October is Domestic Violence Awareness month; an issue near and dear to our hearts. We are continually reminded of how little training pastors receive about domestic violence. Stories continue to come our way of “counseling” that pastors provide which keep victims in abusive relationships. The church can and should do better to protect victims.
Below are some resources for pastors and churches to start thinking about the ways they respond to victims of domestic abuse.
Neil Schori is a pastor at The Edge Church in Aurora, Illinois. He is also a domestic violence advocate. Julie Anne wrote about him and shared his sermon, Hope In Dry Ground here.
Neil also granted permission to share a training document he put together: Pastoral DV 101.
Neil did an interview with our friend, Gretchen Baskerville who wrote The Life Saving Divorce. Gretchen’s site is a great resource for victims of domestic abuse.
RAVE Project has clergy resources, including sermon ideas, scriptures, and data on domestic violence.
Faith Trust Institute offers a collection of sermons focusing on domestic violence.
Below are several posts on SSB which challenges the church’s response toward victims:
Domestic Violence: Education is the Key to a Better Church Response
Domestic Violence: A Call to the Church – Reevaluate Your Beliefs
Domestic Violence: A Call to the Church for Action
Domestic Violence: Know Your Resources
Domestic Violence Awareness Month – Safety Planning
In this post, Brad takes a look at the historical context and perspective on the church’s attitude and response to domestic abuse.
Domestic Violence, Ministry, and Controversy in Conservative Christianity: A Guest Post on Historical Context and Perspective
Last year I highlighted leave of absence laws and states which allow pastors to provide a written letter for victims to utilize job protection or accommodation requests. Please note that laws may have changed since 2019. Please consult an attorney if you have any questions regarding assisting victims with job protection issues.
Domestic Violence: A Call to Pastors – Documentation to Help Domestic Violence Victims
As always, if you or any victim needs assistance with resources, the National Domestic Violence Hotline is a great resource. Victims can call to speak to an advocate 24/7. Most people are not aware that this is a resource for advocates too. I recently called and spoke to an advocate about how to best support a victim overseas. Please do not hesitate to give out this important phone number or website. Phone: 800-799-7233