Learn to do what is right! Promote justice! Give the oppressed reason to celebrate! Take up the cause of the orphan! Defend the rights of the widow!Isaiah 1:17, NET
The Christian Coalition for Safe Families and other organizations regularly ask the church to step up and do something about domestic violence. Even seemingly small acts like placing brochures about domestic violence in church bathroom stalls can save a life. But what, exactly, a church is supposed to do is subjective, to say the least.
Given that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner contact sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, it would seem that the body of Christ should be at the forefront of battle to end this violence. It is likely the most common trauma that those who attend your church are experiencing– yet it is rarely addressed from the pulpit.
Over the next few months we will be highlighting simple steps that churches can take to help those suffering from domestic violence. Please share these tips with your church leadership. They will appear in our monthly email newsletter and be available here on our blog. This information can be easily texted, emailed, or shared in print, so the intention is for it to spread like wildfire. There is no excuse for being unprepared anymore. We need to equip our houses of worship with basic tools so that we will be prepared every time we suspect or are made aware of domestic violence.
Nearly every day on our Facebook page, we highlight the stories of real life victims of domestic violence. They are mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, and coworkers. Sometimes they are our neighbors and friends. Just this week a woman in Maple Valley was found murdered and the suspect committed suicide at the local police station. A Bellevue woman was killed in Hawaii and her husband is in custody. Then there are all the stories we don’t hear about– the people who are harmed physically, sexually, financially, socially, psychologically– every day. The church must become a safe place where these people can be connected with the assistance they need to lead healthy, safe lives.
Stay tuned for more. We look forward to making 2020 the year that every church understands domestic violence and understands what they can do about it.
©2020 Christian Coalition for Safe Families