Abigail’s Veil is a resource for clergy and church leaders needing to address the issue of domestic violence. The author provides a combination of legal and biblical references to assist pastoral care ministries in combating abuse within their congregations. The importance of dispelling the myths, exposing the traditions and highlighting the stigmas of domestic violence are demonstrated by this former attorney’s experience with clients suffering in abusive relationships. Abigail’s Veil was inspired by the marital relationship of Abigail and Nabal in the Bible (1 Samuel 25:1-42). In this passage, Abigail represents a victim living with an abusive and controlling husband. From “appearances,” she had everything as the wife of a very rich and powerful man. But her husband was “brutal and evil in all his ways”(verse 3). As is the case for so many women living with an abusive partner, she wore a VEIL of secrecy and shame to hide the physical, financial and emotional abuse perpetrated against her. The VEIL serves as a dual barrier for the victim attending our churches. Underneath it, the victim hides the truth about her home’s private hell of fear and isolation. Alternately, she uses the veil as a shield of protection from those who would blame her instead of the abuser; from those who would re-victimize her with the misuse or selective use of scripture; and worse yet, – from those who would render enabling silence from the pulpit. Until the entire church body adopts the “Zero Tolerance” stance and commitment to “Safety First” in pastoral care ministry, the ABIGAILS attending our churches will remain under the VEIL. Abigail’s Veil is a resource for clergy and church leaders to use in challenging the religious traditions that hold victims captive in abusive relationships and aids them in securing their freedom and healing. Minister Carolyn J. Thompson is a former attorney who now presides as a judge and serves as an ordained minister. Her recollection of numerous cases and sessions of pastoral care involving domestic violence demonstrates the importance of the church’s role in combating domestic violence
Books can be purchased Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Abigails-Veil-Domestic-Violence-Handbook/dp/0692632948.