Saeed Abedini and Franklin Graham Promote “Couples Counseling” to Reconcile the Abedinis. Because of Saeed’s Abuse, is This Counterproductive? from Spiritual Sounding Board
Naghmeh Abedini, Franklin Graham, and the Silencing of Evangelical Abuse Victims by Libby Anne at Love, Joy, Feminism
Three Nasty Things (Some) Woman are Saying About Naghmeh and Deliver Us from Evil by Natalie Klejwa at Visionary Womanhood
For the Continuing Naghmeh Doubters: Yes, Saeed Really Did Plead Guilty and Saeed Abedini's Wife Files Legal Papers in the Wake of Her Husband's Release by Wartburg Watch
Welcome Home, Saeed Abedini. We're Sorry, But There Won't Be a Parade and Follow-Up from the Saeed Abedini Blog Post by Chad Estes
Pastor Saeed and the Double Standards of Abuse by Ashley Easter
Saeed Abedini Rejects Wife's Claims About Marriage Problems, but Calls Her His Hero (news report from Christian Post)
The Heroic Abuser? Christian Media Headlines about Saeed and Naghmeh Abedini at Lydia Center (statistical analysis of news coverage)
What is my point in sharing all of this?
Naghmeh has found her voice, not only to advocate for her husband all these years, but now to advocate for herself and her two children. Is she selfish to do this? Not at all! Victims have every right to speak up and be heard. In doing so, Naghmeh also advocates for countless other women who find themselves in similar situations. They are everywhere. You may think you don't know any of them, but I'll bet you do. It's just that not all of them are in a position to say anything publicly. It's a matter of safety for themselves and their children, it's embarrassing, and their family finances may depend on the husband's reputation. Some of them do drop hints, intentionally or not. Some of them also ask for help privately. Tragically, many will be treated like Naghmeh by self-righteous or merely naive people who don't have much of a clue about the dynamics of abuse.
I have had so many domestic violence victims tell me that their pastors and Christian friends have shamed them for telling their stories. They are ordered to "Stop being so bitter. Just forgive and move on!" Sometimes, they seriously just need to disentangle from their abuser and move on. A wife is under absolutely no obligation to return to or submit to an abusive husband. Separation and even divorce are her right. So many just do not understand this.
This victim shaming has to stop. NOW! Maybe the media coverage and pushback from Naghmeh's will bring this to light even more.
As for me, I intend to stand with Naghmeh and with other victims of family and spiritual abuse wherever I find them.
And now I'd like to share links for articles I have written about domestic abuse and the church's response.
- Why Couples Counseling is Not Recommended for Abusive Marriages, Even Christian Ones
- Elizabeth's Story: Domestic Violence in a Ministry Home
- The Bad Boy and the Angel
- Recognizing Pervasive, Poisonous Power in Marriage
- What to Do about Toxic Power in Marriage
- Domestic Violence Awareness Month with Leslie Vernick
- Psychological Socialism: Manipulating through Equalizing Blame
- Abigail's Story: Responses to Domestic Violence
- Mara's Story: Anger After Abuse
- When Abuse Leads to Cynicism
- Abuse Thrives in a Culture of Shame and Silence
- Top 20 Very Best Things to Say to Someone Who is Struggling (Guest Post by Susan Moore) - please note that this list is facetious!
- War Room: Hope or Hype?
- To the Young Woman with Bruises
- We Can't Ignore Domestic Violence
- Bonding and Bondage in Abusive Relationships
- If You Expect Real Respect...
- Follow the Way of Love
- Banging the Buttons
There is such a sadness that comes over me when I write about the topic of abuse. My heart cinches up inside. Yet I am glad this affects me. It should. It is a sad thing.
I am thankful for people like my own pastor, Mike Tilley, who has preached that wives are not to submit to abuse and that husbands must not be domineering. I am thankful for bloggers around the world who have spoken out. I am thankful for women and men who have quietly ministered to domestic violence victims with kind words, protection, shelter, financial support, child care, and other help. I am thankful for my women's Bible study group where I am reminded of God's love for all of us, even in the trials of life. I am thankful for Naghmeh for putting herself on the line for truth and justice and compassion.
To Naghmeh and other survivors: If you ever read this, my love and prayers and support are with you. I would love to hear from you.
Here is a song to bring you a little more courage than the astounding fortitude you already have.
P.S. If this post has helped you, would you be so kind as to forward it along or link it in your blog post or Facebook wall?