Stalking, rape, harassment, trauma, murder . . . these words represent the enormous reality that domestic violence has become a global epidemic. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence defines domestic violence as . . .
Willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another.
The frequency and severity of domestic violence varies dramatically; for those with disabilities, the numbers skyrocket.
Very few people can speak on this subject like Chris Keith. As a child, Chris was shot in the head by his father after his father had strangled his mother and shot his brother.
Miraculously, Chris survived and is actively involved in helping survivors recover from their past. The church must stop denying and refusing to believe victims; we must become part of the solution, not part of the problem.
Watch the Interview
Today, Colleen talks with domestic violence survivor and speaker, Chris Keith.
- Tell us about that horrific day when your father tried to kill you.
- How did you survive a gunshot to the head?
- How did you try to make sense of all that had happened to you as a kid?
- As you were growing up, did you wish you had known the truth of your past?
- How did you finally learn the details of what your father had done?
- As a 12-year-old, how did you deal with the truth of what your father had done?
- How did God intervene to help you in the middle of your depression?
- What did it mean to finally have your story be known by your church family?
- With all that has happened to you, how can you trust that God is good?
- How does your story impact the people you speak to?
- How does your story impact your role as a father to your children?
- Why is your message of forgiveness so powerful for the people you speak to?
- What are the steps to forgiveness we need to take to experience healing?
- What can adults do to help young people experience God’s love and healing?
- What do you say to people who feel unloved or feel that no one knows them?
Let Me Hear from You
Domestic violence is the biggest kept secret in the church today. In fact, it’s almost impossible to find pastors who discuss this and step in to help. Most victims will say that when they sought help from their church, they were “re-victimized” through questioning, betrayal, blame, and being labeled as a liar.
The truth is that domestic abusers work in private; they . . .
- Humiliate their victims behind closed doors
They want to look good; abusers are experts at manipulation and portraying innocence.
However, the damage and destruction they cause is tragic. If you have experienced abuse, please reach out to Insight for Living Ministries’ Reframing Ministries. We will listen, and we will believe you. We will help. Today is the day to make change happen.
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About Chris Keith
At 5 years old, Chris’s world changed when his dad suffocated Chris’s mom with a pillow and then shot Chris and his brother in the head before ending his own life. Paramedics found the bodies and pronounced dead everyone on the scene. As they were leaving, one noticed Chris’s hand move. The scene went from a crime scene to an opportunity to save a young boy’s life. After an eight-hour surgery, Chris survived.
At age 14, after nearly nine years of feeling alone and unable to process the events of his horrific past, Chris’s life turned around at a church retreat. He realized that to “make it,” he needed the help of others. And he needed to rely fully on the unconditional love of his heavenly Father. Psalm 68:5 was key to Chris’s healing process: “[God] is a father to the fatherless.”
Today, God has provided Chris with an awesome wife and three amazing kids, along with the opportunity to have fostered nine kids. Chris sees his story as a testament of HOPE—the hope that comes only from God’s goodness, love, and mercy.
Focus Ministries: Faith Based Domestic Violence Help for Women and Families