Some of you have asked what you can do to help someone who is going through abuse, or trying to get out of it. One email which was sent by Quimby, an amazing woman, apparently just after my forwarding went on the fritz, I have reproduced in part here as a perfect example of what can be said and done for someone escaping an abusive relationship.
I . . . want you to know this:
You are a very brave, courageous, strong woman for removing yourself and your children from that situation.
It will get better.
You can do this.
Any abuse that you suffered at his hands - it is NOT your fault.
A marriage breakdown that came from these circumstances - it is NOT a sin.
I also want to offer my help, in whatever way you need or want it. Do you need [anything?] Is there anything I can do to make this an easier time for you?
. . .
The most dangerous times in an abusive marriage are when you're pregnant and when you're leaving. So, be careful. If you have left your marital home and you have to go back there for any reason, make sure you have someone with you. If he's left it make sure you've changed all of the locks and have really good locks on all of the windows. (It might even be worth investigating bars or safety screens for the windows, depending on his history.) If you've left and he doesn't know where you are, try to keep it that way. Document everything. I know it often seems that restraining orders aren't worth the paper they're written on but at least that way the police have a record (and you've got a record for when it comes time for the custody hearing).
Walk tall - head held high - you will get through this. "Fake it til you feel it" - I am sure your self-esteem and self-worth has taken a battering with everything that's happened, so be good to yourself. Be gentle with yourself. Give yourself lots of compliments, even if you think they are just lies (they aren't really - it's just how you feel right now).
Despite how you might feel now, you are setting a good example for your daughters. You are telling them: You are worth more than this. You do not have to put up with this. You deserve better.
And despite how you might feel now, you are setting a good example for yourself. YOU are worth more than this. YOU do not have to put up with this. YOU deserve better.
And you will find it.
This is excellent advice, every piece of it. I can see how excellent, now that I am at the other end of things. She did not let the fact that we were relative strangers keep her from opening her arms to me. She did not let the fear that she would offend me stop her from offering the support she could. She did nothing that tried to take away my agency, but she made it clear she was here to help in any way I would let her.
She is truly an amazing woman and certainly one of Christ's disciples.