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Domestic Violence and the Church A Christian Response to Families in Crisis.

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Presentation on theme: "Domestic Violence and the Church A Christian Response to Families in Crisis."— Presentation transcript:

1 Domestic Violence and the Church A Christian Response to Families in Crisis

2 Overview of Domestic Violence Domestic Violence is any kind of behavior that a person uses to control an intimate partner through fear and intimidation. Types of Abuse: Physical Sexual Psychological Verbal Economic Spiritual

3 Statistics Calgary Police Service ·Responded to 10,385 domestic violence - related calls in 2000; ·Reported that children were present at 49% of all domestic incidents responded to by the Calgary Police Service in 1999.

4 Statistics Victims of spousal violence represented 18% of all victims of violent offences. Women accounted for 85% of the victims of spousal violence; Common Assault Includes 63% of female victims Includes 59% of male victims Least serious form of assault outlined in the Criminal Code of Canada. Includes pushing, slapping, punching and face to face verbal threats. Statistics Canada Incident Based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (2000)

5 Statistics Statistics Canada Violence Against Women Survey (1993) Three in ten married women had been physically or sexually assaulted at least once. Two thirds of victims had been victimized more than ten times; One in five victims did not ask for any help. On average, women are assaulted 35 times before contacting the police.

6 The Three Goals of Intervention Safety for the victim and children. Accountability for the abuser. Restoration of the relationship (if possible) or mourning of the loss of the relationship.

7 Critical Questions Are you frightened to return home? Do you feel in danger? In what way? Have you ever called the police, or considered calling the police? SAFETY Do you have somewhere you can go with your children if you cannot go home or must flee in a hurry? Do you know about the local shelter and its services? Do you have a way to get there if you need to? TEMPORARY REFUGE Taken from No Place for Abuse by Catherine Clark Kroeger and Nancy Naeson Clark by permission of Inter Varsity Press

8 Critical Questions What concerns do you have about the safety or welfare of your children? CHILDREN Do you have people you can turn to when you feel you need to share what is going on in your life? If you had an appointment with your doctor, a counselor, or a lawyer, is there someone you could ask to come with you? SUPPORT Taken from No Place for Abuse by Catherine Clark Kroeger and Nancy Naeson Clark by permission of Inter Varsity Press

9 Critical Questions Are there any day to day tasks that are difficult for you to get done right now? Do you have access to a car or transportation? Is there someone you could leave your children with if you needed to be free of childcare responsibilities for a few hours? PRACTICAL HELP Have you thought about how our faith community could be helpful at this difficult point in your life? Are there any spiritual needs that you wish someone could help you with right now? SPIRITUAL HELP Taken from No Place for Abuse by Catherine Clark Kroeger and Nancy Naeson Clark by permission of Inter Varsity Press

10 Critical Questions Do you know whom to contact if you need legal help or a doctor’s care? If you wanted help from a professional therapist, would you know how to get it? PROFESSIONAL HELP Have you thought of developing a safety plan (important documents copied, extra cash, telephone numbers of agencies or contacts, spare keys) in case you need to leave your home very quickly? Can I help connect you to those in our community that are trained to help people coping with life crises? IMMEDIATE NEEDS Taken from No Place for Abuse by Catherine Clark Kroeger and Nancy Naeson Clark by permission of Inter Varsity Press

11 Misconceptions About Church Teachings and Scripture “Abuse is my cross to bear.” - Jesus chose His cross, and He bore it for our sake. A woman does not choose to be abused, and no one is “helped” in any way by her being abused.

12 Misconceptions About Church Teachings and Scripture “I can’t leave my abusive spouse, because the Church teaches that that is a sin.” - A spouse who occasions grave danger of soul or body to the other or to the children, or otherwise makes the common life unduly difficult, provides the other spouse with a reason to leave, either by a decree of the local Ordinary or, if there is danger in delay, even on his or her own authority. (Canon Law 1153 §1)

13 Misconceptions About Church Teachings and Scripture “The Bible says I have to submit to my husband. (Eph. 5:22)” - Reading the whole passage (Eph. 5:21-33), we see that wives and husbands must submit to each other equally, and that husbands must treat their wives with love and respect. (Eph. 5:33)

14 Misconceptions About Church Teachings and Scripture “The Bible says I have to forgive my abuser. (Mt. 6:9-15)” - Forgiveness is not permission to repeat the offence, nor does it mean that we must expose ourselves to danger. Rather, it allows us to let go of a bad experience and move on with our lives, in recognition that we do not need to tolerate abuse against ourselves or others.

15 Misconceptions About Church Teachings and Scripture “This is God’s way of punishing me for something I did in the past.” - Our God loves us very much, and forgives us of our past sins when we ask Him. He does not use the circumstances of our lives to punish us. Jesus helped, forgave, and healed many women during His ministry on earth. (Mk. 5:25-34, Jn. 8:1-11, Lk. 7:36-50)

16 Misconceptions About Church Teachings and Scripture “My priest will probably side with my husband, so there is no point asking for help.” - Priests should be trained to recognize and deal with domestic violence situations. Your Church can put you in touch with resources such as Catholic counseling, safe houses, emergency assistance, and other valuable resources. If you are not receiving the help you need, keep on trying.

17 24 Hour Help Emergency: Police, Fire, Ambulance Requests for Police Service Community Resource Team Kerby Rotary House Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter Awo Taan Native Women’s Shelter YWCA Family Violence Prevention Centre/ Sheriff King Home Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse Distress Centre Men’s Line Child Abuse Children’s Cottage Discovery House


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