February 2007 Newsletter
Peace and Safety in the Christian Home
learning to build bridges: Helping Faith-Based and Community-Based Resources to Collaborate in Response to Domestic Violence by Nancy Nason-Clark, Ph.D. Excerpts from a presentation made to a multi-disciplinary Faith-Based Forum on Domestic Violence, Palm Beach, Florida, October, 2006. I am often asked the question by those working within the criminal justice system why they should consider adding religious leaders to the collaborative community response to domestic violence. For many police investigators, parole or probation ofﬁcers, lawyers, victim advocates and judges, the ordained representatives of religious institutions— such as clergy, rabbis, pastors and spiritual elders—contribute to the problem rather than the solution. Can that be changed? These are my top-ten reasons for inviting religious leaders to the table. 1.
Religious leaders are chosen by many victims. Over the last 15 years, my research program has tried to understand what happens when an abused religious victim looks to a faith community for help in the aftermath of domestic violence. For many women who are religious, a ﬁrst response to abuse by an intimate partner is to seek out help from their pastor or other faith leader. The advice that is received will in large measure determine her next steps. Is she believed? Is she offered referral suggestions? Is she told to pursue only a spiritual response to her pain? Is safety held as a ﬁrst priority? Since religious leaders are often chosen by victims, a community response must include input from various faith traditions in order to meet the needs of all people who live in our neighbourhoods. Religious women can be especially vulnerable when abused for they are very likely to hold the intact
family in high esteem and to consider separation and divorce as unsatisfactory options. For many women who are religious, a ﬁrst response to abuse by an intimate partner is to seek out help from their pastor or other faith leader. The advice that is received will in large measure determine her next steps. 2.
Religious leaders are sought out by many perpetrators when the victim leaves the home. When an abused religious woman seeks refuge in a transition house or shelter, it is not uncommon for the abuser to call his pastor for help. Sometimes he will use religious language in an attempt to convince the religious leader that he is sorry for his abusive deeds. Other times, he will tell the minister or rabbi of the extravagant gifts he has bought his wife, or the many tears he has shed, or how much he loves her. For some abusive men, this contact with a religious leader is part of their manipulative plan to have their partner return home. Yet, our research reveals that when religious leaders take seriously their role in encouraging abusive men to seek help, they are more likely to comply with attendance requirements in a batterer intervention program. While program attendance cannot guarantee change, intervention programs are an important part of any coordinated community response to domestic violence. Religious leaders are part of the team to ensure ongoing accountability in the lives of religious men who are, or have been, abusive.
Religious leaders are invested with moral authority. In many religious traditions, the leaders—whether they are ordained or work in a lay capacity—hold considerable sway over other followers. As a result, when a religious leader says that “abuse is wrong” it has a strong impact. In fact, many religious victims feel abandoned by their faith tradition when crisis strikes in the family. When a pastor or priest is able to use the language of the faith tradition to support a victim through her struggle, her journey towards healing has been augmented. Similarly, when a minister or other faith leader holds a religious abuser accountable for his behaviour, it enhances the coordinated community response to violence at home. 4.
Religious leaders have access to many lives at the point of crisis. When crisis strikes a nation, people often pray. When a tragedy occurs, faith leaders are often called in to explain the unexplainable. There is no doubt that for many men and women there is a close link between personal crisis and looking to their faith tradition for answers. Since religious leaders are uniquely positioned as crisis interveners, it is imperative that they are included in any communitybased response to domestic violence. Not all members of the community will desire assistance from faith leaders when abuse occurs, but for those that do, it is critical that such help be made available. It is critical too for religious leaders to be well informed about other communitybased services. Referrals between resource providers are essential. continued
learning to build bridges continued 5.
Religious leaders provide educational resources to all age groups. Congregations across this nation provide resources to a variety of age groups. Consider for example the role of Sunday School classes, youth group activities, young mom’s morning out, men’s groups, senior’s events, marriage preparation classes, summer camps, and so on. Clergy are called upon at various stages of the life course and are positioned therefore to offer much needed support for ensuring that every family is safe. I often use the slogan, “There is no place like home…When abuse strikes, there is no home.” Providing appropriate resources that clearly state that violence is wrong is something every faith leader can do. 6.
Religious leaders are regarded by many as experts on “marriage” and the family. Most highly religious people choose to be married in a service that “blesses” their union. Many religious leaders hold classes for marriage preparation, while others meet privately with those wishing to be married in church-sanctioned services. This provides a unique opportunity for religious leaders to speak clearly and honestly about abuse. They can state what marriage should be and offer suggestions if the reality of married life deviates from that ideal. We have learned from many abused religious women that they sought the help of the pastor who married them when abuse became their reality. Since many faith traditions celebrate “family values” it is imperative that the leaders speak out when abuse becomes the reality of family life. A coordinated community response needs to include these voices. 7.
Religious leaders are able to offer spiritual comfort and guidance. Vested with credibility by their own religious traditions, pastors and other spiritual leaders offer comfort and guidance that is distinct from the assistance offered in community-based agencies. As religious leaders, they speak
the language of the spirit—using the sacred texts, prayers and other rituals inherent in their various traditions. The impact of this form of empowerment upon followers who are victims of DV cannot be overstated. Yet, breaking the cycle of violence in families of faith often requires both the input of secular culture and support from their religious community and its leadership. Religious leaders are often in regular contact with those who are marginalized. The prophets of old highlighted the importance of attending to the needs and circumstances of the poor. Some have even suggested that God has a preferential option for those who are marginalized or oppressed. To be sure, contemporary congregations across the nation fall short of the mandate to care for those who are vulnerable. Yet, religious leaders and the congregations they lead offer a range of resources—practical and emotional in nature—which respond to human need. Marginalized men and women continue to look to churches and other religious organizations for help. Whether their needs are met is another matter, of course.
religious leaders are unique resources in any community-based efforts to create safe and peaceful homes. While the role of the religious professional in responding to the needs of the abused has been recognized for some time, it is important to realize that there is also a role for religious leaders in helping abusive religious men become accountable and to walk with them on their journey towards changed thinking and behaviour.
Religious leaders are able to provide ongoing support after the crisis. Justice, accountability and change are all central ingredients in the intervention services offered to men who have abused their wives. Although some come voluntarily, other men are mandated by the courts or referred by their wives, therapists, or clergy to participate in an intervention program for abusers. Woven through the narratives of abusive men who are traveling toward justice and accountability are the roles of religious congregations and their leaders in supporting the men as they seek help. A pastor or priest is a key player in ensuring accountability in the life of a religious man who is, or has been, abusive. Consequently, houses of worship and
10. Religious leaders are skilled in talking about hope. There are speciﬁc religious contours both to the abuse that is suffered by people of deep faith and to the healing journey. As a result, many in the secular therapeutic community do not like to work with clients who are particularly religious. Without spiritual credentials, these workers ﬁnd it difﬁcult to challenge the religious ideation that is believed by the victim or perpetrator to give license to abuse. For collaborative ventures between churches and community agencies to be successful—what I like to call paving the pathway between the steeple and the shelter—personnel from both paradigms must recognize the need to work together to end violence. A cultural language that is devoid of religious symbols, meanings, and legitimacy is relatively powerless to alter a religious victim’s resolve to staying the marriage no matter what the cost. Correspondingly, the language of the spirit, if devoid of the practical resources of contemporary culture, compromises a victim’s need for safety, security, and ﬁnancial resources to care for herself and her children. Building Bridges involves collaboration. Choose carefully with whom you will work, because speciﬁc skills, training and commitment are required. Not all religious leaders are equipped equally to join with other community agencies in a coordinated response to end domestic violence and to offer support to all those impacted by abuse. R
“That card saved my life.” As PASCH volunteer Lisa was ﬁlling the shoe card holders in the women’s room at a local church, she was approached by a woman with a question. “Are you the person who puts those cards in the washroom?” When Lisa responded in the afﬁrmative, the woman announced “I want you to know that last week one of those cards saved my life.” She then asked if there was any Christian support group for abused women, and Lisa invited her to a meeting of Hagar’s Sisters, which providentially was meeting the very next evening. The woman promptly became part of the group. She was so very happy to discover that she was not alone, that God had not abandoned her and that she was surrounded by other loving Christians who would support her and pray for her as she wades through some very difﬁcult waters.
For those of you who do not know, PASCH provides cards so small that they will ﬁt into a shoe. They are placed in holders attached to the inside of a stall in the restroom so that no one will see a woman pick one up and slip it into her shoe. They contain a brief list of abusive situations and behaviors, the phone number of the national hot line and the e-mail address of Martha, our spiritual director. Please remember that the e-mail communication should not be done from a victim’s own computer but rather from a safe location such as a library. A safe arrangement can then be worked out if a phone call would be helpful.. R
My Parents: A Christian Model of Marriage by Julie Owens
ebruary is the month when reminders of love and Valentine’s Day seem to be everywhere. Hallmark sentiments greet and surround us as we enter every store. For some of us, this time of year signiﬁes a joyful opportunity to celebrate. For others, it’s a painful reminder of what was, or could have been. For me, I have to admit, it’s a little bit of both. When I married the man who would soon became my abuser, the scripture I asked a friend to read aloud was from1 Corinthians 13. I had always loved the beauty of Paul’s description of love. “Love is patient, love is kind. Love isn’t jealous, or boastful or rude. Love doesn’t demand its own way.” This was my vision of the kind of love that we would have. This, I believed, would sustain our marriage. Today it seems sadly ironic. Why would I have expected anything less? Although I had married in an age in which I read that ﬁfty percent of marriages would end in divorce, I knew that this kind of partnership was possible. Why? Because I had grown up in a Christian home, watching it in action. My own parents had modeled it in their marriage. Even today, after almost 55 years together, I watch them and marvel at what they still have. Despite
the fact that life has thrown our family any number of curves, from sudden unexpected deaths, to diseases, divorces, disabilities – and yes, lots of drama, thanks to my own marriage and divorce - they are still together, still happy, and even playful - best friends for life. That’s how I knew, soon after the wedding, that things were terribly wrong in my own marriage. Even though my husband never hit me (at least not until after I ﬁled for divorce), it couldn’t have been more different than what I had grown up to expect. My own husband was impatient, unkind, very jealous, often boastful and very rude. He always demanded his own way! Wasn’t this the exact opposite of love? My husband insisted all along- even after he attacked my father and me- that he “really loved” me, but I knew better. Perhaps it was love as he deﬁned it, but not as I did, and certainly not as God deﬁned it. What he demonstrated to me on a daily basis was, in fact, the very the antithesis of love! This was not the model for Christian marriage that my parents had demonstrated. Partnership? Forget it! Mutuality? No way. Today, I thank God that when my marriage began to unravel, I already knew the difference between love and
Rev. Bob & Norma Owens, Christmas Eve 2006
possessiveness, love and control, love and domination. Perhaps that is why I was able to end it as soon as I did, sparing me many more years of certain misery. Although I remain single to this day, it’s not because I’ve given up on love. Far, far from it! I am very clear that love never disappointed me. My husband did. This Valentine’s Day, as always, I’ll celebrate love in all its wonder - the love my parents have for each other, the love of my family, the love of my many wonderful friends, even the fact that I loved myself enough once to leave a truly loveless marriage. This Valentine’s Day, I’ll celebrate most of all the One who once demonstrated for me the purest, most unselﬁsh love possible. R 3
are the shepherds safeguarding the lives of the sheep? Catherine Clark Kroeger
nly yesterday I was told of a Christian woman who escaped a viciously cruel marriage and went to consult her pastor. The man of God, wishing to restore domestic peace and harmony, sent the fearful congregant back to her home along with his well meant prayers and good advice. Two days later the woman was dead, slain by the hand of her husband. Only weeks before a similar tragedy had been played out in a neighboring parish. Although the pastor had intended to reestablish the marital union, his guidance had led to its permanent destruction. His ﬁrst obligation was to do all in his power to safeguard the life of the parishioner. Are our evangelical shepherds endangering the lives of the sheep? Ezekiel speaks of the watchman appointed by God who is responsible for the safety of the lives entrusted to him. “If the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, . . . I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood.” (Ezek. 33:6) But most of our pastors are unaware of the danger. C. S. Lewis observed that one of the devil’s cleverest tricks is to convince folk that he does not exist. Unencumbered by Christian wariness, he is far more free to wreak his mischief in our lives. Similarly there is a belief among evangelicals that domestic violence does not exist within our ranks, that the horrifying statistics are only feminist fabrications. Yet the government computes the body count with data gathered from hospitals, police stations, and morgues. In America ﬁfteen hundred women a year are killed by their intimate partners, and the toll for children is even higher. The facts tell a grisly tale that we have chosen to ignore. Throughout the world, the death rate is equally high and sometimes far higher. Most abused women and children do not die, but they often carry 4
the wounds for life - in terms of both physical and emotional injuries. We must also note that ﬁve percent of abusers are women, although their lack of physical strength makes them less likely to inﬂict serious injury. Tragically, our longing to see the family made whole has blinded us to the dangers that lurk in family life. We must ﬁrst admit that the danger is real and that we have been slow to recognize it. Isaiah lamented “Israel’s watchmen are blind, they all lack knowledge . . They are shepherds who lack understanding.” (56:10,11) We are ignoring the danger to thousands of women and children within our churches. No type of faith community is immune from the scourge. Sociologist Nancy Nason Clark has researched the prevalence of abuse in evangelical families, and ﬁnds the rate about the same as in the general population. In North America, a pastor preaches on Sunday morning to a congregation in which, on average, there is abuse in one quarter of the families. Other studies, such as that done at Calvin College, conﬁrm the ﬁndings. We are not facing this reality, nor are we prepared to deal with the terrible reality that engulfs us. Few pastors have been given adequate preparation to deal with domestic violence. Our seminaries seldom offer instruction on the issue, although pastors report that they spend more of their counseling time on this subject than on any other. A Canadian study revealed that the more training pastors had been given on the subject, the more they were to refer the problem to a highly qualiﬁed professional. The less training pastors receive, the more likely they are to feel that they can handle the challenge themselves. Studies show that when a Christian woman seeks help in an abusive marriage, she ordinarily consults either her pastor or a Christian woman in the congregation. The ﬁrst lesson that we
must teach pastors is that the danger is real and that it takes great courage for a woman to disclose the humiliating truth that she is a victim. She is well aware that many a woman is sent home by the pastor along with the rebuke that if she had been a better wife there would have been no problem. Thus she must struggle not only with shame but also with fear fear that she will not be believed and fear that it may go worse for her at home once she has made the disclosure. “They have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying ‘peace, peace’ when there is no peace.” (Jer. 6:14) The Pastor’s Dilemma Some pastors suspect that the women are fabricating stories of their abuse, and they are very reluctant to hear of such behavior on the part of their ﬁne church members. Occasionally a woman does indeed make up the charge, but most of the time the fears that she expresses are based in reality. It is far better to err on the side of safety and to make sure that the woman is placed in a secure location even when she may be too distraught to give a rational account of the problem. Pastors must understand that even the most astute of mental health experts have been misled by putative perpetrators. Abusers may seem very pious, very selfcontrolled or even very repentant, but they may be very dangerous. Even the most convincing of statements may not guarantee safe behavior behind closed doors. Those who work most extensively with endangered women maintain that the victim herself usually has the most accurate understanding of the level of risk to herself and her children. We must not ignore or minimize her appeal for help in the face of her perceived peril. The woman can be helped to make a safety plan to be utilized if there is need. Often those best equipped to help with the plan are ready at the other end of a hot line. The victim can also be told of the resources that are available to her in the community.
The Pastor’s Resources The ﬁrst and mightiest tool that the pastor has is prayer, but he (or she) must add other weapons to this arsenal. There must be both basic information and essential contacts. Many different kinds of resources will be needed in a crisis. In dealing with a life-threatening situation, it is imperative to move cautiously. A pastor should not enter a house where there is active violence until s/he is accompanied by police or other members of the church. Bear in mind that many a police ofﬁcer has lost his life in responding to domestic violence calls. Frequently the safest place for an endangered woman is the community shelter. The experienced staff has in place many safety features that might not occur to a congregation, no matter how well intentioned they might be. It is important that the location be unknown to the perpetrator and that it is an unlikely one for the perpetrator to discover. Remember that stalking and lying in wait frequently accompany other kinds of abusive behavior. More than one church member has been slain because they offered housing to an abused family. Many pastors are fearful of sending a member of their congregation to a shelter that is operated by persons with another life philosophy. This is sometimes a necessity, the best immediate solution for a terrifying problem, one that provides far more security than a local church can offer. The path of safety runs ”from the steeple to the shelter.” As is so often the case, the church has lagged behind other elements in our society when it comes to addressing an evil that cries out for redress. Feminists have led the way in developing a methodology and an expertise in saving the lives of endangered women and children. Much of the operation depends upon dedicated volunteers who are trained to answer hot lines, transport endangered victims, staff shelters, locate safe houses when all the beds at the shelter are full. Some are skilled in ﬁlling out applications for restraining orders and will accompany the victim to court. Others provide care for bewildered children, locate food, clothing, toys. How much this mission should be shared by the church! Churches may well partner with a local shelter, supplying basic necessities,
painting a room, providing special treats for a holiday. Better yet, church members could take the basic training for rescue workers. They may not care for some of the sentiments expressed or the language in which it is voiced, but this is true in many aspects of contemporary society. Nevertheless there is much that dedicated members of a congregation might learn to help their own members in time of trouble - and much to help others. If it is necessary for a woman to ﬂee from a dangerous situation, trained workers can help make the transition safer. Seventy-ﬁve percent of all domestic murders take place before, during, or shortly after the woman leaves. The preparatory arrangements must be disclosed to as few people as possible, and judicious guidance is indispensable in the planning. Various precautions and strategies of secrecy can make the process more orderly, safe and effective, with necessary funds, documents, and medicines in hand. Where are the Christians in our congregations who stand ready to give this kind of care? There are many other issues that arise in long-term care for abusive families. Often the victim is ﬂooded with advice, but no one addresses the perpetrator. Some maintain that it is not right to interfere with the way a man conducts the life of the family in his own home, but this is not what the Bible says. “If a brother be overtaken in a fault, ye that are spiritual, restore such a one.” (Galatians 6:1) Sometimes pastors have been slow to refer offenders to batterer intervention programs because there has been a very low rate of success. In God’s providence there are now a few Christian intervention programs with improved rates of transformed conduct. The best rates ensue when the offender is referred by the pastor, the family or the church. We evangelicals must insist that these programs be studied carefully and that qualiﬁed therapists be trained in these techniques. There are answers to be had, but we as the people of God must work together to ﬁnd them. We must establish as well a network of Christian hot lines, Christian shelters, Christian rehabilitation centers - for both victims and perpetrators. Our lack of caring has made us a reproach in many circles. It is time that we take
action, but ﬁrst we have a need for pastoral leadership. We need to be challenged to offer prayer and practical support to victim and offender alike. We can be there to listen and to care, to set up accountability groups within an atmosphere of zero tolerance for the offense; but we must be led. The Pastor’s Mission The ﬁrst obligation of the pastor remains that of proclamation. It is the duty of a prophet to observe evil in our society and to speak out against it by applying the Word of God to the need. The scriptures contain over one hundred condemnations of violence, stalking, lying in wait, word twisting, as well as mental and emotional abuse. Very seldom do we hear these issues addressed from the pulpit. The Bible says that it is the obligation of the righteous to deliver the oppressed from the hand of the violent. Few sitting in the pews have ever heard an exposition of this biblical mandate. Fewer yet have been called to committed and constructive action. All too often we have failed to view the totality of biblical teaching on God’s patterns for the home. In the Bible, one of the features most strongly emphasized for godly homes is that of safety. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” (Isa. 32:18) Within their own homes, God’s people should be able not only to lie down in safety (Lev. 26:6; Ps. 3:6; Is. 14:30; Jer. 23:6; 32:37; 33:16; Hos. 2:18) but also to live in safety (Jer. 23:6; 32:37; 33:16; 343:24-28; Ez. 28:26; 34:24-28; 38:8) “You shall know that your tent is safe” (Job 5:24). As heavenly husband, Yahweh vows to his repentant wife Israel a home life free of fear and abuse: “your children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be the prosperity of your children. In righteousness you shall be established. You shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you. If anyone stirs up strife, it is not from me; whoever stirs up strife with you shall fail because of you. . . No weapon that is fashioned against you shall prosper, and you shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. continued
are the shepherds safeguarding the lives of the sheep? continued . . .this is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication with me, says the Lord.” (Isa. 54: 13-14, 17) If this is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, then we must help them to claim it. How often does this promise enter our discussions of the Christian family? Faithful teaching on the Christian family must include at least as much proclamation of these aspects as is accorded in Scripture. Who rises up for me against the wicked? Who stands up for me against evildoers? (Ps. 94:16) The Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice. He
saw that there was no one, and was appalled that there was no one to intervene. (Isa 59:15b-16a).
Al Miles, Domestic Violence: What Every Pastor Should Know. Augsburg Fortress, 2000
Where are the pastors who will bring pastoral care and biblical perspectives to abusive situations?
Nancy Nason-Clark, The Battered Wife: How Christians Confront Family Violence. Westminster John Knox, 1997,
Suggested resources: James and Phyllis Aldsdurf, “Wife abuse and Scripture” in Abuse and Religion: when Praying Isn’t Enough. Ed. A Horton and J. Williamson Heath Publisher, 1988 pp 221-28.
Christian Intervention Programs: Northwest Family Life, Seattle , WA
Catherine Clark Kroeger and Nancy Nason-Clark, No Place for Abuse: Biblical and Practical Resources to Counteract Domestic Violence InterVarsity Press, 2001
Christians Addressing Family Abuse, Eugene OR Peace and Safety in the Christian Home (www.peaceandsafety.com) Reprinted from Catalyst R
Domestic Violence TV Documentary in the Works Look for Radio Bible Class ‘Day of Discovery’
ow many times have you wondered when & if another great training resource such as the awardwinning “Broken Vows: Religious Perspectives on Domestic Violence” video (from FaithTrust Institute) will ever be produced? Well, thanks to the work of our PASCH Founder and President, Dr. Catherine Clark Kroeger, along with former PASCH board Member Diane DeHaan, you won’t have much longer to wait! A 3-part series on ‘Domestic Violence and the Church’ (working title) is currently in production by Radio Bible Class Ministries (RBC), publisher of the much loved devotional booklet, Our Daily Bread. Set to air sometime this year on the RBC’s ‘Day of Discovery’ TV program, the documentary will be also available on DVD for a donation of any amount. Due to the faithful commitment of leaders Mart and Dianne DeHaan, the RBC organization has become a respected forerunner among evangelical organizations willing to address such difﬁcult topics as domestic violence, divorce and other thorny issues often faced by Christians. RBC has prayerfully tackled these complex realities that are too often ignored by the church at large, leaving numerous believers feeling lost and abandoned by their communities of faith. Among the many other ﬁne publications that RBC offers are excellent free booklets on domestic violence and sexual abuse entitled, ‘God’s Protection Of Women’ , ‘When Violence Comes Home: Help For Victims Of Spouse Abuse’ and ‘When Trust Is Lost: Healing For Victims Of Sexual Abuse’.
(see the RBC website to order these http://www.rbc.org/ bible_study/discovery_series) PASCH founding board members Dr. Nancy NasonClark and Julie Owens recently consulted with the production team working on the project and provided interviews. Nancy offered input from her extensive research and also shared the vision of her RAVE (Religion AND Violence E-learning) website project, which is now in the pre-launch phase. Julie and her parents, now retired from full time ministry, were interviewed about their personal experiences with domestic violence and the church’s responsibility to address abuse. In addition, Pastor Vince Riley, a former domestic violence police detective now in full time ministry, contributed his own wisdom gained from years of intervening with families in crisis. After the production team conducts interviews with Dr. Catherine Clark Kroeger and several other experts around the country over the next few weeks, the post-production phase of the project will begin. RBC hopes to wrap the project by the end of March. Could it be that we will be able to preview this new series at our PASCH Portland event May 18-19th? We can’t make any promises, but we never cease to be amazed at the wonders the Lord works! Be sure to stay tuned to our PASCH website for any updates. NOTE: Please include somewhere in the newsletter the ad for our August 17-19th Christian Counselor Training Event, too! R
violence around the world
by Barbara Fisher-Townsend, Ph.D.
ecently I have been working on compiling information related to domestic violence around the world. I thought some readers might ﬁnd the following data of interest: Domestic violence is so common in Finland that the average person should be more afraid of their home than the city streets. According to a recent study, “Usko, toivo ja hakkaus” by Statistics Finland, 40% of women have been victims of domestic violence or have been threatened with it. Domestic violence is very widespread in Switzerland – in a study in 2005, 40% of women in Switzerland said that they had experienced physical or sexual violence at the hands of a partner, expartner, acquaintance, family member or stranger in their adult life. (Swiss Federal Ofﬁce for Gender Equality). A 2004 report entitled Proﬁling Domestic Violence: A Multi-Country Study indicates that 30.2 percent of women in Nicaragua have been beaten by a spouse or intimate partner with 13.2 percent reporting being beaten in the past 12 months. In Canada, Aboriginal people are three times more likely to be victims of spousal violence than those who are nonAboriginal (General Social Survey, 1999 and 2004).
A report entitled Crime in India 1997 (National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India) indicates that the courts dealt with 19,435 cases of “dowry deaths” in 1997 and 14.8% were investigated; with charges laid in 5.2% of cases. Data provided by the Emergency Unit of the Kingston Public Hospital in Jamaica indicates that every day approximately 20 women are treated on an outpatient basis for wounds requiring stitches, and that 90% of these situations are the result of domestic violence. In Japan, 32% of ever-abused women had thought about suicide compared to 11% of never-abused women. Only 9 out of 32 Mexican states have speciﬁc laws protecting children and women against domestic violence, and only 11 states have changed their 17th-century civil and penal codes to make domestic violence a crime. In the remaining states, beating wives or children is not considered a crime. (WOMENS ENEWS 12/21/01). Between November 20th 2005 and January 3rd 2006 six women were killed by their partners or ex-partners and 19 children were left motherless. In addition, one child died as a result of injuries sustained within the family. (UNICEF New Zealand, July 2006)
During December 2005 and January 2006, New Zealand Police attended nearly 11,000 instances of reported family violence - this is about one incident every eight minutes. (preventingviolence.org.nz) The WHO Multi-country Study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence against Women (2005) reports that 15% of ever-pregnant women in Lima and 28% in Cusco experienced physical violence during at least one pregnancy. Of these, one third in Lima and over half in Cusco were punched or kicked in the abdomen. In virtually all cases the perpetrator was the unborn child’s father. In Samoa, the WHO reports that 41% of ever-partnered women had experienced physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner and 20% had experienced sexual violence in their lifetime. In Brazil, 12% of all women in São Paulo and 9% in Pernambuco reported sexual abuse before the age of 15 years. The majority of this violence was perpetrated by a male family member. 41% of women in Bangkok and 47% in Nakhonsawan (Thailand) had experienced physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner (World Health Organization, 2006) R
Announcing a PASCH training retreat August 17-19 on Cape Cod. Lead trainer will be Julie Owens, certiﬁed trainer for the state of Hawaii and for FaithTrust Institute. Panelists will include . Victoria Fahlberg (care of immigrant women) former FBI agents Steve and Gail Chapman (specialists in child abduction and terrorism) and Tom Kirkman (stalking). Cost for the retreat is one hundred dollars. Meals will be catered by the intrepid Antonia. Very simple accommodations are available free of charge on a ﬁrst come ﬁrst served basis. A list of very nice bed and breakfasts can be supplied on request. R
SAVE THE DATE! PASCH Portland Event May 18 &19th — Join us for a Time of Learning and Growing Dr. Catherine Clark-Kroeger and Dr. Nancy Nason-Clark, co-authors of the books No Place for Abuse: Biblical & Practical Resources to Counteract Domestic Violence and Refuge from Abuse: Healing and Hope for Abused Christian Women. The special guest plenary speaker will be Dr David Livingston, author of Healing Violent Men: A Model for Christian Communities. Other exciting speakers who have accepted a preliminary invitation to present include the following PASCH favorites, along with some ﬁrst time PASCH presenters: • Rev. Karen McAndless-Davis, coauthor of When Love Hurts-A Woman’s Guide to Abuse in Relationships, Vancouver, CA • Nancy Murphy, author of God’s Reconciling Love: A Pastor’s Handbook On Domestic Violence, Seattle, WA • Carolyn Rexius, Director of Christians Addressing Family Abuse, Eugene, OR
• Stacey Womack, Director of Portland’s Abuse Recovery Ministry and Services (ARMS) program, Portland, OR • Bettie Williams-Watson, a survivor and domestic violence expert featured in the documentary, “Broken Vows: Religious Perspectives on Domestic Violence”, Seattle, WA • Dr. Mary Kate Morse, author/teacher, Director of the Spiritual Leadership Program, George Fox Evangelical Seminary, Portland, OR A hotel is within walking distance of the conference site, but we will also offer very basic, low cost college dorm rooms and cafeteria meals as an affordable alternative. Check the PASCH website, www.peaceandsafety.com for registration information that is coming soon. Please pray for this special gathering and the event planners as we seek God’s will for this time of learning and growing together. R
1095 Stony Brook Road Brewster, MA 02631 508-896-3518 www.peaceandsafety.com
ne of our goals as an organization is to bring together people of faith who struggle in isolation to address the issue of domestic violence in their faith communities. Since the last PASCH conference, in Boston, many faithful PASCH members such as you have contacted us asking when we will next gather for a time of learning and networking. Although we are rather limited in ﬁnancial resources, we seek to ﬁnd ways that we can come together for this common purpose. We are therefore grateful that PASCH member and friend, Rev Ron Clark of Portland, Oregon, has stepped forward to spearhead our next gathering. Along with partners George Fox Evangelical Seminary and Cascade College, Ron and his team of volunteers have made it possible for us to offer a 1 ½ day conference in Portland, May 18-19th, Joining co-planners and presenters Ron Clark and Julie Owens will be a wonderful group of speakers including