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Jarena Lee Marriage Abusive Relationships
Words: 6671 Length: 22 Pages Document Type: Case Study Paper #: 97062502
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IntroductiontoMarriageandAbusiveRelationshipsInmanymarriageenvironments,abusetakestheformofdomesticviolencethatcomeswithcontrolorposingthreatstothepartner.Ittakesmorespecificformatslikephysicalviolence,whichfeaturesviolencesuchasbeatingandhittingandgraduallybecomingafrequentbehavior.[footnoteRef:1]Secondly,sexualabuseisequallycommonwhereonepartnerforcesthemselftotheother.Psychologicalabuseisalsopredominantinmarriages.Onepartneradoptsintimidatingbehavior,makeswrongdemands,victimizesthepartnerthroughactsofguilt,andevenisolatesthemfromtheirlovedones.Thistiescloselywithemotionalabusesthereanindividualsuffersconstantcriticism,lowself-esteem,andotheractsofhumiliation.[footnoteRef:2]Lastly,theabusecanbeeconomicalwhereonepartner'saccesstoincomeislimited,suppressingtheirabilitytoworkorevenforcingthemtowork.Besides,destructionofpropertycanoccurtogetherwithinfluencingvitalfinancialdecisions.Theabusecanbebothmenandwomen,buttheeffectsaremorepronouncedonthelatter.[footnoteRef:3][1:DomesticViolence,ForYourMarriage,accessedApril27,2021][2:DomesticViolence][3:DomesticViolence]Religiousenvironmentslikechurchesareknowntoofferconsolationandrescuetothevictims.[footnoteRef:4]But,unfortunately,beinginsuchcontextsdoesnotshieldincidencesofabuse.Instead,thevictimssufferinsilenceortakeaprolongedperiodtoopenuporseekhelp.Thus,peoplearediscriminatedasseenduringthebirthoftheAfricanMethodistEpiscopal(A.M.E.).However,withpersistence,abuseandsocialinjusticescanbefoughttocreateanenvironmentthatisfairtoeveryone.ThroughtheleadershipofAllen,A.M.E.attainedthismilestonethroughpersistenceandadvocatingforfairnessforeveryoneinthechurch.[footnoteRef:5]Atthispoint,itiscriticaltohighlightthatthemoresignificantpartofA.M.E.'scompositionwasbyilliteratepeopleofthecommunitywhowerenotenlightenedabouttheaspectsofsocialjustice,fairness,andabuse.Moreprecisely,theBlackswereexposedtoabuse,butthechurchwasdedicatedtomakingthemleadapiouslife.Still,theprocesswasgoingtobechallengingforwomenwhohadnotbeenfullyintegratedintothechurch,especiallyinthepreachingroles.JarenaLee'scontributioncameatsuchaphase.[footnoteRef:6]Allenwasagainstfemaleordination,andthisimpactedJarena'sjourneytowardsevangelism.Theeffectwasevenworseconsideringthathewasfromanimpoverishedblackfamily.[footnoteRef:7][4:JeroniaMcclishsays:etal.,AfricanMethodistEpiscopal(A.M.E.)Church,SocialWelfareHistoryProject,lastmodifiedAugust12,2020][5:JeroniaMcclishsays:etal.,2020][6:JeroniaMcclishsays:etal.,2020][7:JeroniaMcclishsays:etal.,2020]Womenhaveconsistentlybeenthesubjectofabusiverelationships,especiallyinthepatriarchalsociety,wherewomen'sopinionsaresignificantlydisregarded.Thepro-familymovementcoerceswomentocomplywithconventionalwaysofliving,whichstipulatesthatwomenshouldstrictlybesubmissivetotheirhusbands,contrarytowhichGodwouldnotbehappy.Further,thetramplingoffeminismmovementsinsomesocietiesalsocontributesimmenselytothissubjectmatterasitfindsit"unorthodox"forwomentobeanythingbutdomesticmanagers.Tothisend,manywomengloballyhaveoftenbeensubjectedtomentalandphysicalabuseintheirrelationshipsto"putthemintheirplace"andpreventthemfromvoicingconcernsthatwouldbecontrarytowhattheirmalepartnersascribe.[footnoteRef:8][8:AlishaAliandBrendaB.Toner,ACross-CulturalInvestigationofEmotionalAbuseinCaribbeanWomenandCaribbean-CanadianWomen,JournalofEmotionalAbuse5,no.1(2005):125-140.]BriefIntroductionaboutJarenaLeeJarenaLeewasbornin1783inablackfamilywhenslaverywasapredominantculture.Segregationandinequalitywerecommon,butJarenaLeedesiredtoovercomethegenderandracialchallenges.Inherupbringing,thefamilyfacedsocialandeconomicdifficultiesthatpromptedhertoworksevenyears.ThehardshipsweretoplayanessentialroleinherdesiretojoinChristianitytocontainthehardships.Asshecontinuedworkingandthroughatransformationinbothageandmindset,JarenaLeebegantodevelopareligiousidealthatevenherparentshadnotoffered.GoingbytheChristianteachings,JarenaLeeconsideredherselfasinner,andonseveraloccasions,shecontemplatedsuicide,butwithprayer,shebeganasanctificationjourney.Shedemonstratedadifferentpathwasnotcommonamongwomenofhertime.ShejoinedA.M.E.,whereshewasonlyallowedtoleadprayersessionsinherhousedespiteherconstantdesiretopreach.ShewasmarriedtoPastorJosephLee,whoequallyopposedherpreachingmission.Sheremainedsubmissiveandsufferedemotionalabusebecauseshehadtosuspendherspiritualobjectives.Theabuseanddiscontentpromptedherillness.Sixyearsintomarriage,herhusbanddied,leadingtoevenmorepain.Nevertheless,shecommittedherselftoreligiousmissions,andthroughthem,shewonthefavorofAllen,whoacknowledgedthatJarenawasindeedcalledtopreach.However,shecontinuedtofacegenderandracialdiscrimination.Thepreachingenvironmentwasfilledwithhumiliationanddifferentformsofattacks,butherfaithinJesusandHisprotectionkeptherstrong.Toher,Christianityandchurchhadaidedinovercomingabuse.HowJarenaLeeFacedAbusiveRelationshipsVarioussignificantwomenbackinthedayfacedtremendousdiscriminationandabusewhiletheyattemptedtoinstigatechangefromtheprimitivesocietalmindsetthatdemeanedwomen.Forexample,JarenaLeewasaChristianAfrican-Americanmissionarywhowasconsolidatedintoacountrythatlegalizedslaveryanddismissedracialdiscriminationwoes.[footnoteRef:9]Fromheryoungage,Jarenawitnesseddifferentformsofabuseprimarilybecauseofherraceandgender.Inmarriage,sheperseveredandsuspendedhergoalsdespitetheidealnatureofmarriagewherepartnersshouldshowsupport.ItwasnotdifferentinthechurchwhereAllenandtheA.M.E.congregationcontinuouslyopposedherevangelisticmission.[footnoteRef:10]Whilethechurchissupposedtodepictneutrality,thiswasnottobe,atleastintheinitialstagesofJarena'smission.Theprocessofovercomingtheabusiverelationshiprequiredacombinationofpersonalattributeslikeperseveranceandfaith.[footnoteRef:11]Besides,outstandingperformanceinherassigneddutieswasessentialinfightingtheopposition.Herexcellenceduringherfirstsermonimpactedchangebothtoherselfandtheroleofwomeninthechurch.WaitingfortheLordwasbearingfruits,butittookhereightyearssincethefirstdaysherequestedAllen.Theopinionoftheslaveholdersagainstthepeopleofcolorwasfirm,anditwasgoingtotakeJarenaalotofefforttotransformhowtheyviewedblackwomen.[footnoteRef:12][9:Peterson,MoreMystics:JarenaLee.][10:JeroniaMcclishsays:etal.,2020][11:EstiPalant,AShelterforOrthodoxJewishWomeninIsrael.][12:JeroniaMcclishsays:etal.,2020]Despitededicatingherlifetoservitude,JarenaLeewasstilltreatedasanordinaryBlackwhosaidmorethanshewassupposedto.[footnoteRef:13]Expectedly,theracialdiscriminationshefacedwasthemostnotableabuseandviolencethatshemetwhileministeringthegospel,besidesherfemalegenderidentitythatattractedmorediscrimination.[13:Peterson.]Ostensibly,beingareligiousfigure,shewasmoreexposedtoridiculeanddiscriminationbecausebackthen,Blackswereexpectedtoonlyengageinmanuallaborencompassedinslavery.Thus,anythingbeyondthatwastreatedasoversteppingboundaries;hence,morediscriminationwasdirectedtosuchindividuals.Moreover,beingawoman,thesituationbecamecomplexwhengenderandracewereputintoconsideration.[footnoteRef:14]Jarenacondemnedslavery,theveryfoundationonwhichhersocietywasplaced.However,JarenaLeeremainedassertiveinhergospelandiscelebratedtodayasawomanwhoremainedcourageousinthefaceofadversityandaninspirationtowomenundergoingthesamefate.[14:JulijaVOLFA,MinistryAndDomesticViolenceAgainstWomen:PerspectivesOnDomesticViolenceAgainstWomenInRussiaAndTheUSA]DescriptionaboutD.MinProjectandtheintentThecentralintentionoftheprojectistoassistwomeninanabusiverelationshipfindasolutiontotheirchallengesbyequippingthemwiththenecessarytools.ItdrawsonthejourneyofJarenaLeeinattainingfreedomfromabusiverelationshipsbothinmarriageandinteractionwiththechurch.However,proposedsolutionskeepintoaccountthedynamicsinpresentsociety,andsosomeofthechallengesfacedbyJarena,especiallyonracialdiscrimination,arenotaspronounced.Duringhertime,theMethodistChurchfailedtoappreciatetheroleofwomeninspiritualtransformations.Still,thesechallengeshavebeenreduced,andwomentodayhavearemarkablecontributiontothechurch.However,thechangeshavenotbeenduetothechurchitselfadvocatingforequalitybutactsofactivismthathaveseenaglobaltransformation.Itisvitaltohighlightthatwomen'smarginalizationisstillpronouncedduetothefearofdisclosure.Thesilencemakesthempsychologicallytraumatizedastheyendeavortoperseveretheabusiverelationshipswiththehopeofapositivechangeintheirpartner'slifeoreventheleadershipoftheirsociety.Jarenadepictedasimilaranalogyduringhermarriage.SomescholarsarguethatthepresenceofJosephinherlifewouldhavekilledtheglobalvisionthatshehadfortheworld,particularlywomen.AccordingtoSuzanneCSwanetal.,mostdomesticviolencevictimsintheU.S.arewomen.[footnoteRef:15]Manyofthemseekcourtservicesasasolutiontothephysicalabusecommittedbytheirspouses.Forexample,in2005,Tennesseexperienced16percentofdomesticviolencecases.Thecaseswerefrompeoplefromallwalksoflife,includingthemilitarythatregistered23percentofdomesticviolencecases.[footnoteRef:16]Formulatingasolutiontosuchandmanymoregrowingcasesofabuserequiresanunderstandingoftherootcausesandthespheresoflifewherethesecasesareprevalent.Indoingso,itisworthappreciatingthatabusedoesnothavetobedirectlyexecutedbythepartner.Still,thepartner'sbehaviorcanleadtowomenharmingthemselvesbasedontheirdegreeofaggression.Mostofthesecasesareattributedtohistoricalinequalityofpowerwheremenportrayeddominionagainstwomen,leadingtomoreadvancementofmenthanwomen.Eveninsuchscenarios,emotionalsupportisexpectedinfamilyrelationshipswherepartnershopeforsafetyandlovewhenindespair.Often,physicalabusecomeswithpsychological.[footnoteRef:17][15:SuzanneCSwanetal.,AReviewofResearchonWomen'sUseofViolencewithMaleIntimatePartners,ViolenceandVictims(U.S.NationalLibraryofMedicine,2008.][16:SuzanneCSwanetal][17:SuzanneCSwanetal]ForJarenaLee,theabusewaspredominantlypsychologicalandemotional.However,theeffectswerefeltinherhealth,creatingtheimpressionofindirectphysicalabuse.[footnoteRef:18]Itimpliesthatcontinuousperseveranceinanabusiverelationshipharmsthehealthofwomen.Thus,theprocessofencouragingthemtoquitbeforeabusecausesmorepaintothemisimperative.Equally,theprocessofseekinghelpshouldbeinitiatedattherighttimetoavoidtheirreversibleeffectsofabuse.[footnoteRef:19]ForJarena,evenaftergainingthefreedomtopreachandexpandhertransformativegoalsofempoweringthepeopleofcolor,sheremainedillbecauseoftheintensityofthedamagecausedbyabuseduringherearlieryears.[footnoteRef:20]Unfortunately,whenabusetakesthepsychologicaloremotionaltrajectory,manywomenfailtorealizeituntilitconspicuouslyhurtstheirhealth.[footnoteRef:21]Thereasonfortheundesiredincidencesisthelackofsensitizationtomakethemrealizetheeffectsofabuse.Thatsaid,andreflectingonJarena'slife,thereshouldbesmoothprogramsthateducatewomenaboutidentifyingabuseinrelationships,beitinmarriageorareligioussetup.Butbeforediscussingthepossiblesolutions,explainingthefactorsthatcatalyzetheabuseiscrucialbecausemostoftheanswerslieinavoidinginstancesthatexposewomentoabuse.[footnoteRef:22][18:MARTAANCZEWSKAetal.,EMPOWERINGWOMENWITHDOMESTICVIOLENCEEXPERIENCE,HigherEducation,LifelongLearningandSocialInclusion,accessedApril27,2021,][19:SuzanneCSwanetal][20:MARTAANCZEWSKAetal.][21:MARTAANCZEWSKAetal.,][22:SuzanneCSwanetal]Womenwhospendmostoftheirtimetogetherwiththeirspousesareatahighriskofabuse.BeforeJarenamovedfromPhiladelphia,theinstancesofabusewereanchoredonthechurchenvironmentanddiscriminationthatwomenfaced.[footnoteRef:23]However,afterrelocation,shemetamoresevereformofabusebecauseshelackedasociallife.Mostoftheinteractionsemanatedfromherhusband.Themoretimeshespentwithhim,themoreshesufferedemotionalandpsychologicalabuse.Hishusbandsharedthesamemissioninpreaching,butshe,duetogender,wasdeniedtheopportunitytopursuehergoals.Itimpliesthatthetraditionalperspectivetowardswomen,especiallyontheirroleinthefamilyandtheircareergoals,needstransformation.Thatis,equalitywithmenisessentialincounteringabusebecauseitgivesthemequalopportunities,reducingspendingalotoftimewiththeirspouses.[23:MARTAANCZEWSKAetal.,]Cultureandconflictsduestosexdifferencesareanotherrootcauseofabusetowardswomen.TheeffectsofthisdispositionwerefeltduringJarena'sapostolicjourney.Despitehereloquenceandunderstandingofthereligiouswork,shestillfaceddiscrimination.Theculturesawwomenasinferior,whichdiscouragedwomenfromtakingpartinevangelism.Allen,theleaderoftheA.M.E.,displayedasimilarmale-dominatedculture.Inlightofsuchcircumstances,womenshouldfightfortheirspacetodemonstratethattheycanexecutedifferentmandatesjustliketheirmalecounterparts.[footnoteRef:24]Jarenaillustratesaperfectexampleofhowwomenshouldpersistentlydemandequalityinthechurch.Shespenteightyearsseekingtobeheard,andthejourneybecamefruitful.HerinfluencebecamemoreinfluentialintheMethodistchurchacrosstheglobe.[24:MARTAANCZEWSKAetal.,]Theimplicitrightthatpeoplehavetowardsother'sbehaviorisanothercauseofabuseinwomen.AlleninthechurchleadershipcontrolledwhocontributedtothemissionofA.M.E.[footnoteRef:25]Here,theabuseisseeninthepowerbestowedonleaderswhenexecutingtheirmandatewheretheydiscriminateasectionofthecongregation.Unfortunately,mostofthebeliefsagainstwomenandpeopleofcolorareunfoundedbutruntoimpressmostofthepopulation.TheA.M.E.displayedmajordivisionbetweenblackandwhite,notbecausetheirmissiondifferedbutduetowrongimpressionsandpre-formedopinionsaboutblackwomen.Withinthesamecontext,JosephLeedepictedacontrollingbehaviorbydenyinghiswifetheopportunitytopreach.[footnoteRef:26][25:MARTAANCZEWSKAetal.,][26:MARTAANCZEWSKAetal.,]Competenciesinexecutingtheassignedmandateshaveasignificantinfluenceonabusetowardswomen.MostA.M.E.memberswereilliterate,implyingthatthehumiliationthatcomeswithignoranceexposedthemtoabuse.JarenaLeelivedinacommunitythatsufferedeconomicdepressionandrarelyadvancedtheircareergoals.ShewentagainstalltheoddstobecomeoneofthemostinformedblackwomentoteachthegospelofJesusChrist.However,goingbyadvancementineducation,themodernwomancaneasilyovercomethisbarrierbecauseofthesimplicityinaccessinginformationthroughtechnology.Itmeansthatamongtheleadingcausesofabuseislackofeducation,andwomenmustbeempoweredtoaccessit.Besides,educationcomeswiththeunderstandingofhumanrights,andthiscountersabuse.AreflectiononthesermonbyJarenathatillustratedhowJonahintheBiblewassenttopreachbutwashesitantwasinformedbyAllen'steachings.TheunderstandingbecameasignificantpillarinconvincingAllenthatJarenLeewasfittopreachintheA.M.E.Inlinewiththesociallearningtheory,individualslearnfromobservingthebehaviorsofothers.JarenaLeeservedasaperfectexampletoteachwomenhowtocounterabuseandrediscoverthemselves.[footnoteRef:27]Throughbiblicalinspirations,shespokehermindanddesiresandproceededtopursueherintention.Withinthesamesocialtheory,thepeopleofcolorhadlearnedthattheirculturewasinferiortoothers.ForJarena,shehadtochangethenarrativeandempowerwomentoparticipateinvariouschurchactivities.EvenbeforeherapprovaltobeapreacherintheA.M.E.,sheplayedleadershiprolesintheprayergroups.HerteachingswereborrowedfromtheBible,butthesignificancewasaboutsocialtransformation.[footnoteRef:28][27:SuzanneCSwanetal][28:MARTAANCZEWSKAetal.,]Feministtheorydepictspowerimbalancesthatcomewithdifferentgendersplayeddifferentroles.[footnoteRef:29]Forpatriarchalcommunities,likeinJarena'scase,thesetstructuresdiscouragedwomenfromparticipatinginpubliclife,suchaschurchleadership.Josephalsoheldsimilarbeliefs.Suchmale-dominatedenvironmentscallforsolutionsoutsidetheprevailingbeliefs.JarenareliedonChritianianityandunderstandingoftheBibletodevelopadifferentbelieffromthepatriarchs.Inthiscontext,theBibleisinstrumentalinempoweringwomentoeliminateabuseintheirmarriageandchurchrelationships.Itdepictsneutralityintheassignmentoftheroles.ThenewTestamentpresentsMaryasthemotherofJesus,whoseroleledtothesalvationofhumankind.[footnoteRef:30]Forsimilarreasons,thesensitizationofwomenaboutthepositionoftheBibleandfaithisgivingwomenimportantrolesservesasaningredientofeliminatingabuse.[29:SuzanneCSwanetal][30:SuzanneCSwanetal]Inlightoftheseillustrations,theprojectexaminesdifferentwaystocountertheabuseofwomeninthechurch,marriages,andothersocialsettings.Itillustratesthecommitmentofthechurchandrelatedideologiesthatopposeanyformofviolenceagainstwomen.Further,itoffersguidanceabouthowwomencanusethelessonsfromthechurchtoimpactpositivechangeagainstdifferentformsofabuse.RoleoftheChurchinFightingAbuseagainstWomenAccordingtoTheLutheranWorldFederation,abuseofwomenportraysanuglypictureofdepressedwomenwhohavebeencaptivesofabuse.[footnoteRef:31]Therefore,accordingtotheauthors,thechurchshouldplayaliberalroleinsafeguardingwomen'srightsagainstallformsofabuse.Thechurchshouldcomfortthedisturbedmembersofthechurch,suchaswomeninabusedrelationships.[footnoteRef:32]Inthisprocess,thefirststepinunderstandingabuseasasininthereligiouscontext.Sinincorporatesactionsthatnegativelyaffecthumanlife.Thus,itisshiftingfromthestipulatedGod'sguidance.However,biblicalverseslike"...yourdesireshallbeforyourhusband,andheshallruleoveryou"(Genesis3:16b)areusuallymisinterpretedtosupportincidencesofabuse.InthecontextofJarena,meninleadershiphadallthepoweroverwomen,andanattempttoreversethebeliefwasfacedwithintensecriticism.Whenanalyzingthementionedverse,itisessentialtounderstandthecontextofitsapplication.ItresultedfromAdamandEve'ssinfulactionsandcannotsupportabuseagainstwomen.Itwasaformofsentenceforwrongdoing.[footnoteRef:33]ItwasnotwithintheintentionsofGodwhencreatingmanandwoman.ButthroughsalvationthatcamethroughJesusChrist,theoriginalsinwaseliminated,meaningthatthesentencesemanatingfromsinwerereduced.Thus,theapplicationoftheversetosupportabuseandviolenceagainstwomenismisplaced,andthesubjugationshouldbeeliminated.ThechurchcanonlypreachthisunderstandingtomakethecongregantsunderstandtheaccurateinterpretationoftheBible.ItwasunfortunateforJarenaandthewomenofhertimethatsuchrevelationswerenotadequatelyintegratedintothechurch,makingthemsufferaseriesofabuse.Itisuponthechurchtoconfessthatbesidesallowingmistreatmentofwomen,ithasalsofailedinitsmandatetoeducatethepeopleaboutthesinfulact.[31:TheLutheranWorldFederation,ChurchesSayNotoViolenceagainstWomen,TheLutheranWorldFederation(TheLutheranWorldFederation,n.d.),accessedApril27,2021.][32:TheLutheranWorldFederation,ChurchesSayNotoViolenceagainstWomen,TheLutheranWorldFederation][33:TheLutheranWorldFederation,ChurchesSayNotoViolenceagainstWomen,TheLutheranWorldFederation]Somechurchesoffershelterforwomeninabusiverelationships.AccordingtoTheLutheranWorldFederation,pastoralcounselingplaysacrucialroleinthehealingprocessofwomenwhohavesufferednumeroustypesofabuse.[footnoteRef:34]JarenaLeeusedthechurchtoriseagainstalloddstobecomeoneofthemostvocalwomenintheMethodistchurch.Indoingso,thechurchactsasavoiceforwomenwhofordecades…

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