NO PLACE FOR VIOLENCE HERE

Australian churches responding to domestic violence
Facilitated by A Just Cause for Australian Baptist Ministries

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.

JUST RELEASED

Statement by Australian Baptist Ministries

The 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.

CAMPAIGN OBJECTIVES

INTERNAL TRANSFORMATION

Equipping church leaders and church attenders to respond to domestic violence and shaping church cultures that mitigate against violence.
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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 PRESENCE

Churches sharing the grace and love of God in their communities in acts of care for women and children fleeing domestic violence
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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 VOICE

Churches standing alongside people experiencing domestic violence, calling on governments to provide the community resources that are needed. 
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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?

Domestic violence is a scourge that robs women of the fullness of life that God intends. There is no place for it in the Christian church, in the Christian home, nor in the community. I encourage every church to pick up this campaign and make 2018 the year that the violence in our homes is exposed to the glare of the gospel. Bill Brown

Chairperson , Australian Baptist Ministries

REGISTER YOUR CHURCH

Registering your church allows us to keep you up-to-date, let you know of campaign initiatives, and track participation.

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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.

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In recent years, we’ve all started to understand the extraordinary extent of abusive family relationships in our nation. Slowly, it’s also dawned on us that churches have not always been loving places for those who have suffered. It can really seem too big and difficult a problem to tackle. But every one of us can help. And as churches – communities of followers of Jesus – we can take a leading role in our own communities to prevent and address family violence. We can empower the voices of women and children, better understand the toxic use of power and control in relationships, and take practical action to support family violence survivors. Over the next year, the No Place for Violence Here campaign will help us do just that. I urge every church to actively participate in this campaign. Marcia Balzer

Executive Director, Baptist Care Australia

Domestic Violence harms all those involved in so many ways. For too long, those who use power and control have tried to justify it’s use by twisting biblical statements, often hiding behind a confused veneer of headship. Violence is the antithesis of the core gospel message of love for others. I hope all churches get behind this campaign and make it clear that violence, abuse and control are not acceptable. Carolyn Cousins

Educator/Supervisor, Range of Government and Non-Government Domestic Violence Services

Access Great Resources

We 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.