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Welcome to Open Up. We are a Christian charity raising awareness in churches of domestic abuse, providing training for church leaders and supporting individuals who are subject to abuse.
We also raise awareness of how the church can misuse Scripture, which leads to spiritual abuse compounding the abusive situation.
Domestic abuse is well-documented - see our Links page.
There is no official definition of spiritual abuse, but spiritual abuse when found in marriage, is where the perpetrator uses Scripture to enforce their desired ways of behaviour for the victim. As part of this, churches can unwittingly become places of refuge for abusers when church leaders reinforce certain theological views.
Abusers can remain undetected - they may be the last person you'd suspect. Victims and the signs of the abuse they are revealing may be ignored because of the can of worms that would open up when disclosure is made.
Is your church doing all it can to support all those impacted by domestic abuse? Is every member safe in your church?