HOW YOUR CHURCH CAN OBSERVE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH THIS OCTOBER
DID YOU KNOW: studies show that the first person a domestic violence victim is likely to turn to for help is their faith leader?
If you’re a faith leader to whom no one has yet turned, that doesn’t mean there’s no domestic violence in your congregation. It just means that you may need to “open the door” and make it clear that it is safe to talk about here. Something as simple as an announcement in the bulletin or e-news, a post on your church’s social media page, or, even better, a sermon from the pulpit. And October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, is the perfect time to try.
But step #1 for faith leaders must be educating yourself so that you do not do more harm than good (e.g., recommending couples counseling could put a victim in more danger, as could confronting the abuser, or telling the victim to “just leave”). So use the resources we at MCC in partnership with the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence, have collected [link to website page] to learn all you can and then communicate with your congregation.
DID YOU KNOW THAT according to the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence, in 2021, Maine’s Domestic Violence Resource Centers helped more than 13,000 Mainers who had been impacted by domestic abuse? Many of those 13,000 people sit in the pews of our congregations. As faith communities, there is a lot we can do to break the silence and raise awareness. Why not get started this October?