About the Abigail Project
The Abigail Project is a new ministry to help the fight against abuse in the Christian community.
Despite wonderful improvements in the fight against abuse, in and out of the Christian community, abusers commonly triumph. More is still needed.
We can help.
Abuse is complex. And while there are many good-hearted people in the Christian community, they may not know how to spot abusive behaviour, or what to do about it.
We long to see the Christian community increasingly fulfil its mission in becoming a place where people truly thrive in safety. And where the wolves are kept at bay.
We are here to educate, inform, assist, equip, and comfort victims of abuse, and those who care about them.
“Too long have I lived among those who hate peace. I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war.”
Steve Wade – Founder
More about The Abigail Project
“Remember those who are in prison as though in prison with them.”
The primary motivator behind The Abigail Project is compassion.
Our compassion is based on an understanding of the horror of abuse. Abuse of all kinds, knowing some of the worst types of abuse leave no bruises.
To live in an abusive environment is exhausting. It is the opposite of the life we were designed to live. Wherever the abuse is taking place: at home, at church, at work, in friendships, or more broadly in society – there is the constant threat of danger, and many victims live in a heightened state of alert. Without rest.
Victims of abuse need friends. True friends. People who see them and what they are living with, and who are more than willing to come alongside without expectation of return.
As we get better and better at spotting abuse and responding to it, we can help make true sanctuaries, where people can thrive in safety. We are here to help that process.
We don’t want to encourage people to put their hope in God without seriously examining our own willingness and capacity to help. Our hope is partly founded in what God has asked humans to do for each other.
It is common for people who have been through trauma to have significant questions or complications in their relationship with God. Many Biblical characters were in a similar state, and were not criticised for it. The Bible is also clear that God is worth trusting, but that suffering and tragedy are real. Rushing with simple or forceful “answers” adds to a person’s distress.
We have hope because God asks us to care for each other, and abuse is something we can care for each other in. There is hope when good-hearted humans turn up equipped and willing to help.
The Abigail Project’s most vital mission is to promote the love Jesus spoke about.
Many Christians are noticeably good at expressions of love such as hospitality, generosity, kindness, sincerity and warmth. These expressions of love are often costly, and represent a sincere desire to care for others. It is inspiring and wonderful, and there are so many people outside of the church who care in the same way. Allies.
But abuse – the opposite of love – is complex. This presents a tough problem. Yet if the hallmark of our Christian discipleship is meant to be love, then we are called to work on the more complicated aspects of love. That includes knowing and living out the difference between love, and abuse.
We can help. This is what Abigail is here for.
The Abigail Project is about digging in with long term commitment.
It is arguable there are signs of abuse in Adam’s blame-shifting towards Eve. Certainly in Cain’s jealousy and murder of Abel. Reading through the Bible we find story after story of abuse.
Abuse has been around as long as people have been around.
We have taken Abigail as our namesake because she is inspirational. While she was a victim of abuse herself, she was also a leader who had the trust of her staff, and she brought change.
This verse, “Let us not become weary of doing good”, calls us through difficult times in life. It is a foundation of The Abigail Project. There will always be abusers, but like weeds in a garden they do not have to take over. We can bring change together.
Being present, and incarnational, is one of our aspirations in Abigail. It’s a vital part of the fight against abuse. To open our hearts to care. To notice those around us – picking up on the signs when things are not ok. To weep with those who weep, and rejoice with those who rejoice.
We know from experience: when you walk alongside someone through the dark times, it opens up the door for a deeper joy and celebration when they win.
Psalm 20 talks about an exuberant other-centred excitement:
“We will shout for joy when you are victorious.”
When we hear we have helped someone to get a better handle on abuse, or to see more clearly past the lies an abuser has been telling them about themselves, or to see God more clearly: that is exciting! We love to see that kind of impact. It’s why we are here.
Current and future structure
The Abigail Project is currently owned and operated by Steve Wade. We have recently succeeded in raising the funds we need to gain our charity status, and are now working on our application to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, (ACNC).
Once we complete that process and a new legal entity is formed, (with a new ABN), our structure will change to align with the ACNC’s requirements.
Steve Wade has worked in the not-for-profit sector since 1990, with most of that time as a Christian urban missionary in youth work and not-for-profit management. His focus was on young people and their families from outside of the Christian community.
Steve has also worked for local government, as a youth worker, and in the secular charity sector, in fundraising and IT management.
Steve holds a Graduate Certificate in Business (Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies) from the Queensland University of Technology, and a Diploma in Youth and Community Work (Christian).
The Abigail Project does not currently participate in any data sharing agreements with other charities. If that changes, we will not share your data without your permission. (You would need to “opt-in”.)
Collection and use of data
We collect data via our newsletter subscription form on this website, our GoFundMe campaigns, and direct communication such as email or phone calls.
Any data given to us by you is used for the intended purpose. The Abigail Project follows an “opt-in” policy for communications from us such as newsletters and fundraising.
We do not, for example, add people to mailing lists unless they request it.
You are welcome to “opt-out” of any communications at any time. (Please get in touch via our contact form if you would like to do so.)
Any other personal details people share with us, such as personal stories, are kept in confidence unless safety issues require us to take other appropriate steps.
The Abigail Project does not use rented mailing lists at this time.
Transition to new legal entity (gaining charity status)
The Abigail Project is currently owned by Steve Wade. We are working hard to form a new legal entity with charity status. Once we are successful, all data will be transferred to the charity. These policies will also transfer.
The Abigail Project does not hold or collect any credit card information. For donations made via our GoFundMe campaigns, we are not able to see any credit card information.
Refusal of donations
The Abigail Project reserves the right to refuse or refund donations from sources that we deem to be at odds with our intended purpose of fighting abuse. We may refuse donations for other reasons at our discretion.
Industry Code of Ethics
We aim to comply with the Fundraising Institute of Australia’s Code of Ethics. Please let us know via our contact form if you have any concerns or questions about our fundraising.
Use of funds
All money raised is firstly used to establish The Abigail Project as a registered charity, and then applied to other costs associated with The Abigail Project’s establishement and operation.