NO PLACE FOR VIOLENCE HEREAustralian churches responding to domestic violence
In 2018, almost 210,000 women living in Australia will experience violence at the hands of an intimate partner. A number will be in our churches. No Place for Violence Here is a campaign of the Australian Baptist churches (but open to all) to change this.
Statement by Australian Baptist MinistriesThe Bible speaks out strongly against the misuse of power. Attempts to control others are corrosive to relationships, damaging to people’s enjoyment of life as God intended, and abusive to people God loves. Scripture should never be used to justify violence, control or manipulate others through the use of power in personal relationships.
INTERNAL TRANSFORMATIONEquipping church leaders and church attenders to respond to domestic violence and shaping church cultures that mitigate against violence.
The campaign enables churches to be transformed in their approach to domestic violence.
First, it helps churches address the reality of domestic abuse. Awareness raising tools and activities (posters, cards, church services, sermons) will bring the issue into the spotlight, while educational tools will help pastors and church attenders respond well to people who are living in abusive households.
Second, the campaign will help churches assess their church culture with regards to women and abuse and to cultivate cultural change. In addition to an audit tool, the campaign is commissioning four working groups to consider practical steps churches can take to address some key cultural factors in domestic abuse.The working groups will report back to the churches by the end of August 2018.
GRACEFUL PRESENCEChurches sharing the grace and love of God in their communities in acts of care for women and children fleeing domestic violence
One of the goals of the campaign is that churches find ways to be a graceful presence in their community around the question of domestic violence. You may well find your own ways to do this and we’d love to hear from you when you do. Two things your church could do are:
- Put together “startover packs” for women fleeing domestic violence. Many have left behind their homes, their possessions, and and are starting over with very little. Churches can help by providing gift vouchers/cards for groceries, clothing, and furniture. These can be donated to a women’s refuge in your area for distribution to women in need. We recommend contacting a local service provider to find out what would be most useful;
- Run a fundraising event for a local domestic violence service organization, Baptistcare domestic violence programs, and/or Baptist World Aid’s work on gender-based violence in the Pacific. We’ll post details about the various programs you might support in the coming months
PROPHETIC VOICEChurches standing alongside people experiencing domestic violence, calling on governments to provide the community resources that are needed.
Public awareness of domestic abuse has grown rapidly in the last few years and Govenrments are devoting greater resources and attention to it. Are resources being delivered where they are needed? In the first half of 2018 we plan to undertake a survey of service providers in every electorate in Australia to discover from those working at the front-line which areas need greater attention. The responses will be compiled into a report for parliamentarians, to be delivered by our national Baptist leadership in September. We will also supply you with a copy of the report that you can use to ask your State and Federal MPs to deliver services where they are required in your local community.
We need a large team of volunteers to help us with the research phase – from March to June 2018. Do you have people in your church who can help?
REGISTER YOUR CHURCH
Registering your church allows us to keep you up-to-date, let you know of campaign initiatives, and track participation.
Plan Your Program
Download our campaign overview & planning document and use it to map out how your church will participate. You can start as early as November 25, 2017 but we expect most churches to implement the campaign in 2018.DOWNLOAD
Access Great ResourcesWe have developed a suite of education, worship, and action resources to help churches engage with domestic violence.
This campaign is facilitated by A Just Cause for Australian Baptist Ministries and resources have been developed in partnership with BaptistCare NSW & ACT and the Baptist Churches of NSW & ACT Public Engagement Group.