How Your Congregation Can Help End Domestic Violence

Religion and faith traditions often play an important role in domestic violence. Over the years, women at Lydia’s House have affirmed that their relationship with God is what sustained them and provided them with comfort in the midst of the abuse they were experiencing. It was also because of their relationship with God that these women found the strength and courage that is needed to leave an abusive relationship.

Unfortunately, it is also true that religion has been historically misused and misunderstood when applied to different domestic violence situations. Faith community leaders have not always interpreted sacred texts or offered counsel in ways that were helpful or life-giving to women living with domestic violence. Abusers have often used sacred texts or faith teachings to condone their abusive behavior.

Because religion and faith traditions have such significance in the lives of abuse victims and survivors, faith communities play an important role in raising awareness of domestic violence and supporting victims and survivors within their communities. Throughout the year faith communities have the opportunity to stand against domestic violence and to stand in support of survivors and victims in very concrete ways.

For more information, please e-mail the Chaplain.

Opportunities for faith communities to get involved*

  • Worship
    • During Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, plan a worship service that focuses on the issue of domestic violence, acknowledging the pain domestic violence has caused while also creating a space for healing (See Resources: For Faith Communities for more information)
    • Incorporate liturgical resources in worship on a regular basis that raise awareness of domestic violence

     

  • Education
    • Create educational opportunities for the faith community to learn more about domestic violence and its impact on women and children

     

  • Creating a safe space
    • Make sure there are posters and other informational materials noticeable that communicate your faith community’s stand against domestic violence
    • Raise consciousness of language and texts used in worship and in the general life of the community and how they may be heard by abuse survivors
    • Provide informational cards in the women’s restrooms that contain emergency domestic violence shelter and hotline numbers

     

  • Outreach and mission
    • Support a local shelter or program that works with abused women and children. For example, to support Lydia’s House consider the following:
      • Invite the chaplain or other staff to speak in worship or an educational setting
      • Participate in the Faith Communities Survey
      • Hold a fundraiser (special offering, meal, etc.) to raise money for Lydia’s House
      • Invite the community to collect items from the Lydia’s House wish list
      • Put together a work group to help out with various projects at Lydia’s House
      • Come up with your own ideas to raise awareness of domestic violence and support Lydia’s House

       

     

*More ideas for how faith communities can get involved can be found here.

Bulletin Insert