"The Domestic Violence team of the West Ohio Annual Conference of the UMC is to serve as a resource to local congregations and districts, provide education and mobilize people to take action to end domestic violence."
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic Violence is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person with whom an intimate relationship is or has been shared through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence. In the United States, one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. Globally, the number is one in three. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women in the U.S. between the ages of 15 and 44— more than car accidents, rapes, and muggings combined. In the U.S., 1200 women are killed each year by their partner.
Protect Victims of Domestic Violence
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was recently reauthorized by Congress! THANKS to all of you whose prayers and actions were critical in this process! You can find the full text of VAWA here.
Why should the Church get involved?
Jesus taught his followers to love one another, as God loves us.
Consider these scripture verses:
"I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another." - John 13:34
"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. ...Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." - Ephesians 4:29-32
What can your Church do?
- Publicize the domestic violence hotline in your church (1-800-799-SAFE).
- Create a bulletin board of display about domestic violence, with materials about local services.
- Recognize October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month (see bulletin insert).
- Adopt policies and procedures for keeping children and vulnerable adults safe from abuse in church facilities and programs.
- Encourage church members to volunteer their services to existing shelters, crisis centers, and other community services. Insist upon training for volunteers.
- Re-examine, and change if necessary, scriptural interpretations and theological messages, cultures, and traditions that validate violence or abuse or support a view of women as subordinate to men or children as property of adults. Pay attention to church teachings on repentance and forgiveness.
- Participate in Child Abuse Prevention Month each April
What can YOU do?
LEARN more about Domestic Violence! (Click here for informational websites. Click here for General Board of Church & Society's recommended resources.) Link to GBCS's Domestic Violence page here or sburton [at] umc-gbcs.org (subject: Domestic%20Violence) (email Susan Burton) for more info!
PRAY for the millions of women, children, and men who experience Domestic Violence on a regular basis.
ACT - Educate your friends, families, and congregations! Join an already-established local, national, or international organization in the fight against Domestic Violence! Or, write your US Senators and Representatives, asking them to pass a strong Violence Against Women Act.
"I Believe You:Faiths' Response to Intimate Partner Violence" video trailer and site to purchase
|UMW Discussion guide to use with "I Believe You" video|
Men Can Stop Rape - an organization that mobilizes men to create cultures free from violence, especially violence against women.
Resources from Oct 29 2014 Inter-Faith Event
“What’s Faith Got to do With It?” - Presentation by Dr. David Watson, October 29, 2014, University of Dayton Rive Campus: “Faith, Awareness and Action: Conference on Human Trafficking & Domestic Violence”. Dr. David Watson provides insight into Christian texts and how they help or hinder our work on human trafficking around the globe. Dr. David Watson is the Academic Dean at United Theological Seminary, Dayton, OH.
“Faith, Awareness and Action…Addressing Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence” – a presentation created by Debbie Matheson, Director of the Greene County Family Violence Prevention Center based in Xenia, OH. Explains the legal and social definitions of domestic violence, power dynamics, realities facing survivors and perpetrators and how people can become involved in making a difference.
Biographies of Resource Persons in the State of Ohio and others who address human trafficking and/or domestic violence. (These persons were presenters at the October 29, 2014 interfaith conference on human trafficking and domestic violence in Dayton, OH)
“Engaging Men to Prevent Gender Based Violence” – a presentation by Rus Funk, Director of MensWork, a project of the Center for Women and Families based in Louisville, KY. MensWork focuses on engaging and empowering men and boys to prevent all forms of gender based violence which includes combatting sexual exploitation.
Interfaith Resources and Websites - A compilation of organizations, website and official statements of faith and secular organizations addressing human trafficking and domestic violence.