Question 3: If you confided in others about your abuse, how did they react? Did anyone not believe you in spite of the facts?
Read 1 Samuel 20:5-7. David devises a way to test Saul, and enlists Jonathan’s help in carrying it out. Victims are often unsure about what is happening, and wonder whether the violence will continue, is temporary, or due to extenuating circumstances. Frequently, abusers will escalate their abuse when they feel they are being challenged. David uses this fact to test Saul’s intentions and to clarify the situation. If it is safe to do so, victims of domestic violence may wish to use the four-stage process taught by Jesus in Matthew 18:15-17 to confront their abusers and test their willingness to stop the abuse.
Question 4: Have you ever found that abuse and attempts at control escalated when you tried to confront or resist your abuser?
Read 1 Samuel 20:18-22. Jonathan helps David to develop a safety plan before David tests Saul. Victims of domestic violence should have a safety plan in place before taking action or attempting to leave. (There is a safety plan in the Appendix of this workbook.) Your local women’s shelter or domestic violence program can advise you on how to plan for your safety.
Read 1 Samuel 20:30-35. When is it time to leave? When David sees that he is definitely in danger from Saul, he leaves Saul’s presence. Author Gene Edwards, in his book A Tale of Three Kings (Christian Books, 1980), says the aggressor makes the decision for the victim by his threats and attacks or by giving the victim cause to believe he intends harm.
Jesus and Paul also escaped rather than allowing themselves to be abused by people who were out to harm them (Luke 4:28-30 and 9:23-25; Acts 9:23-25 and 14:5-6). In Matthew 18:15-17, Jesus taught that we should stay away from those who persist in abusing us, after we have made an effort to resolve the situation. Sometimes a victim needs to stay