Tuesday, June 28, 2011


We heard the horrendous story this past week of an Indian PhD student at the university of British Columbia who went home to spend time with her husband and daughter. The husband who had seemed supportive of her education flew into a rage and gouged her eyes with his fingers and bit her nose so severely she will need restorative surgery.

While this happened in India I hear the stories of severe physical and psychological abuse women go through in this country and this community from my wife Ruth. Her work as an outreach counsellor at the Bethesda House shelter means that she has daily exposure to incidents that would cause most of us to recoil in horror.

As co-chair of our Oshawa Presbytery Mission, Outreach, and Advocacy committee I have asked Ruth to help our presbyters understand the often unnamed reality of abuse. We tend to assume that this doesn't happen in Christian families. It is interesting though. Ruth has spoken to a number of UCW's, in congregations on Sunday mornings, and for other church events. Always someone speaks to her afterward about their experience.

It's important for us to keep our eyes and ears open to the circumstances of co-workers, friends, family members who may be in abusive relationships. The individuals are often too ashamed or too afraid to speak about what is happening to them. In can be anyone, in any walk of life.

Any thoughts on this?

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