Sadly, the following personal story is far from an isolated incident. It is a situation ChurchProtect hears about fat too often, and it represents the fallout that happens when the proper care and time isn't invested by church leadership when it comes to dealing with marriage and family counseling. Hypocritical abusers and manipulators love churches where superficial religiosity is substituted for truth and discernment, as the selfish and hurtful person can look the part to the church, while doing great harm "behind closed doors." Though not a lot of details are given, there is enough presented by Natalie to indicate that a church missed the reality of what was going on behind the scenes, and actually supported an abuser instead.
Survivors of abuse (emotional, spiritual, physical, sexual) need to know that the church is a safe place to finally disclose the "secrets" they've been forced to keep, all while the abuser is able to manipulate the outside world into thinking that all is fine. The Lord expect Survivors to be protected in His church, and we must be discerning enough to separate out truth from deception, and to be able to spot a genuine believer from a swine and a wolf.