestic violence varies dramatically; for those with disabilities, the numbers skyrocket. Very few people can speak on this subject like Chris Keith. As a child, Chris was shot in the head by his father after his father had strangled his mother and shot his brother. Miraculously, Chris survived and is actively involved in helping survivors recover from their past. The church must stop denying and refusing to believe victims; we must become part of the solution, not part of the problem.
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Domestic violence is the biggest kept secret in the church today. In fact, it’s almost impossible to find pastors who discuss this and step in to help. Most victims will say that when they sought help from their church, they were “re-victimized” through questioning, betrayal, blame, and being labeled as a liar. The truth is that domestic abusers work in private; they
- Humiliate their victims behind closed doors.
They want to look good; abusers are experts at manipulation and portraying innocence. However, the damage and destruction they cause is tragic. If you have experienced abuse, please reach out to Insight for Living Ministries’ Reframing Ministries. We will listen, and we will believe you. We will help. Today is the day to make change happen.
Join the conversation on our blog at www.reframingministries.com.
About Chris Keith
At 5 years old, Chris’s world changed when his dad suffocated Chris’s mom with a pillow and then shot Chris and his brother in the head before ending his own life. Paramedics found the bodies and pronounced dead everyone on the scene. As they were leaving, one noticed Chris’s hand move. The scene went from a crime scene to an opportunity to save a young boy’s life. After an eight-hour surgery, Chris survived.
At age 14, after nearly nine years of feeling alone and unable to process the events of his horrific past, Chris’s life turned around at a church retreat. He realized that to “make it,” he needed the help of others. And he needed to rely fully on the unconditional love of his heavenly Father. Psalm 68:5 was key to Chris’s healing process: “[God] is a father to the fatherless.”
Today, God has provided Chris with an awesome wife and three amazing kids, along with the opportunity to have fostered nine kids. Chris sees his story as a testament of HOPE—the hope that comes only from God’s goodness, love, and mercy.