I had an open relationship with a divorced man…. We went out for two years, but because there was no formal commitment, I decided to end it. He went on to other women… [and then] came back to me; but because I rebuffed him, he decided to take me against my will… [and] tried to kill me….

Since then, I am afraid to leave the house…. The situation has affected my health, so I have tried to move away, but I haven’t been able to because of my financial situation…. I did try to get a restraining order against him, but it was dismissed for lack of evidence…. Recently he wrote to me saying he wants to see me again, and that makes me very scared.

Dear Friend,

We are so very sorry to hear about what you have been through and the trauma that continues! We can only assume that you never had cause to be afraid of this man during the two years that you were with him, so his recent actions must have been quite a surprise to you. It’s no wonder you are anxious and afraid.

Moving to another city, as you have tried to do, would have been a good solution. And trying to get a restraining order was also a wise step to take.

Fortunately there are inexpensive devices that are available online and could help you feel less afraid. One is a safety siren that you carry in your hand when you are out. If you believe that you are in danger, you just pull a pin and the siren screeches very loudly, causing everyone to look. Most perpetrators will run when they realize everyone is looking. The other device is a wireless camera that can be paired to your cell phone and placed inside a window of your house facing the outside. The motion sensor can notify your phone when there is movement outside.

God does want us to be wise and to protect ourselves the best way that we can, but we can also learn from people in the Bible who were in danger and afraid. One of the best examples is David, before he became king of Israel. He was running from King Saul and was afraid for his life.(1) While on the run, David wrote some of the prayers that we can now find in the book of Psalms in the Bible. In one of the psalms, David desperately prays to God, describing his situation and his fear. But he ends with: “For you are my refuge and my place of shelter when I face trouble. You are my source of strength! I will sing praises to you!”(2)

So after protecting yourself the best that you can, read the Psalms aloud and sing praises to God as David did. Let God comfort your heart as you communicate with Him and learn to trust Him. He loves you very much!

We wish you well,

1 1Sa 23
2 Ps 59:16b-17