Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

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Emotional Abuse: What Is the Church's Role?

By Michelle Perez and Jennifer Jill Schwirzer

Emotional abusealso known as the "hidden abuse" since it leaves no physical mark and is so difficult to identify, is more common than you thinkeven within Seventh-day Adventist homes and churches. As a pastor, leader or church member, it is important to distinguish what the church's role is and isn't when faced with this situation. 

The church's role isn’t

• A substitute for law enforcement involvement

• A substitute for mental health services

• A substitute for legal support or advice

• A judge

The church's role is

• To develop a response plan and be ready to implement it when needed

• To help connect abusers with counselors and resources

• To have relationship and mental health experts provide workshops and seminars

• To host book clubs using books on mental health

Read articles from the November/December Visitor Magazine


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