Searching for a Way Out

In 1 Samuel 25:36-38, Abigail’s husband suddenly dies after his abusiveness nearly destroys his whole household. There have probably been many abused women who have read Abigail’s story and secretly thought, "Why can’t my situation work out so easily?" It is not uncommon for victims of domestic violence to wish at times that their abusers would die — not so much as a wish to harm their abusers, but as a way to escape the abuse. They are looking for help, looking for way out.

Many victims live as virtual slaves in homes that resemble concentration camps, where their every move is controlled. Often the abuser has taken control of all family resources, and has systematically isolated his victim from family, friends, and community resources, as further means of control. Many victims have been told for years by their abusers that the abuse is the victim’s fault; that they are defective, crazy, stupid, ugly; that no one else will ever want them; that they could never make it on their own; that their abuser will take her children away; that they will be hunted to the ends of the earth.

These problems can be aggravated by the fact that victims of severe or chronic abuse may begin to experience difficulty problem-solving and identifying options.1 The situation sometimes seems so hopeless. For these reasons, it is important for victims not to face the situation alone. It is essential that they get the support of people they can trust and who will protect their safety, while trying to stop the violence. This help may come from a trusted friend, an advocate or counselor at a domestic violence program or shelter, a domestic violence intervention professional, a support group or other source. (See the Abigails Resource Page for more information.)

Domestic violence rarely ends the way it did for Abigail. Often the way out is not so simple, and the future is unpredictable. When Abigail took drastic action to save her family, she wasn’t sure of the outcome, either. One thing she was sure of, however, was her God (1 Samuel 25:26-31).  Her God -- our God — is the One who is mighty to provide wisdom, refuge, guidance, provision, help, and protection. Read His promises to you in the following verses:

  • Psalm 91--refuge and protection
  • Psalm 23--provision, guidance, and help in the dark times
  • Isaiah 41:10, 13--help when we fear or are dismayed
  • Isaiah 54--promises for the woman on her own
  • Isaiah 61:1-4--how Jesus wants to help us (see Luke 4:16-21)
  • Romans 8:34-39--nothing can separate us from God’s love
  • Psalm 37—protection from enemies
  • Jeremiah 29:11—hope for your future
  • Psalm 31—protection from false accusations and lies (see also Isaiah 54:4,17)


Discussion Questions:

  1. What are some of the things an abuser may have said to you to keep you from leaving?
  2. If you are currently in an abusive situation, is there something that you hope will happen to stop the abuse?
  3. If you currently need help dealing with an abusive situation, whom could you trust to help you? Who would you not go to? What type of help do you need?


1.  It Could Happen To Anyone, O.W. Barnett and A.D. LaViolette. Sage Publications, 1993; pp.101-103.

Copyright 2005   Judy Kennedy