If Only Love: A Search for True Love Amidst Abuse and Betrayal

Child abuse was once a taboo subject which families, neighbors, schools, church staff, and membership worked diligently to maintain secrecy. Passage of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) in 1974 marked the nation’s first major step forward in addressing issues related to child abuse. Following this, states had mandatory reporting laws for persons aware of such abuse.This book covers the subject of child abuse, prior to CAPTA. Even though members of a family and community may have been aware of such abuse, they chose not to be involved. Occasionally, someone might speak up about such abuse, but without agencies to intervene, the child’s abuse routinely increased in severity.For individuals like Jalene, the victim of child abuse and domestic violence, there were no agencies to assist her pleas for help. In 1982, the Domestic Protection Act came into place when it came to protect individuals from domestic violence.However, domestic violence in the church remained strong and without resources. According to statistics in 2017, in the Christian community, one in every four women experiences family violence. As the awareness and incidence of domestic violence increases, many pastors still adhere to the philosophy that spouses are to remain married because they took a vow before God. Some pastors find themselves ill-equipped to deal with the crisis of domestic violence. There is very little, if any, training provided in the majority of seminaries on family violence.This book also discusses the topic of parental alienation syndrome (PAS) which added another layer of sorrow to the author of this book. PAS is a term to describe psychological manipulation or undue influence of a child by a parent against the other parent, preventing an ongoing relationship between the victimized parent and their child.

--Jalene Haines