Why abusers want their victims to experience the feelings on this list

April 21, 2015

David Hayward, a cartoonist and writer who calls himself  “a graffiti artist on the walls of religion,” frequently writes about abuse on his “Naked Pastor” blog. He writes as a survivor of abuse himself and as an advocate for others who have  experienced physical, emotional, sexual, and other forms of abuse, including abuse by churches and other religious groups.

He writes: “Abusers count on the people they bully and abuse to feel and behave in certain ways. Many abusers wouldn’t abuse if they knew what they did would be publicized. The threat of exposure can be a deterrent. Many abusers understand this and depend upon secrecy and silence to perpetuate their abusive behaviors. If abused people show any signs of breaking this abuse code, then abusers will enforce and impose it in increasingly audacious ways.”

Hayward names ten kinds of feelings victims of abuse are likely to feel—and why bullies depend on those feelings to keep abuse victims from exposing  the perpetrators and what they have done.

Read “A list of how abused people feel and why abusers count on it.”


Letha Dawson Scanzoni
Letha Dawson Scanzoni (1935-2024) was an independent scholar, writer, and editor, and the author or coauthor of nine books. In 1978, she and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott wrote Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?, one of the earliest books urging evangelical Christians to rethink their views on homosexuality (updated edition, 1994, HarperOne). More recently, Letha coauthored (with social psychologist David G. Myers) What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage (HarperOne, 2005 and 2006). Another of Letha’s most well-known books is All We’re Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today, coauthored with Nancy A. Hardesty (Word Books, 1974; revised edition, Abingdon, 1986; updated and expanded edition, Eerdmans, 1992). Letha served as editor of Christian Feminism Today in both its former print edition (EEWC Update) and its website for 19 years until her retirement in December 2013.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.