I am sixteen and have been married almost a year. Four months ago my husband began to hit me…. He wasn’t like that before, and sometimes he scares me. He puts me in a cold shower when he is very mad at me…. He keeps a jealous eye on me constantly and gets angry for no reason. He is afraid that I will get pregnant, and occasionally presses down on my stomach…. I don’t like it when he slaps me or grabs me by the hair. There are times when I can’t even cry from feeling so helpless and unable to do anything about this, and I feel like I am only a sexual object to him….

As for my family, my parents used to hit me and scream at me also. I am very discouraged. There are times in which I don’t know what to do with my life.

Dear Friend,

It is very likely that one of the primary reasons you wanted to get married at such a young age was to escape from the abuse of your parents. But instead of making your circumstances better, you actually made them worse. Sadly, you are not the first young girl to fall into this trap.

In many countries, your husband’s abuse would be considered assault and battery, and he could be put in jail for attacking you physically. We are not familiar with the laws in your country, but it would be beneficial for you to find out if the judicial system offers you any protection. Even though you love your husband and probably wouldn’t want him to be charged with a crime, calling the police could be the best way to keep him from hurting you worse than he already has.

We wish we could tell you that there is a way to make your husband stop abusing you. However, statistics unfortunately tell us that it will only get worse. Since he is facing no consequences for his behavior, his attacks will almost certainly escalate, and eventually he may kill you.

After abusing you, your husband probably says he is sorry and that he won’t do it again. He may make promises and beg you to forgive him. And he might be truly sorry, but he will do it again. After all, he has most likely brainwashed you into believing that you are in some way responsible for his negative behaviors and that you are a failure and helpless without him. So when he breaks his promises and does it again, in his way of thinking it will be your fault!

Many people mistakenly believe that God wants a physically‑abused wife to continue to live at home with her abuser. There are cases in which a wife abuses her husband, but these are not as common because of most men’s physical strength advantage. Instead, we believe that God has given you the mental capacity and the physical instinct to protect yourself whenever possible. If being alone with your husband brings about physical abuse, then you shouldn’t be alone with him. Do you have a relative or friend who might take you in? Please do whatever possible to prevent your husband from hurting you this way ever again.

We want you to know that God loves you very much and wants a better life for you. When you get discouraged, remember that He is willing to stay right by your side when you ask Him to. And He will help you to have the wisdom to make the right decisions for your future. You can pray right now and ask God for His help. He will never let you down.

God cares, and so do we,

Linda and Charles