Breaking" the 'holy hush': evangelicals find new resources to address domestic violence.The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that about 1.5 million women in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. are raped or physically assaulted by an intimate partner every year. Nearly one-third of American women report having experienced physical or sexual abuse by a husband or boyfriend at some point during their lives, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the Commonwealth Fund's 1998 Survey of Women's Health Women's Health Definition
Women's health is the effect of gender on disease and health that encompasses a broad range of biological and psychosocial issues. .
Christians are no exception to these alarming statistics.
"The rate of abuse in Christian homes is exactly the same as in the general population," says Catherine Clark Catherine Jane Clark (born November 6, 1976 in Ottawa, Ontario) is a Canadian television broadcaster, and the daughter of former Canadian Prime Minister Joe Clark and Maureen McTeer. Kroeger, co-founder of Peace and Safety in the Christian Home (PASCH). "If we could tear off the secrecy and then allow God's grace to work, that would be the greatest gift." Kroeger, an adjunct associate professor of classical and ministry studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (GCTS) is an interdenominational Christian evangelical theological seminary in the United States. Besides its 118 acre main campus in South Hamilton, Massachusetts, it also has an urban campus in downtown Boston known as the Center for Urban , has written, co-written, or contributed to eight books about women and domestic violence from a Christian perspective.
She became aware of the need for a response to domestic violence that the evangelical community would hear and respect after she founded Christians for Biblical Equality Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE) is non-profit organization of Christian men and women that advocates a biblical basis for gift-based, rather than gender-based ministry of Christians of all ages, ethnicities and socio-economic classes. , an organization rooted in evangelical circles that promotes an interpretation of the Bible supporting the fundamental equality of men and women of all ethnicities and all economic classes. She noticed that many women appeared more interested in the biblical roots of equality for the home than within church roles. In 1992, Kroeger and Denver Seminary Denver Seminary is an evangelical post-graduate institution that offers a wide range of degrees not typically associated with seminaries. The school prides itself in its rigorous academics that are combined with a steady dose of spiritual formation.
Founded in 1950, Dr. professor of counseling James R. Beck held a symposium that led to their publication of Women, Abuse, and the Bible: How Scripture Can Be Used to Hurt or Heal.
Over the course of her involvement with the issue of domestic violence and the church's response to it, Kroeger felt a growing sense of frustration at the church's flawed flaw 1
1. An imperfection, often concealed, that impairs soundness: a flaw in the crystal that caused it to shatter. See Synonyms at blemish.
2. approach to domestic violence counseling. She observed a disturbing degree of silence on the topic among church leaders. When clergy became involved in family counseling on domestic violence, they were more likely to side with the batterer Bat´ter`er
n. 1. One who, or that which, batters. , counsel reconciliation, chide the woman for attempting to leave the relationship, and consider the case closed.
In response, Kroeger has formed partnerships with other Christian experts and advocates in the field. At a meeting of religious leaders interested in domestic violence during the late 1990s. Kroeger met Nancy Nason-Clark, a professor of sociology at University of New Brunswick The University of New Brunswick (UNB) is a Canadian university located in the province of New Brunswick. The university has two main campuses: the principal campus founded in 1785 in Fredericton and a smaller campus which was opened in Saint John in 1964. who researches the relationship between faith and domestic violence.
"More and more. my work began to explore how faith communities are responding to domestic violence," says Nason-Clark. As she studied domestic violence from an academic perspective, she was constantly asked whether or not the incidence rates were different within the faith community.
"There are very few differences," says Nason-Clark. Those that exist are not positive. Women of faith, says Nason-Clark. are less likely to leave an abusive relationship, more likely to look first to the church for counseling, and more likely to wait longer to take action than women outside the faith community.
NETWORKING CONNECTIONS with scattered Scattered
Used for listed equity securities. Unconcentrated buy or sell interest. clergy, researchers, and advocates convinced Kroeger and Nason-Clark that their efforts would yield better results if a network could be formed. The result was the creation of PASCH, which describes itself as "'a coalition of internationally renowned Christian researchers, scholars, and theologians" who have come together to "increase peace and safety in the Christian home and in the world it serves by addressing and decreasing domestic and sexual abuse in those homes."
PASCH held its first international conference in Orange County, Calif., in 2005. More than 200 attendees from around the world and from denominations ranging from Mennonite to Episcopal e·pis·co·pal
1. Of or relating to a bishop.
2. Of, relating to, or involving church government by bishops.
3. Episcopal Of or relating to the Episcopal Church. gathered at the "Beyond Abuse" conference for a weekend of resource sharing, networking opportunities, and presentations by advocates, survivors, and experts.
Al Miles, author of Domestic Violence: What Every Pastor Needs to Know and two other books on abuse, was one of the keynote speakers at the first PASCH conference.
According to Miles, until pioneers such as Catherine Clark Kroeger, no one had pointed out that "there is a faith-related connection; there are things we're doing and not doing that contribute to [domestic abuse]." As a pastor, Miles felt comfortable with PASCH's theology and language, and he knew their qualifications were sound. He also notes that the group's evangelical approach helps address the way some conservatives may use distrust of theological liberalism as an excuse to avoid the topic of domestic violence.
"The issue of domestic violence is messy," says Miles, who as an ordained or·dain
tr.v. or·dained, or·dain·ing, or·dains
a. To invest with ministerial or priestly authority; confer holy orders on.
b. To authorize as a rabbi.
2. minister in the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana Anderson is a city in Madison County, Indiana, United States. The city is the county seat of Madison CountyGR6. It is the principal city of the Anderson, Indiana Metropolitan Statistical Area which encompasses Madison county. ) and is based in Hawaii. "It's incredibly messy. It's saying particularly when people are in my congregation that I as a pastor need to deal with this. We've known about it for a long time, even if we didn't name it. The insidiousness in·sid·i·ous
1. Working or spreading harmfully in a subtle or stealthy manner: insidious rumors; an insidious disease.
2. is when you know the people and it's fight here. It's amazing a·maze
v. a·mazed, a·maz·ing, a·maz·es
1. To affect with great wonder; astonish. See Synonyms at surprise.
2. Obsolete To bewilder; perplex.
v.intr. that we still tend to blame women for men's behavior."
Miles says that most pastors, when confronted with a situation of domestic violence, shy away because they lack training in the issue. According to Miles, pastors say things like, "I don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. what to do; it's messy; I wish it hadn't been brought to my attention." There is also denial. Miles describes the train of thought as "It couldn't happen here because we're so spiritual." Others, he says, deny because their church is "too something"--too rich or too educated or too successful.
PASCH is committed to creating an "international prayer network" of concerned partners dedicated to the elimination of domestic and Sexual abuse in Christian homes. PASCH hopes to accomplish this goal through facilitating collaboration among formerly isolated advocates and researchers, linking them to each other and enabling them to build on each other's work. From this, PASCH hopes to encourage the creation of educational and training programs, as well as a steady flow of new resources from a distinctly evangelical perspective.
Kroeger is excited about the next steps for PASCH. One of the group's newest ministries is the creation of a "shoe card"--a card small enough to be hidden under the insole of a woman's shoe. The card is distributed in women's restrooms, and includes a definition of what constitutes abuse, instructions, and the phone number for the National Domestic Violence Hotline National Domestic Violence Hotline Public health A tollfree hotline–1.800.799.SAFE which offers 24/7/365 counseling to US victims of DV–♂ & ♀; it also connects callers with related community services and shelters. See Violence Against Women Act. .
"They're absolutely flying," says Kroeger, reporting that the cards disappeared so quickly from one church that organizers wondered whether they were being stolen.
In 2007, Kroeger hopes to host a training institute on Cape Cod Cape Cod, narrow peninsula of glacial origin, 399 sq mi (1,033 sq km), SE Mass., extending 65 mi (105 km) E and N into the Atlantic Ocean. It is generally flat, with sand dunes, low hills, and numerous lakes. to help clergy interact more successfully with social service resources. Both clergy and social service professionals have a long history of regarding each other with distrust. Many social service professionals report that when clergy are involved in a domestic abuse situation, they often make it worse by making the women feel pressured to remain within the relationship, Some members of the clergy are uneasy with social service professionals' secular approach. Kroger hopes to ease that tension and help both sides gain more productive dialogue.
"A lot of it was about women and empowering women," says Kroeger. She dreams of a continuum that reaches "from the steeple to the shelter," and that finally removes the "holy hush" of silence and secrecy that Kroeger says supports and enables abuse.
"We want to pass the good news that the Bible provides a warrant for responsible conduct," says Kroeger.
Online Clergy Training
Nancy Nason-Clark is committed to "bring training to the privacy of the clergy office." Last fall she received a Lilly Grant to develop "Religion and Violence E-Learning (RAVE)," an online training program and resource for clergy that will provide expert advice, practical assistance, and information downloads.
Initially, the program will have four physical sites in the U.S. and Canada. Advisory teams of participating experts will work together to provide content for the RAVE Web site based on their respective specialties. The Web site will include perspectives from therapists, religious scholars, and clergy who are trained and active in domestic violence intervention, as well as advocates, survivors, and professionals from the legal and criminal justice fields. The site will be in restricted-access testing mode until at least late summer 2007.
For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or write to The RAVE Project, Dept. of Sociology, University of New Brunswick, 2 Garland Court, Suite 203, Fredericton, New Brunswick New Brunswick, province, Canada
New Brunswick, province (2001 pop. 729,498), 28,345 sq mi (73,433 sq km), including 519 sq mi (1,345 sq km) of water surface, E Canada. E3B 6C2.--GM
Resources for Faith
* PASCH: www.peaceandsafety.com
* FaithTrust Institute: A multifaith organization working to end sexual and domestic violence. www.faithtrustinstitute.org
* Task Force to Stop Abuse Against Women: An international effort to educate evangelical clergy about issues of abuse and to reduce domestic violence, arising out of the Commission on Women's Concerns of the World Evangelical Alliance Evangelical Alliance (ēvănjĕl`ĭkəl), an association of Evangelical Christians in a union, not of churches, but of individuals belonging to different denominations and different countries. . www.abuseofwomen.org
* U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: The USCCB's Web page on domestic violence includes links to preaching and counseling resources for priests, deacons, and pastoral staffs (Eccl.) a staff, usually of the form of a shepherd's crook, borne as an official emblem by a bishop, abbot, abbess, or other prelate privileged to carry it. See Crook, and Crosier.
See also: Pastoral . www.usccb.org/laity/women/violence.shtml
* The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233); TTY (TeleTYpewriter) See teletypewriter and TDD/TTY.
(hardware) tty - /tit'ee/ (ITS pronunciation, but some Unix people say it this way as well; this pronunciation is not considered to have sexual undertones), /T T Y/
2. : 1-800-787-3224; www.ndvh.org
Note that computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear. If you are afraid your Internet and/or computer usage might be monitored, please use a safer computer or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
Gail Martin is a freelance writer in Charlotte, N.C. She directs The Refuge Project, a privately funded research and education project helping the faith community understand the long-term spiritual repercussions repercussions npl → répercussions fpl
repercussions npl → Auswirkungen pl of abuse in order to become more accepting of and welcoming to adult survivors.