October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and while we have a great opportunity to learn more about domestic violence during the month of October, we are called throughout the year to educate and advocate toward the goal of eradicating domestic and intimate partner violence. For example, did you know 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men experience domestic violence in their lifetimes? These are our neighbors!
The Des Moines General Assembly adopted Resolution GA-1928, which calls the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to action: to See and Respond to the Crisis of Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence. Out of this resolution was birthed:
Woke, Healed, Organic, Liberated and Educated!
A Movement to Eradicate Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence
We are grateful for Angela Whitenhill and the National Benevolent Association, Members of Innovative Conversations, and other impassioned pastors who have joined with us for implementation of the asks in GA–1928. Thank you for your support.
Domestic violence is exceedingly common, occurs in many forms and has a universally adverse impact on survivors, witnesses, members of the community at-large, and even perpetrators. Domestic violence is abuse that can be verbal, emotional, physical, financial, sexual, or spiritual.
Although we would like to think it doesn’t happen in our congregation, domestic violence can happen in any congregation, and too often it goes unreported and unnoticed. Some communities are more affected by abuse and experience more barriers to safety because of race, age, faith, class, immigration status, language, physical ability, gender, or sexual orientation.
According to recent research, nearly one in every three U.S. women reported being physically abused by a spouse or boyfriend at some point in her life. Between 3.3 million and 10 million children are exposed to abuse in their homes every year. Young people of all ages, including babies, can be adversely affected when their mothers are abused, even if they themselves do not see the abuse occur and are not directly physically harmed. Even unborn children can be affected by domestic violence when their mothers are denied appropriate medical care or nutrition during pregnancy.
We are asking that each region help us to implement GA-1928. Do your part to increase awareness, provide education, and advocate for the eradication of domestic violence and intimate partner violence. You can help by:
- creating and adding a DV/IPV resource page on your website using www.tethered1.org as a model;
- contact Rev. Courtney Armento, our In-house resource, for a 5-hour Domestic Violence Workshop on Un*Silence DV;
- preach at least one sermon on domestic violence and/or invite a guest preacher to preach a sermon on DV/IPV;
- contact your local domestic violence shelter and request cards and/or posters to be placed in the bathrooms for congregations.