Spiritual Side of Domestic Violence

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The LORD is near to the brokenhearted
And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18


The names in the following accounts of violence against men have been changed to protect those involved. And I will also leave out some of the details such as, places and circumstances.

Wendy was diagnosed with dementia, and other emotional problems that were not known to her husband and family. She would go in and out of reality, and during her reality times, all was well and she was her usual self. Wendy would be capable of recalling family members and various circumstances surrounding their lives. She would know you by name and face, until she crossed over to the other side.


One of the things that I noticed about Wendy was her recollection of past affairs she claimed that her husband had. She always seemed to get angry when she spoke of her husband privately, recounting wrongs that in her opinion were never righted. Wendy had expressed her displeasure with her husband being a non-committed dad. She stated that they agreed to take his children in, (she had none), but she would always be the primary caregiver. Many times she pleaded with her husband, “Ron, take care of your children.” She didn’t mind being their step mom, but she wanted her husband to do his part as well.

On one occasion, I had agreed to be the designated driver to a funeral in another state. It was a very long journey, and Wendy’s husband was cautioned to not allow her to make such a long journey. It wasn’t good for her because of her present condition. I wasn’t informed that Wendy had emotional explosions from time to time, and it was assumed that other friends had informed me. I didn’t find out until we were on the highway, in the dark, and miles from home. We were half way to our destination point when Wendy who was in the back seat started talking out of her head. She didn’t recognize me, and started calling me the “B” word. She was getting increasingly angry because I had helped her pack, with her permission, and now she was angry that a stranger-she thought-had touched her things.


One other thing that I didn’t know was the fact that Wendy had a small rusty knife in her possession. She started yelling and screaming at Ron about allowing me to go into her closet and remove her clothing. Then she started accusing me of stealing her things, which wasn’t true; they were in the trunk. Wendy from the back seat started punching her husband in the head, and threatening to cut us both with her knife. I was driving about 70-80 miles an hour on a very dark, and unfamiliar multi-lane highway. The heavy traffic was flowing very fast, and I was horrified.

I was driving in the fast lane, with a cement median to my left. Every nerve in my body was on edge, and I thought for sure we would be another funeral to go to. But praise God; I finally made it to the other side of the highway to pull off into a parking lot. Wendy was livid and really uncontrollable by this time. She was ranting about things neither one of us understood, as being anything to get upset about-it was her condition. Eventually we reached our destination, and another friend who was a doctor informed the authorities of the situation for it was dangerous. She was taken into custody, and held for a medical evaluation. To make a long story short, Wendy was detained in another state for evaluation for a short period, and was transported back to another facility in her home state. She went home for a while afterwards, but refused to take the prescribed medication


It was heartbreaking for him to come to the conclusion that she needed to be where she could get help. But eventually, she may have ended up killing him. She was very violent with him, hitting, and using hammers to break down the door to his bedroom, etc. Domestic violence workers were called to their home on many occasions, and she even threatened them. This was the straw that caused serious consideration for her to be committed.

From what I have read concerning dementia, that night, Wendy exhibited many of the signs:

  • Memory loss
  • Impaired judgment
  • Difficulties with abstract thinking
  • Faulty reasoning
  • Inappropriate behavior
  • Neglect of personal care and safety
  • Hallucinations, paranoia, agitation
  • Loss of communication skills
  • Disorientation to time and place
  • yell, shouts or screams
  • physical outbursts against the caregiver
  • verbal outbursts against the caregiver
  • physically attack others (e.g kicking, punching, hitting)
  • verbally attacks others (e.g shouts, insults)
  • causes injury to themselves
  • causes injury to others or the caregiver
  • physically or verbally threatens the caregiver or others
  • resists and refuses assistance with verbal outburst
  • resists and refuses assistance with physical outburst


This is the reason why the husband was cautioned about taking her for such a long ride in the car across states. She was fine for most of the trip. We stopped to eat and chat, but nightfall is when she changed. It is my personal assessment, that somewhere during her normal thinking and her transition to the effects of dementia, she was acting out her anger towards her husband. Even though some of the things she said didn’t make a lot of sense to us, she still had recollection of past events of their marriage and her life.

Prior to the many episodes of abuse and violence, Wendy was not violent or abusive. One thing that she did however, is during family gatherings, she would always put her husband down in terms of the things he did that hurt her. There were times that she would compare her husband to other family members, in which she bestowed her approval upon his relatives. Also, she drank alcohol for many years.


In this case of a man being abused, mental illness played a part that caused Wendy to be committed to an institution. Her husband never fought her back because he loved her, and this was not a part of his character. It hurt him deeply to part with her, but he knew that with the authorities being involved, he had no choice. It is a sad ending to Wendy’s life, and her husband still lives in their home; and a few family members moved in to care for him. They are an elderly couple, which had been together for over 50 years. Dementia played a big part in the domestic violence, but this is not the case for every abused man or woman. Unfortunately, some women are very angry, and their husbands bear the brunt of their unfilled, and unhappy lives.

For more information on dementia, please check out the following links:






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© Spiritual Side of Domestic Violence Org., 2009

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Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®,© Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation - Used by permission. (www.Lockman.org)
Also using scripture from the KJV where noted.

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