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A response to "Shelter in the parsonage"

Case by case

Read Ellen Blue's fictional narrative first.

Domestic violence is an open secret at Elm Street Church. Everyone, pastors and congregation alike, knows or at least suspects that Roberta is being battered by her husband, Hank. She is distraught about her marriage but can’t articulate what the problems are; she often has bruises on her body which she has difficulty explaining; she cancels appointments at the last minute. When Abigail, one of the ministers, asks her point blank if Hank is beating her, Roberta denies it but also rushes to explain that Hank is under a lot of pressure.


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