Breaking Invisible Chains -- The Way to Freedom from Domestic Abuse

(by Susan Titus Osborn, MA, Jeenie Gordon, MS, MA, LMFT, and Karen Kosman)

All three authors have experienced domestic abuse.
They present true stories of people who have experienced abuse.
After each story, Jeenie Gordon, a seasoned therapist, gives professional insights into their situations.
Advice is also given from a veteran police detective about how to handle domestic violence situations.

The authors write, "In this book, we deal with how abuse looks. We explain the common characteristics of abuse and abusers...
Our prayer is that this book will bring understanding, hope, and healing -- that lives will be saved." (p. 15)


(1) Profiles of victims of abuse include: the wrong belief that if they improve their own behavior, the abuse would stop; feeling responsible for abused parents and siblings; and a desire to give up.

(2) How a person's spiritual life can give them the ability to detach from an abusive person.

(3) How abusers make the abused feel responsible for provoking the abuse. But abusers are responsible for every act of abuse they commit.

(4) How much abuse a person will take before they actually get a restraining order against the abuser.

(5) How abusers will apologize, often profusely, for their abuse. And then keep doing it again and again.

(6) How an abused person can report her experiences to the police. How to call from a neighbor's house and not in the presence of the abuser. How to not hold back from giving thorough and explicit details of the abuse. How to keep a record of angry and abusive text messages, voice mails, threatening letters, photographs of any damage, and journal entries.

(7) How to help an abused person prepare to support herself by getting higher education and planning a good career.

(8) Profiles of abusers often include: someone who has shown cruelty to animals, siblings, or parents as a child; has a history of restraining orders or police reports with previous relationships; and reacts violently to any statement by his wife or girlfriend that she might leave him.

(9) Less-recognizable types of abuse are presented, including: forced isolation; unreasonable scrutiny, like having one's mail opened by the abuser; pornography, and adultery.

(10) The authors explain what the Bible means in Ephesians 5: 23, 25 for the husband to be the head of his wife: For his family to respect and trust in his decisions when he is being responsible and loving. it does not mean for a family to obey him when he is not being responsible or loving.

(11) Abused persons should prepare a to go to a safe location, have money saved ahead of time, and build a support team.

(12) What it means to forgive an abuser, and what it does not mean.

(13) With much work, abusers can learn to change their behavior. An example is presented of a husband who went to counseling for his abusive behavior. He acknowledged his own pain of having been physically and sexually abused as a boy. He no longer flared up at his wife, he quit calling her names, and he attended church with her regularly after he dedicated his life to God.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that "intimate partner violence" (IPV) is preventable.