Psalm 55 and Domestic Violence
Break the Chains Bible Study
By Rev. Karen Selig
“Domestic” violence is a whole pattern of behaviors inflicted by one person on another. Victims and abusers have a connection: they are part of a community of people (sometimes part of a church congregation) but the abuse is often a "secret" no one wants to know. I didn't realize quite how hard we work to keep such secrets until I went to work for a YWCA battered women's program back in the 1980s.
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The S.O.A.P. Project
Margaret Rose, president of American Baptist Women’s Ministries of the West Area in Michigan and an avid anti-trafficking advocate, offers a way that you can save our adolescents from prostitution through the S.O.A.P. Project described below:
The S.O.A.P. Project (S.O.A.P. stands for “Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution”) was begun by author and survivor Theresa Flores who shares her personal story as a 15-year old Christian teen living with her family in an upper-middle class suburb of Detroit, Michigan. She was drugged by a classmate, raped, threatened, and trafficked for domestic minor sex for two long years. Going to school by day, she was forced to sneak from her home by night to endure more as a child than most adults will endure during their lifetimes. Hear Theresa tell her story. Years later, when she remembered being left to clean herself up in a motel room bathroom, God gave her the idea to use soap to intervene on behalf of others who are being sexually exploited. She began packaging and offering to motels small bars of soap with a message that includes the National Human Trafficking Hotline phone number, 1-888-3737-888 (www.PolarisProject.org), along with a photo booklet of Missing and Exploited Children. Today Theresa Flores and her team train individuals and groups to educate hotel workers about sex trafficking and prostitution and to place the messaged soaps in motel rooms, especially near major sporting events and large conventions that draw traffickers and their victims.
Learn more about the S.O.A.P. Project and how you can help.
Order bars of labeled soap and get started.
Read Theresa Flores’ testimony.
Order Theresa Flores’ book: The Slave Across the Street.
Add your voice to the Gun Control discussion
Ask your legislators to work toward a Gun Control bill that includes background check requirements for gun purchasers who have been previously convicted of domestic violence.
As the U.S. considers its immigration policies and needed reform, study the issues and be educated advocates and voters. We’ve collected some immigration awareness resources for you to study and share. Check our immigration resources webpage for video, website, and book suggestions — Click here for immigration resources.
Half the Sky
Read the book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn (New York: Knopf, 2009). This book is an excellent overview of issues oppressing women and girls all over the globe, but filled with stories of hope as well. It’s a highly recommended read! You will be introduced to the issues and to many people and organizations involved in these issues. Do a book discussion with friends, your women’s ministry group, or high school-aged girls, or any other groups you can think of who would benefit from the experience.
Click here to order Half the Sky.
Bible Studies & Devotionals on Violence
by Adalia R. Gutiérrez Lee
Adalia R. Gutiérrez Lee is an American Baptist missionary at Deborah's House, a shelter for survivors of domestic violence in Tijuana, México.
Click here for Abigail: Bible Study.
Click here for "A Cry for Help" devotional.
Break the Chains Bible Study Series
Use this Bible study individually or as a group to begin to explore the issue of human trafficking using God's Word.
Click here to download Session 1.
Click here to download Session 2.
Click here to download Session 3.
Click here to download Year 2, Session 1.
Click here to download Year 2, Session 2.
Click here to download Year 2, Session 3.
Break the Chains Prayer Guide
Estudio biblico, Rompiendo Las Cadenas
Break the Chains Prayer Guide (English)
Some recommended resources:
UN Women's newsletter on violence against women
The Penguin Atlas of Women in the World, Fourth Edition — (New York: Penguin, 2009), edited by Joni Seager: global statistics and information on a wide variety of issues affecting women and girls.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services — Basic information and excellent “tool kits” are available for free.
Faith Trust Institute — Excellent resources on domestic violence, sexual violence, and clergy misconduct; materials specifically focused to women of color, teen issues, Christian, Muslim, and Jewish contexts.