Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence are painful parts of our collective cultural landscape; 1 in 3 women, 1 in 4 men, and 1 in 3 teens experience Intimate Partner Violence in their lifetime. Every 9 seconds a woman is beaten. Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence is not just expressed as physical abuse. It is also thriving as alternative forms of control such as financial, psychological, emotional, sexual, and spiritual. Individuals are suffering in silence and in plain sight. As agents of the church, we can break the normative silence and offer a way forward that imbues personal agency and resurrection.
Before attempting to create sanctuary space, you must engage in deepening your own education around the layered complexities of Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence. Author and activist Joy De Gruy, postulates that we cannot heal what we do not understand. That is very true of Domestic Violence. We must not attempt to engage before we deeply understand the cultural and intimate landscape. Training opportunities are available here-> Training Modules.
On July 20, 2019 The General Assembly for The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), CC(DOC) voted to adopt the resolution regarding Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence that I co-authored! Please review and support the resolution by incorporating the asks in your context. GA-1928. To Watch Courtney’s presentation of GA-1928. Click on the video stream titled July 20-Opening Celebration, for the 2019 General Assembly and move the time bar to 1:57.
As you may know, Resolutions are often passed and little to no action results from them after the initial fanfare. Please do not let this resolution befall the same fate. Please consider alignment with the initiatives in the resolution. Every time I share that Domestic Violence is my ministry, individuals are afforded permission and freedom to come forward and share their story, often for the first time with another person. Please make this ministry a part of your context and become a cultural landscape shifter.
If you are a pastor considering ways of deepening your awareness, creating sanctuary space for sensitized response and care, and shattering shame, stigma and silence around Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence please review our valuable resources: Pastoral DV Resources — DV Resources for Survivors — RED FLAGS — Definition of Violence — DV Educational Resources are for individuals navigating their way forward through toxic relationships. These resources have been compiled to aid you in creating your own resource page for your church’s website. These resources include national support options as well as resources specifically for Illinois. When creating your own web pages, you can copy the national resources, and add the YMCA DV resource page in your area. You should also add the local shelters in your area, if you click here you can find the closest shelter to your zip code.
Your state has a Domestic Violence Coalition for location specific resources as well. Please feel free to copy the survivor resources to your page.
Regional Ministers, please take note of the CCIW Domestic Violence Ministry page as a model for creating this ministry in your region. Pastors, take a look at University Church Chicago’s website as a model for creating this ministry in your context. You can easily translate any page in Google docs to another language.
Individuals living in abusive situations have very little privacy, as a result, it is hard to keep a plan for liberation. You can access a customizable Lipstick Safety Plan here. You can find digitized Safety Plan apps above in DV resources for survivors.
Please do not consider your church a GA-1928 compliant church just because you add resources to your space, Education for your leadership is necessary to avoid unintentionally harming those in your midst, by saying the wrong thing.
In order to reduce the prevalence of Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence for future generations, we must make education of youth and young adults a priority, check out BreakTheCycle.org for access to youth specific resources. I am honored to have been invited to be the keynote speaker for the Christian Church Illinois Wisconsin Region, CCIW Youth Summit November 2019, for 200 youth! I will offer youth a workshop called “I Am Light,” on Setting Healthy Relationship Standards and Opting out of Harmful Relationship Contracts!
To increase preaching on abuse specific topics, I preached, “The Forehead of a Whore” (Jeremiah 3), click on the sermon title to hear the sermon. This sermon was adapted from Rev. Dr. Wil Gafney’s sermon, listed on Sojourner’s website, featuring 100 sermons on Domestic Violence.
If you would like more information regarding workshops, training, or just to talk through the information listed here, you can connect with me here. I offer onsite training, see the Training Module page. I offered a FREE live webinar, entitled Don’t Say The Wrong Thing: What You Need To Know About Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence, with an overview of the dynamics regarding abuse and the ways it is hidden in society, take a look.
On October 7-11, 2019, through DSF Discover, I offered an online class to help you create safer space in your sanctuary and deepen your knowledge around this Public Health Crisis. The UN*SILENCE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Training is now available as a self study online course, that qualifies for CEU units. The course will be available at the end of October.
Click here to register.
UN*SILENCE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE (Onsite training)
A MINISTRY THAT OFFERS: *New insights on the culture of abuse & trauma * Tools & Resources for support * Strategies for sensitized response * Ways to create sanctuary space for conversation and advocacy * Avenues of empowerment for survivors
My empowerment workshop for those desiring liberation or for the newly liberated is called: “Failed Fairytale- How To Stay Free and Flourish!” Born from my experience as a survivor, with necessary HACKS and revelations that will set survivors free, and keep them free from repeating the cycle!
We can make a difference in our lifetime through education, action and compassion.