In this episode, Reverend Geneece Goertzen, a survivor of two decades of abuse, discusses her experiences in two abusive marriages, the challenges she faced, and the importance of recognizing and responding to domestic violence within faith communities, shedding light on the need for validation, safety and informed support for survivors in religious settings.



Lessons Learned

Research shows that domestic violence happens in religious families just as much as it does in the general population.


Women of faith stay in an abusive marriage longer than the general population. Normally victims return 7x to an abuser, whereas in a religious family, the victims return 9x.


It’s important for faith leaders and clergy to believe and validate the experiences of domestic violence survivors.


Prioritizing safety should always come first when dealing with domestic violence situations.


Faith communities should actively educate themselves about domestic violence resources and services in their area to provide immediate assistance.


Speaking about domestic violence from the pulpit and including disclaimers about unhealthy relationship dynamics can help create a safer environment for disclosure.


Spiritual abuse can go hand-in-hand with domestic violence, with abusers twisting religious teachings to manipulate victims.


It’s crucial not to idolize marriage over the safety and well-being of individuals involved.


False accusations of abuse are rare, and it’s important to take victims’ disclosures seriously and investigate them thoroughly. 


Affirmation and support for survivors from faith communities can play a crucial role in their healing and recovery.






Reverend Geneece Goertzen is conducting a study for domestic violence victims that have disclosed in their faith communities. Please contact her through her website at to speak with her.


You can followRev. Goertzen on her Instagram page or Facebook.


If you’d like to help sustain this podcast project to help empower others too, buy your host a coffee. Coffee Cheers!

You can find Mandi on Instagram @WomenAwareAndPrepared to message her.

Her website is where you can contact her or sign up for her weekly Tuesday Tip emails (at the bottom of the website) to stay safer and feel more empowered. You’ll receive a downloadable list of Mandi’s favorite 10 things to do to stay safer.

Music by Andrea Hamilton Binley at

The primary purpose of the Women Aware and Prepared Podcast is to educate and inform. This podcast series does not constitute advice or services. Please use common sense for your own situation.

Choose which platform you’d like to listen and follow the show:

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.