Thursday, June 2, 2011

Remembering Danni Moss

Nearly a year ago, Danni Moss passed from this life to the next. Born April 27, 1964, she lived 46 years and 1.5 months before she died on June 13, 2010. I believe it was the abuse she suffered at her husband's hand that took her life. When she was still with her husband, the Lord impressed upon her heart Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” From that verse and a vision, she knew if she did not free herself from the destruction of her husband's words, she would die. Although Danni did leave her husband, she did not get away from him soon enough; she did develop cancer, and cancer killed her. The medical profession has known for years that chronic stress greatly increases the likelihood that a person will get cancer, that chronic stress hinders the immune system from fighting off illness and disease, and a recent study has shown that women who have been abused within the past year have much higher rates of illness, and those who were abused up to 5 years ago still have higher rates of illness and disease than women who were never abused. So medical research has shown that the verse God impressed upon Danni's heart is true. Her husband's tongue spewed out death and killed her.

I miss Danni. Her strength, her faith and connection with God and the truth of His Word were (and are) such an encouragement to me. Please join me in praying for Danni's daughter, who I believe is 8 now, and last I heard was sent to live with her dad, the same man whose tongue spewed out death to Danni. Danni's adult sons, her siblings, and her parents also need our prayers. People who have lost loved ones tell me the sense of grief and loss hits them harder in the days approaching the anniversary of the loved one's death. And remember to pray for man who was Danni's good friend, and for Danni's ex-husband, too. I won't tell you what to pray, except to request that you ask God to show you how to pray for Danni's family and loved ones.

Danni's blog, Because it Matters, is still up, thanks to her family and to Wordpress, and I encourage everyone to reread what Danni has written. Perhaps you want to start with her 3-part series, “Sticks and Stones: Why Verbal Abuse Kills” The following link provides links to all three parts:

I invite anyone who cares to do so, to share how Danni has made a difference in your life.

Waneta Dawn is the author of "Behind the Hedge, A novel" See A Mennonite woman fights to save her family yet keep her faith.


  1. (I hope this comment makes it. I've tried several times to comment on a few of your posts and somehow the comment never appeared.)

    Danni Moss is sorely missed.
    She added a great deal of wisdom and compassion to this topic.

  2. "(I hope this comment makes it. I've tried several times to comment on a few of your posts and somehow the comment never appeared.)"

    Are you sure? maybe the comment appeared belatedly? Sometimes when I read my emails, it's so late and I'm so tired I have to put off publishing them because I want to respond to them as well. And circumstances don't allow me to respond for a number of days. I have also occasionally found comments in my spam box, which I had not been checking on a regular basis. I still do not understand why the system sends some comments to the spam box.

  3. I am grateful for the encouragement I have received via Danni's blog. I don't know how I am going to get through the coming months with the finger of condemnation pointed at me because i filed to make his putting asunder a legal reality, scripture being used to turn my adult children against me, while still having 4 kids to mother. I am so broken and hurt by the response of the church, who has acknowledged his abuse, but continue to be deceived by him and point the finger at me. I am sorry I have to comment as anonymous, but my google name is linked with my blog and I cannot risk it.

  4. Anonymous,
    Yes, Danni's blog was and is very encouraging to me, too. She seconded what I had just begun to realize was the truth--and it did NOT match what I had been taught for years.

    you are not alone. A common theme in churches is to blame their abused wives. As far as I can tell, the establishment thinks it works for them. Think how many abused and beaten wives stay with their abusers because of pressure from church leaders, and from lay people. It keeps men in power at the expense of women and children. Your church is aiding and abetting the abuser. I think many leaders do not understand (at least I HOPE its that they do not understand, and that is is NOT that they are doing it on purpose!) that when an abuser "repents" it is meaningless, unless he lives out a change in attitude and behavior for a minimum of 18-24 months. They don't understand that when the abuser blames his wife, teaches the children to blame their mother, that he has NOT truly repented.

    Although the book "Why does he Do that" by Lundy Bancroft is a secular book, you will see your husband's behavior in there. I like the section of what it would take to make up for cutting down your neighbor's tree, in order to win your neighbors trust and friendship. Believe me, it is much more than "I'm sorry" or tears. Society understands when men require respect, but they blame the wife when she requires respect.

    My novel Behind the Hedge may help, too. It focuses on non-physical abuse and use of scripture to abuse in a Christian family, and also touches on physical abuse. Perhaps Behind the Hedge would help your older children understand. They, too, have likely been damaged by their dad's behavior. If nothing else, seeing him bad-mouth and abuse you, has taught them that you are of little value. (If Dad doesn't respect Mom, why should they?) Also, your church may benefit from a copy of Behind the Hedge in the church library, or the public library.

    Before you read Behind the Hedge, you may be interested to know that some people saw the wife as very weak and flawed. Others saw her as too perfect. Some saw her as manipulative, while others saw her as strong and straightforward. Interestingly, except for women who have been abused, most of the negative comments are aimed at the wife, not at the husband--which is quite true to life. If you haven't already found my website, visit for more info, including the first chapter of Behind the Hedge. YOu can click on the pic of Behind the Hedge at the top left of this blog to read chapter 1 on my website.

  5. The link for chapter 1 is currently in the far right column on my website, about the 3rd item down.

  6. Thank you Waneta. I appreciate the resource suggestions and am trying to make my way through as many as I can. I am mostly trying to find the heart of God. I don't want a divorce, but I don't see any change or hope for the future being that my "husband" is only playing repentant to others, and has continued to spread lies and horrible rumors about me, send me intimidating emails about the care of my children, insinuate that he will take me to court to take the kids because there are "concerns" -- though that has never been an issue and I have clearly been an excellent mother. However, he is so convincing and so clever at taking a small amount of truth and turning it into something totally different altogether, that I am full of fear and may just give into that and other bullying. It seems no matter what I choose, there is no good choice. Anyone on his bad side is doomed.

    If the scriptures did not seem so gray on the topic of divorce, and I knew for sure o should - or knew for sure I should stay, I would hope I could then trust God to help me through either one. Right now, I don't feel a conviction or strength for either and every day is very painful and exhausting.

  7. PS, Again, sorry about having to remain anonymous. Since you approve comments before posting, I could tell you my email address if you want it for anything, as long as it isn't posted.

  8. Anonymous,
    If you go to my website,, and click on the "contact us" page, you can send me a private note that includes your email address and we can converse outside the public eye.

    Concerning divorce, I have become convinced the Christian community has taken scripture and taught something that was not originally there.

    David Instone Brewer's book "Divorce and Remarriage" is very helpful.

    Also Walter Callison's "Divorce a gift of God's love" points out some biblical truth.

    Instone-Brewer arrived at his conclusions via an initial interest in a different area; neither of the men personally faced divorce. It was careful study of the Greek & Hebrew that led to their conclusions. Concerning Callison's work, Jewish women are still suffering the very thing Jesus taught against. Although their husbands may divorce them legally, their real crime is in "putting their wives away," and refusing to give them the Jewish writing of divorcement along with a financial settlement. The legal divorce is not the problem; it is the putting away, which leaves the wife bound to her husband, and NOT free to remarry in the Jewish faith. If she does remarry, she is an adultress, because in the eyes of Jewish law she is still married to the original husband. If you google callison, you can find quite abit of his writings online, or referred to online. (until you can afford to purchase his book).

    According to Callison's work, your husband has already put you away. He has denied you love, compassion, and an interest in your best interests. He has violated the marriage covenant. Consider your marriage vows. They are based on Jewish marriage vows. Your husband is not keeping them. He has defaulted on the contract/covenant between you, him, and God. Just like with other contracts, if the other person defaults, you are not obligated to keep up your end. If you stop paying on your house, your banker will stop keeping up his end of the contract, and there may even be punative consequences.

    On the other side, if your husband is threatening to take the children from you, be very careful. The law tends to favor abusers. It is mostly the abusive husbands who fight for custody, and of those that do, approx 70% of them win primary physical care. Some of them even manage to keep the children away from their mothers altogether. Please visit to read more about this very serious issue.

  9. Anonymous,
    above all, please stay safe. Know the signs of domestic violence and take steps to protect yourself and your children. And yes, the verbal putdowns, etc are also a type of violence. They violate you and they are poison. A recent study showed that violence (I think that included the non-physical violence) causes brain damage. A chemical washes over the brain and kills brain cells. You will notice you cannot remember like you once could, and your children are likely having difficulty in school. It takes being in a safe environment for a long period of time (years) for the brain to heal itself and restore what was lost. Even if you cannot divorce him right now, if you can keep yourself and your children from his poison as much as possible, surround yourselves with positive, encouraging, upbuilding people as much as possible, that should help limit the brain damage. Your fear is very legitimate. IT is your friend. It is telling you he is dangerous, and it is right. He is out to destroy you. I will be praying for you and your children. Again, keep yourself safe. You are no good to your children dead or too sick to be there for them. It sounds horrible, but you also need to get yourself away from your church that is pulling you down and refusing to protect and support you.

  10. I filed for divorce already. That is why the church is pointing the finger at me and why I seem to be losing my two oldest sons. He has been undermining me for years and the things I told them myself to cover up the dysfunction help bolster his case with them. He had about 4 weeks of brokeness, then it all went out the door. He went back to his old behaviors of intimidation, spreading lies about me using a tiny bit of truth, etc. My siblings, parents, grandma, aunt -- all but one brother who he got to first, are all standing with me, along with the few friends I have confided in.

    He has rarely abused my children as he has me. However, the cycle has obviously continued. Examples would be too specific and identifying, but they clearly view marriage and women wrongly.

    You are right about the brain. After weeks of intimidation, etc. he has suddenly been sending emails that sound like he wants to be peaceable. I am highly suspicious and afraid. That means that either he feels very comfortable in his position legally or he knows he got caught in sin and is all of a sudden "showing nice". He is so smart and cunning, he knows how to persuade people. Even a counselor said he'd hate to be on the wrong side of an argument with him.

    I have no hope for my future whether I stay or go. I have nothing left. He has damaged several relationships beyond repair, possibly even with my two oldest children. I am devastated, but even that word does not begin to describe my life right now. There are no words. I need someone to stand up for me to the church, yet there is no one. I have nothing left with which to fight.

  11. Anonymous,
    I apologize for the delay in publishing your comment. I thought I had published it, and was suprised just now to see that it was listed as unpublished. I must have had a computer glitch because I recall telling you to go to my website,, and to the contact us page to write me personally and out of the public eye. I see that message is not here. Wait, I just checked the spam box, and my reply is in the spam box. I'll post that. Again, I apologize for the computer glitch. I've been checking my email to see if you've written, and now it is clear to me that my message didn't get to you, so of course you didn't write a personal note!

  12. Anonymous,
    That tiny bit of truth, with all the lies twisted around it is so hard to overcome and straighten out! I've been there, done that. You are absolutely right, you do need support.

    I was devastated too, and my pastor made it worse by calling it "disappointed." I hear you! My life felt extremely devastated, blown apart, and bleak for a long time. The only way I could survive was to get all the support I could--and you do have a number of family members backing you--and also to look for ways to turn my sour lemon of a life into wonderful lemonade. I found out the sugar is in the sour lemons; I had to use the yuck to bring about good. You may not be able to do that yet; right now its about survival, just getting through. Call the domestic violence hotline just for someone supportive to talk to. You can call the national domestic violence hotline at 1-800-799-3224, or call one in your area. These folks know the ins and outs of abuser behavior and how that effects you and your children. They can help you see things you may only sense in your gut, help you get them out in the open so you KNOW where to watch your back. Support from family and friends is great and needed, and so is support from people who can help you understand what is going on. You will want an advocate from the domestic violence shelter to testify on your behalf in court. I was so ignorant when I went through divorce court; I thought if I knew it of course the judge would know it too. Wrong! Even if the judge has to take yearly continuing education about dv, she or he will NOT get it. Most abused wives are somewhat of basket cases in court, and judges will rule against them because of that, and asign the children to the abuser. An advocate will give the info that any basket case etc behavior from victim is caused by the abuse, and that the abuser may do the same to the children.

    Also, if the children have witnessed or heard your hubby's abuse of you, they, too, have been abused and negatively effected by his behavior. His driving a wedge between you and your children is one of the tactics of abusers. He has damaged them already. Do what you can to regain the trust of your older sons. It will grieve your heart when you see them treat their wives just like their dad treated you. I will be praying for them, too. Right now, they don't even respect you enough to believe anything you say. Is there anyone they do respect who understands what has happened to you and your children and who would be willing to speak to them in your behalf?

    And you are right to be suspicious of your nearly-ex. You may notice that he puts forth effort to appear the good-guy with those he thinks can do something in his favor, but those he thinks can do nothing for him, he will not bother to impress. It takes alot of energy to impress people, and con artists don't bother to invest in folks where they think there is no multiplied return. For example, he may not bother to impress a counselor whose testimony cannot be used in court anyway, and who is outside his community so would not have opportunity to ruin the "pillar of the community" facade he has so carefully built.