“Preventing Abuse,” Liahona, October 2020
In healthy relationships, people apologize for their unkind words and actions and rely on our Savior’s atoning strength to help them improve and repent. But in unhealthy situations, people continue to treat others unkindly, and those relationships can become abusive.
“[Abuse and other] such offenses have no place in the kingdom of God,” taught President Russell M. Nelson (“Spiritual Treasures,” October 2019 general conference). Several Church magazine articles this month will help us identify and address abuse:
In my article on page 18, I talk about characteristics of abuse and identify some resources to help you or people you know to recognize and heal from abusive relationships.
On page 58 a teenage girl shares her experience of being sexually abused as a child and how she was able to find the courage and strength to speak up and seek help from trusted adults and the Savior.
In this month’s Friend on page F12, you can find a writing activity to help discuss “saying no” with your children. Consider using this activity as the basis for a home evening lesson on preventing abuse.
Emotional abuse can be just as harmful as other types of abuse. Read “Recognizing Emotional Abuse” in the digital edition of this issue to learn five warning signs and how to get help.
If you have been hurt, you can turn to God for direction and healing and also seek help from trusted individuals. The Lord understands what we are feeling, and He will guide us to safety and joy as we turn to Him.
May we all feel God’s love and reach out to Him every day,
Jason Whiting, PhD
Brigham Young University School of Family Life