The church is not immune to the problem of domestic abuse. But what can we do as women and as leaders to recognize and overcome it?

Photo of Charlene Quint - podcast graphic: Overcoming domestic abuse in the church

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All of us have people in our lives who are experiencing abuse of some kind, whether we recognize it or not. In this episode, I’m talking with Charlene Quint about domestic abuse and how it is happening within the Christian church. Charlene shares her own personal experience of living in an abusive marriage and finally escaping after 20 years. 

Charlene provides incredibly valuable insights into what the church can do to more effectively address domestic abuse, including warning signs and practical action steps leaders should take in these situations. One of the most important steps we can take is to educate ourselves on domestic abuse, and this conversation is an excellent way to deepen your understanding of this important issue.


Key Points Discussed:

  • Charlene’s life & leadership [3:34]
  • Charlene’s experience in an abusive marriage [10:00]
  • What Charlene did to deal with the abuse before leaving [14:40]
  • The process that abusers go through when they believe someone is about to leave [16:19]
    • False apologies
    • Mitigate the abuse
  • Challenges Christian women face when dealing with domestic abuse [19:13]
    • Difficulty recognizing it 
    • Difficulty admitting it to others
    • Often pastoral and church leadership support the abuser rather than the victim
  • Warning signs and red flags to identify abuse [26:03]
    • Verbal and emotional abuse
    • Financial abuse
    • Spiritual abuse
    • Physical abuse
    • Sexual abuse
  • How the church can overcome domestic abuse [33:16]
    • Educate ourselves about domestic abuse
    • Develop discernment about good and evil
    • Recognize abuse tactics and characteristics
  • Why women don’t leave abuse [37:40]
    • The right question to ask: “Why isn’t he behaving like a Christian man?”
    • Finances
    • Children
    • Avoiding divorce
    • Hoping that she will get the original ‘loving’ man back
  • How leaders can address suspected abuse [47:00]
    • Let the person know you’re there to talk if they need
    • Be ready to refer to your local domestic abuse organization
    • Encourage women to recognize the truth about how much God loves her and cares for her
  • Charlene’s encouragement to any woman who might be in an abusive situation [55:00]
  • Leaders are learners [59:00]


Key Quotes from the Episode:

  • “We have a hard time recognizing and admitting that abuse is happening.”
  • “Domestic abuse encompasses a whole set of behaviors and attitudes that are designed to obtain power and control over someone else.”
  • “Spiritual abuse often involves twisting the Scriptures to justify the abuse… which is why it’s so important for women to know the Bible.”
  • “The church needs to be the leader in this area, and they are woefully not.”
  • “Let’s call domestic abuse what it is: evil.”
  • “Abuse always escalates.”
  • “When you get to a place where the only person’s opinion that you value is God’s opinion of you… that’s a good place to be.”
  • “We are never going to get validation from an abuser.”
  • “When we really believe that God has plans for us and they’re good plans for us, that’s a game changer.”
  • “The key to healing is to be able to identify the lies of Satan and reject them and replace them with God’s truth… but for women who have been in abuse, there could be hundreds if not thousands of lies.”


Resources and Links Mentioned:


Connect with Charlene Quint, J.D.:


Email: [email protected]


Charlene Quint is a family law attorney in Lake County, Illinois, who focuses her practice on helping women overcome domestic abuse. She wrote Overcoming the Narcissist, Sociopath, Psychopath, and Other Domestic Abusers to help victims of domestic abuse become the fearless victors that God designed them to be. 


She is the founder of, a nondenominational faith-based organization designed to educate and equip churches in caring for victims of domestic abuse and to provide hope and healing to women on their journey from victim to victorious. Quint is co-chair of the Partnership for a Safer Lake County—a network of organizations combating all forms of abuse. She is a Certified Domestic Violence Professional, an advocate for victims of abuse, a facilitator of multiple support groups, and a domestic abuse survivor. She speaks publicly to raise awareness of domestic abuse. Her professional and personal interests are devoted to helping women overcome domestic abuse.

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