What is life like for those who are living with abuse? The psalmist wrote:

Too long have I lived among those who hate peace1

Living with abuse is a daily experience for many. Abusers do not need to fill their time with violence, anger, or manipulation in order to have control. It is enough for those around them to know how far the abusive person is willing to go to get what they want. One of the things they might want is to act out in anger or other behaviour, and many victims of abuse live with the knowledge that no matter what they do, danger is ever-present. If they don’t do anything “wrong”, their abuser might simply invent a reason to explode.

Covid-19 isolation is an especially difficult time for those who are in unsafe households. There is less respite, more isolation, and abusers have fewer targets to focus on. We want remember those who are vulnerable, holding to the principle in Hebrews 13:

Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.2

Please will you join us in standing with them?


The Songs of Ascents

We are looking at the Songs of Ascents3 as a way of having empathy for those who are living with abuse. These psalms were probably used by pilgrims heading for Jerusalem: leaving an unsafe place, seeking sanctuary. There is a lot in this journey that victims of abuse might relate to.

We begin with Psalm 120. This poet writes about leaving a place of danger, yearning for a place of sanctuary. Many victims will know exactly this experience: the lies and deceit, the fruitless efforts to have a healthy relationship with someone who loves to hurt.


Please pray for them with us

We invite you to stand with the vulnerable in prayer now:

God, we hate what is happening, and we know that you hate it too. We pray for the many victims of abuse across the globe, and choose to stand with them as best we can.

We do not know how to pray, but in seeking to enter into their world, we offer this psalm on their behalf:

I call on the Lord in my distress,

and he answers me.

Save me, Lord,

from lying lips

and from deceitful tongues.


What will he do to you,

and what more besides,

you deceitful tongue?

He will punish you with a warrior’s sharp arrows,

with burning coals of the broom bush.


Woe to me that I dwell in Meshek,

that I live among the tents of Kedar!

Too long have I lived

among those who hate peace.

I am for peace;

but when I speak, they are for war.4

We hear their distress. God please save them, and help us to do what we can.


What are some practical things you can do?

  1. Stay connected, as best you can. Abusers love to keep victims isolated.
  2. Stay alert. Are you concerned about the wellbeing of someone you know? Pay attention to those cues.
  3. If you are worried someone might be experiencing abuse or are struggling yourself, try 1800 RESPECT or another agency. Even if you are unsure what is going on, they can help you work out what to do, or just listen to you.
  4. You might like to read more in our post on How can I be a friend to someone in need?


Steve Wade

Too long have I lived among those who hate peace. I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war. Share on X



  1. Psalm 120:6
  2. Hebrews 13:3
  3. Psalms 120-134
  4. Psalm 120


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Other articles you might like:

Why didn’t Jonathan believe David?

Why didn’t Jonathan believe David?

Why didn’t Jonathan believe David, his trusted friend who came to him for help?

In our series on apologies, we’ve been looking at Saul and Jonathan as a way of exploring the difference between authentic apologies and non-apologies.

How to help a friend in a toxic relationship

How to help a friend in a toxic relationship

It can be heartbreaking to watch someone you care about remain stuck in a dangerous situation. And it can be hard to know how to help a friend in a toxic relationship. It’s easy to feel powerless. So if you have a friend in a dangerous marriage or other abusive situation, what can you do?

One of the most important things to keep in mind – and hopefully this is a relief – is that there are some wonderful organisations out there who can help. The best professionals know when they are getting outside their area of expertise, and the importance of connecting people with the best support. So the number one tip we have to give, far above any other piece of advice, is to help your friend connect with experts who can help them. That is, refer.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!