Domestic violence must not be kept hidden. Women and children victims carry hidden scars throughout their entire lives. The experience distorts their understanding of love, since it is executed and excused in a guise of parental/romanic love.
At every level of society silence and shame give great cover for the abusers. Our rape culture, drug and alcohol addiction, are logical offspring of the self doubts and the sense of powerlessness left in the victims of domestic violence. Perhaps the ability to remain silent toward violence in our homes conditions us to tolerate ongoing abuse and violence on an international scale.
Thousands of years of violent histories cause one to question where God stands on the matter of violence. The story of salvation, is riddled with broken promises of peace and demands for forgiveness. The God portrayed in our sacred stories and liturgical dramas, stands idly by, threatens violent punishment for transgressions, and condones violence against our enemies as part of a divine plan. Women become devout followers of Jesus because they can say of their abusers,”we forgive them, they know not what they do”.
Abuse, forgiveness, abuse, forgiveness,….that is not how love works,…that is not how peace comes about…that is a cycle that has to end. Divine revelation is incomplete until the silence of God breaks out in a new word….STOP!
With this word God calls the human family to put an end to its violence toward one another.