Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse, also known as domestic violence (DV) or intimate partner violence (IPV), affects 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men. 1 in 15 children are exposed to domestic abuse each year (90% are eyewitnesses). Though often hidden due to fear and shame, domestic abuse is prevalent in our culture and devastates families and relationships. In 2018, 211 people (174 women) in the State of Texas were killed by their intimate partners.

At Soul Care Associates, we define domestic abuse as the desecration of the image of God through a pattern of intentionally misusing power, covertly or overtly, in words or actions, to gratify self. It includes the use of verbal, emotional, psychological, financial, sexual, or physical means to frighten, intimidate, terrorize, exploit, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure, or wound an intimate partner. Abuse is a mindset as much as a behavior, a way of seeing as well as a way of acting. To put it a bit more technically, abuse is a corrupt perception as much as a corrupt pattern of interaction. It wreaks havoc on the relationships in your life.

Greg Wilson’s Doctor of Educational Ministry project involved the development of a policy and protocol for recognizing and responding to domestic abuse in the local church. He consults with churches, coaches church leaders and other professional counselors, and counsels those who desire to stop their abusive behavior. In counseling individuals who have abused their partners, Dr. Wilson utilizes cognitive-behavioral interventions to promote and encourage change and EMDR to work through past traumas. However, in keeping with our Christ-centered worldview, he believes strongly that only God can change the human heart enough to create safety in a home wrecked by abuse.

Abuse typically creates complex trauma in the person who has been abused. Dr. Wilson works closely with several trauma counselors in the area who are trained and experienced in providing counseling to those who have been abused, including specific trauma therapies such as EMDR. Greg Wilson is also an EMDRIA-trained EMDR therapist. Dr. Wilson does not recommend couples counseling or family counseling initially for domestic abuse, however those approaches can sometimes be helpful once a certain level of change and safety within the relationship has been achieved. Reconciliation with God and time-tested change must precede reconciliation of the relationship, and sometimes the relationship simply cannot be reconciled. Individual change and health is still a beneficial outcome for all involved.

Dr. Wilson is also currently co-writing, with Dr. Jeremy Pierre, a book for church leaders, titled When Home Hurts, on domestic abuse response and collaborating with a team of colleagues on developing a small group curriculum for men who have been destructive in their relationships. At the Called to Counsel conference in 2019, Mike and Shauna Van Dyke from the Speak the Truth podcast and Dr. Jeremy Lelek caught up with Dr. Wilson to talk about his work on recognizing and responding to domestic violence.

We would love to come alongside your family, marriage, or church if you have been impacted by domestic abuse.