Nancy Murphy Northwest Family Life video domestic violence and the Church

Domestic Violence and the Church

Kani and Roger with Nancy Murphy

more small group videos - small group materials - small group curriculum

ABOUT THE INTERVIEWEE: Dr. Nancy Murphy is Executive Director of Northwest Family Life, a non-profit organization seeking to help end domestic violence.

The theme for this month’s videos coincides with Domestic Violence Awareness Month (October). The stories you will hear were edited down from footage for a more extensive curriculum project I worked on with Northwest Family Life. The clips are a bit longer than usual, but well worth the extra time.


Statistics show that victims of domestic violence most often go to churches for help. How have you seen domestic violence addressed in churches you’ve been involved with?


25 Responses to “Domestic Violence and the Church”

  1. Laurie says:

    Thanks for broaching this important topic, Craig! I appreciated this video & look forward to the rest of the series.

    My sister experienced a similar horror story when she told her pastor about the ways her husband was abusing her. He told her that the husband is the head of the family and she needed to submit to him. Needless to say, she’s not going to that church any longer. Unfortunately, that only meant one MORE loss in a long string of losses she endured in order to get her life back. How tragic that her church wasn’t able to provide support to her in her hour of greatest need!

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Kathy says:

    What an amazingly strong and determined couple! But what an indictment on the church that treated them so poorly – seems that it is often extremes: total rejection or almost denial (cover up) and neither is helpful! Challenging video for me in church leadership to think about what we are doing and how we would handle this situation.

  3. benjamin ady says:

    The first time I ever interacted with Nancy Murphy, I became absolutely terrified and left the room, because she was about to play a recording of a little child making a 911 call during a domestic violence situation. In addition to being terrified, I was enormously attracted to her presentation style–”Here’s a woman I would emulate, if I dared”, I said to myself.

    She’s on my short list of heroes.

    I’m envious of you, Craig, getting to interview Kani and Roger. I wish I could have been there–I want to ask them many questions.

  4. Nita Baer says:

    Well said, much thanks. There is so much even as a social worker i did not understand about the cycle of abuse, the confusion of narcism and the snare it creates for people in the church and particularly those of us who grew up in an un-named culture of violence.

  5. Trish says:

    I am sitting here watching this with tears rolling down my face. When I went to my pastor and my church, they ridiculed me and told me I was lying. My husband sent me to the ER twice. I had bruises and hospital documentation… I was deemed as crazy and attention seeking in my church. Everything was made to be my fault. “Friends” disappeared without any explaination. I stayed trying to make it work for almost 20 years… It’s been just over 5 years now. I lost everything including the custody of my children to him. Thank you for making this available. People don’t realize what kind of damage can be done to a person… even in “Christian Love”.

  6. Benjamin Ady says:


    thank you for sharing so openly. How has your experience affected your faith?

  7. Candy says:

    Trish, Do you know if the children other than emotional have been harmed? When was the last time you were able to see them? Do they now think you are crazy and afraid to be around you?

    • Trish says:

      I tried to get my kids out too. They wouldn’t cross their father. They are older now and still won’t. So the answer is yes. I believe they have been harmed by the monarchy they had to live under. I see it flaring up as my kids start dating. It kills me. I have always had visitations with them. For a long time my kids wouldn’t come near me. They wouldn’t want to. Their heads were filled with untruths about me. Time is(very slowly)healing our relationships, but I don’t thin they will ever be totally repaired. I feel more like my kids aunt instead of their mother. I let them down.

    • Keydrick says:

      I’m not easily imsrpseed. . . but that’s impressing me! :)

  8. Candy says:

    Trish, I pray you keep trying. Yes, time will heal your broken heart. Did you let them down or help break a pattern of abuse?

  9. Trish says:

    I don’t see that I broke the cycle. They still spend 98% of the time at his house. They never got out.

  10. This is a remarkable video, made more so by the appearance of Roger, whom one would expect to be not present. The failure of the church is so normal yet unacceptable. By how much have we missed the gospel. Trish, your story in the comments, is one of long suffering. …

  11. Benjamin Ady says:

    If RYF is on indefinite hiatus, perhaps it would be useful to write a post simply letting readers know that such is the case?


  12. Csfennell says:

    Missing the videos a whole lot.

  13. benjamin ady says:

    Coming up on 6 months.

  14. teerneway says:

    Можете поздравить меня я купил себе мечту и буду управлять ей :). toyota – управляй мечтой. а купил я себе camry и очень счастлив :) урА!!!

  15. Jill says:

    This is a great video- so appreciate all that I have watched so far. Just wanted to say that in order to come along side, my husband and I lead a class at our church called Healing Journey by Cyndy Sherwood. It is a great Bible study that addresses this and many other topics to lead to the healing only Jesus can give. I would think it would be a great for all churches to offer some such class. It really helped us and we want to offer that hope to others. Thanks for your part in making sure these ideas get out there.

Join the Conversation

As you comment, please follow our general guidelines entitled "Dialogue, not Debate".