Christians for Biblical Equality

JETS 50/3 (September 2007) 573–94


Steven R. Tracy*
A 'complementarian' looks at the connection between wife abuse and
teaching on the subordination of women.

i. Introduction: The Significance of the Issue
In spite of significant attention given to the topic of domestic violence in
the United States in recent years, evidenced particularly by the Violence
Against Women’s Act enacted in 1994,1 domestic violence continues to be a
massive problem with enormous individual and societal consequences. The
scope and consequences of domestic violence are often misunderstood and
rarely addressed in the evangelical church, resulting in abuse victims and perpetrators
not receiving essential ministry. For instance, in Maricopa County
where I live, our community leaders conducted a survey of six hundred
women to improve services to battered women. Roughly 85% of the women
surveyed indicated that they were Christians; 57% attend church; 35% indicated
they had experienced physical abuse in a past relationship; and yet
only 7% felt they could confide in a church leader if they felt unsafe due to
their partner’s abuse.2 In another study of 1,000 battered women, 67% indicated
they attend church, one-third sought help from clergy, but of those
who sought help, two-thirds said their church leaders were not helpful.3 Thus
the evangelical church must begin to address this pressing problem.

Read More... >>