Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Fearing Danger After Exiting (QF: The View from Here)

This series of posts results includes excerpts from information shared with a journalist in August of 2015 who had questions about the Quiverfull Movement as it related to the Duggar Family.

Find the Index of all posts HERE.

Finally, what struggles have you seen from the women who leave QF? Do they have PTSD? And are/were any of them in danger from the people they have left behind?

Response Part One:

Every pocket of QF/P tends to operate differently, and husbands often attempt to intimidate wives to return to them after they leave, often using children as a weapon to threaten them. I have seen pastors defend guilty men against women who seek only safety and justice. I have known fellow church members who were reported to child protective services to keep them entrenched in their abusive marriages out of fear that if they left, the false charges of child abuse would prevent them from gaining custody. To remain with their children, they must remain in their marriages and suffer abuse which is thought to work godly character. 

 I have also gone with mothers who were falsely reported to be a harm to themselves and to others to support them as they presented themselves willingly for psychological evaluations. That can also be used as a means of controlling and manipulating members. But these are generally desperate attempts to prevent a woman from leaving as opposed to threatening her after escaping. These situations are limited to domestic abuse and not to united families who leave a group together.

As an informal collection of “likeminded people” as they often like to refer to themselves, individual families that are often connected through associations and parachurch groups, the dangers vary greatly. I have known pastors and homeschooling association presidents to phone one another to “alert” others about shunned members to prevent them from enjoying a new, fresh start in another group or church. 

 After leaving my own cultic QF/P church that I had attended for four years, a church member bent the “Sold” sign that hung below the “For Sale” sign in front of my house. My husband had already moved to a new locale, and I felt threatened but doubted that I was in real danger. None the less, I contacted the police and filed a report which allowed the realtor to recover the cost of replacing the sign.

~ Cynthia Kunsman
The view of Quiverfull from my vantage
August 2015