Reading with curiosity and compassion

Open book in front of window from Photo from

At the 2021 Mennonite Church USA convention in Cincinnati, Ohio, I was eager to attend a seminar led by professor and author Susannah Griffith.

In her seminar, she presented about her newly published book Leaving Silence: Sexualized Violence, the Bible and Standing with Survivors. The seminar was wonderful, and I left feeling optimistic that there was someone doing this work and that she had chosen to teach at an Anabaptist institution. 

In this issue, Susannah writes again on page 11. This time she shares her own story of an abusive relationship, the failures of her faith community and the limitations of reconciliation after abuse. 

I’m grateful for her transparency and courage to share her experiences with the readers of AW. I hope that as you read her story you may hold it with much care and kindness for her and for yourself. Stories of trauma and abuse can sometimes be triggering. 

Susannah’s story reminds us that intimate partner abuse can and does happen to all types of people. Hers is also a testimony of the resilience that is possible in the face of great pain and confusion. 

I invite you to practice curiosity as you read this issue. Whether it is ­Susannah’s piece or another, if you have questions afterward, please reach out to the AW staff for further conversation, or take it to your Sunday school, small group or next family dinner. If none of that feels quite right, googling questions is always an OK place to start as well. 

I also invite you to email us with reactions to articles. Comments of just a few sentences are ideal for the letters page. We love to get responses from readers who add new perspectives on what we’ve published. Your opinions are an important part of the magazine.

Finally, I hope that in our curiosity we can acknowledge our own avenues for growth as individuals and as communities when we find opportunities to support others through difficult and painful situations. 

May we learn how to truly support one another.

Danielle Klotz

Danielle Klotz is executive director of Anabaptist World. She lives in Goshen Indiana with her partner Nata and their sons Read More

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