Open Thread: Steps You Need to Take to Leave Your Toxic Quiverfull Marriage?

Open Thread: Steps You Need to Take to Leave Your Toxic Quiverfull Marriage? November 16, 2015

nolongerquiveringMost everyone here is familiar with the story of Vyckie Garrison and others at NLQ that have had to leave their emotionally abusive and sometimes physically abusive husbands who are Quiverfull. One of the worst stories we’ve published on the difficulties on leaving was that of our Tess Willoughby. Here’s what the final and third time Tess left looked like:

Seven hours later, Nate came home.  Vanished were his wife; his six children; four bread pans; six trash bags and four pieces of luggage stuffed with clothing; seven sets of vital records; four photo albums; one life insurance policy; and one tattered Bible with all of the passages about childbearing underlined in green.  Green for fertility.  Green for life.

I had left Nate, for the third time, and this time I wasn’t coming back.  I didn’t love him any more.  My name is Tess.

In other news, on that day, membership in the world’s one true Biblical Christian church, headed by Nathaniel Willoughby, Esquire, P. C. (a limited liability corporation) saw its membership decline by a stunning 86%.

Her husband was stunningly abusive to her, but she still managed to get away for good. Her story is pretty amazing. All parts of it are on her page here – Tess Willoughby.

We have other stories here about women fleeing with their children and we have people showing up here frequently at NLQ who are contemplating leaving and unsure what to do. Knowing what to do to get out safely is so important. Tess had the presence of mind to take all of the vital records like birth certificates she would need to establish a life away from her husband.  We’ve seen what happens when a family member leaves and does not have access to their own vital records. They become a non-person. That’s what happened to a young woman by the name of Alecia Pennington. She left her parent’s house against their wishes and they purposely withheld any vital records that might prove who she was. Without proper identification she was unable to get a drivers license, a social security number, making it impossible to work or attend school. Thankfully the state of Texas finally resolved her situation, no thanks to her petty parents James and Lisa Pennington.

So I’m thinking we as a community need to brain storm all the ideas of things you should likely put in place before attempting to leave a Quiverfull marriage, one piece of which is obviously vital records. Please sound off in the comments below and I’ll craft them into a ‘If You Must Leave’ checklink page linked in the top headers of the site, a reference for those that come here in desperate straits needing ideas.

We’ve talked about this a couple of times but not put together a definitive list.

I’ll start the ball rolling with my own suggestion: Get a safety deposit box only in your name to keep the vital records, cash and anything else you might need to leave. Keep the key somewhere he would never look. One lady I know taped it to the underside of a dresser drawer, another put it in her box of sanitary napkins under the bathroom sink.

What would you suggest?

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NLQ Recommended Reading …

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

13:24 – A Story of Faith and Obsession by M Dolon Hickmon

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