“For most women who come in for counselling abuse is part of their narrative. It’s part of their experience. And so even the stats, as frightening as they are, you can imagine that’s just what is reported.”

Ivy Mugambi is a christian counsellor in South Africa. In this Podcast she explores with Blaque Nubon how Christians should respond to abuse. What it is, who it affects, what men can do to stop it, and in particular, how we can use the Gospel to guide our actions.

What is Abuse?

“Abuse is a form of violation where there’s a power imbalance. Whether is it by strength or gender or position. It’s a place whereby one person feels that they can get away with harming your or abusing you or doing something to you and nothing will happen to them.”

What is the Psychological effect of Abuse?

“So you can imagine this person in a sense is completely broken. And they actually end up wondering “this must be something wrong with me. There must be something. I can’t be… maybe I did something to deserve this.” And so to be able to just, like you say, walk with somebody. See them as human and validate that. Encourage them. It’s really important.”

As Christians How Should we Respond to Abuse?

“As Christians we know that ultimately our hope is just in Christ. And he is the only one who can heal the brokenness. And we know that source of brokenness. Again, that’s the thing, we know that this world is broken. And we know that the true healing comes from being in Christ.

With things like abuse, remember we’ve said that their identity is completely shattered. In terms of how they see themselves – whether it’s a mum, a woman, anything – a daughter, a sister. And as Christians this is why it’s so critical because then we realise that it’s about affirming that your identity is in Christ.

However, we still need to get really sensitive and practical. And it’s about just being able, like Christ, to weep with those who weep as well. And being, maybe, for the most part, sitting with somebody. Just being there with them. Encouraging them. So that they can actually be able to… you validate the humanity.”

Are you Being Abused?

For anyone who’s going through this it’s important to really say that you are not alone and nothing that happened is your fault. Nothing at all. There is nothing anyone can say to you for you to think that you are a victim. And just to say that there is hope. There is help. And it is a long journey, and it is a process, but there is hope and there is healing.

I work from Christ Church Midrand and on the website we have the counselling support ministry. There is a link there where you can always click. It is important wherever you are that you find someone to talk to. But truly to say anyone who’s been through this there is hope.”

#TGCAfrica #TGCAfricaPodcast #Abuse