Caring for Families Caught in Domestic Abuse: A Guide toward Protection, Refuge, and Hope

Chris Moles
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Caring for Families Caught in Domestic Abuse is a comprehensive, Christ-centered response to the spiritual, emotional, and physical harm that domestic abuse causes to the abused spouse, the abusive spouse, and their children.

Written by an experienced team of biblical counselors, Caring for Families Caught in Domestic Abuse editor Chris Moles and contributors Darby Strickland, Joy Forrest, Greg Wilson, Kirsten Christianson, and Beth Broom are all leaders in biblical domestic abuse ministry in the local church. Each chapter of the book provides a detailed overview of how to minister biblically and faithfully to both the abusers and the abused.

Topics addressed include the biblical and theological foundations for counseling each family member impacted by domestic abuse, direction on how to counsel the victims (spouse and children) and the abuser, and how to offer practical, actionable help to protect families from harm.

  • A field manual for pastors and counselors in domestic violence prevention, intervention, and education.
  • Common tactics of domestic abuse and a biblical response are outlined.
  • Key resource for the conservative evangelical church to understand and respond to this widespread problem.


Chris Moles, MA, is senior pastor of the Chapel in Winfield, West Virginia and an ordained minister with the Christian and Missionary Alliance. He is a certified biblical counselor with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors and the International Association of Biblical Counselors. Moles is a contributor to the West Virginia intervention curriculum used throughout the state prisons, correctional facilities, and community organizations. He is the author of The Heart of Domestic Abuse and a contributor to Becoming a Church that Cares Well for the Abused, as well as the editor of Caring for Families Caught in Domestic Abuse.

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"Like murky water, domestic abuse has a lot of suspended sediment that's hard to see through as you're trying to rescue people. What rescuers need is a way to see clearly and a plan to help. This book provides bothÑa biblical framework and a practical strategy for helping hurting families."
Jeremy Pierre, Dean, The Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism, and Ministry and Lawrence and Charlotte Hoover Professor of Biblical Counseling, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; author of The Dynamic Heart in Daily Life; coauthor of When Home Hurts

"Chris Moles has assembled a team of people who are competent in their field, biblically faithful, and write with clarity and conviction. There's no abstracted theology here, but solid counsel from Scripture about how to navigate the complex world of abuse and serve the families it entangles. Read, pray, grieve the evil that is abuse, and move humbly to help those most in need."
Jonathan D. Holmes, Executive Director, Fieldstone Counseling

"This book is a practical resource for pastors, counselors, and individuals dedicated to fostering healing, restoration, and safety in the lives of those affected by domestic abuse. It gives insightful guidance on essential topics to help you respond with compassion, grace, and biblical wisdom. This book is a must-have for any helper!"
Eliza Huie, Director of Counseling, McLean Bible Church; licensed clinical and biblical counselor

"I'm both brokenhearted and overjoyed to offer this endorsement. I'm brokenhearted because the blight of domestic abuse is as shockingly prevalent in the church as in the culture. I'm overjoyed because the writers of this practical manual represent some of the best counsel the church has to offer. Sadly, this book is desperately needed. Happily, it's finally here now for you. Buy it. Buy copies for your church leaders. Let's change the narrative to be one of joyful understanding and solid support."
Elyse Fitzpatrick, Author

"This book is a crucial resource for pastors, church leaders, counselors, and caring helpers to navigate the often confusing and murky waters of domestic abuse. We must stop making the same mistakes. Lives are lost, women are harmed, and children are impacted. We must do better. This book will show you how."
Leslie Vernick, Counselor; coach; speaker; author of The Emotionally Destructive Relationship and The Emotionally Destructive Marriage

"Reading this book is like sitting in on a Q&A session with some of the most skilled and informed biblical counselors specializing in the topic of abuseÑexcept that the authors have not only supplied you with the answers but with the questions as well. Anyone who has ever wondered about how to help people affected by abuse but didn't know where to start will find concrete and comprehensive guidance here."
David and Krista Dunham, Sparrow and Heart Soul Care; authors of Table for Two: Biblical Counsel for Eating Disorders

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4 Reviews

  • 5
    Domestic coercion and control

    Posted by Robin on 10 28 2023

    An incredible resource for those impacted by a destructive domestic relationship—and the people trying to help. Godly, practical, clear guidance.

  • 5
    Assisting families affected by domestic violence

    Posted by Wendy on 10 21 2023

    This is another excellent resource, but one we all wish didn’t need to exist. Sadly, the stain of domestic abuse (or intimate partner violence, or family violence) spreads throughout families, and Christian homes are not untouched. It is edited by Chris Moles, who is a pastor, biblical counsellor, and works with perpetrators. He has brought together experienced people in this field, providing a guide to care for families caught in domestic violence. It is comprehensive, covering numerous aspects: church response, victim care, perpetrator accountability & counselling, and the impact on children. A very worthwhile resource for anyone in Christian churches who is counselling or working with families affected by domestic violence, or looking to establish a ministry to do so.

  • 5
    Caring for Famlies Caught in Domestic Abuse

    Posted by Anna on 10 10 2023

    This book shows the complexity of Domestic Abuse. Too often, we want things to return to normal so we can tie it up with a pretty bow. But what about recurring abuse? If an abuser makes apologies and promises, is that enough? The authors alert us to the brain-altering thoughts and subsequent behaviors. How often is a wife expected to simply "submit?" God values the Sanctity of Life at an even higher level than the Sanctity of Marriage. I was particularly intrigued by the pervasive "entitlement" of the abuser. Seeing both abuser and victim as made in the Image of God encourages us to hold both to high standards, expecting God's best for both. This includes a guide for discerning true repentance in the abuser.

  • 5
    A Helpful Book for a Tough Topic

    Posted by Peter J. Louie on 09 18 2023

    In this book, Moles calls us to great patience and humility in dealing with abuse. He calls us to benefit from the years of wisdom and experience of his contributors so we don’t have to make unnecessary mistakes when dealing with real lives. The book covers important topics such as how to recognize abuse, how to recognize trauma and prioritize the safety of victims, how the church can respond using a team approach and church discipline, and how to assess for repentance in perpetrators. There are specific chapters on how to counsel victims, oppressors, and even children. While dealing with abuse is a daunting task, the church has a great privilege and responsibility to call perpetrators of oppression to repentance and to work with the oppressed within their own congregations. This book shows us that domestic abuse is a matter of gospel witness and integrity, demonstrating how Christ loves his bride and showing that God cares about doing justice and loving mercy. To paraphrase Dr. Diane Langberg, if we open our eyes to see those that are suffering, we may begin to realize that trauma is perhaps the greatest mission field of the 21st century. Read here here:

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