By Debbie Eisenbise
Throughout October, congregations are encouraged to raise awareness about the serious problem of domestic violence. Activities may include providing members with information through a bulletin insert (available at www.brethren.org/family/domestic-violence.html ); creating a bulletin board with facts about domestic violence; publicizing the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-SAFE (7233) and 800-787-3224 (TDD); hosting a speaker from a local domestic violence shelter or the YWCA; and remembering in prayer people who have been affected by domestic violence.
In 1997, the Church of the Brethren published a statement encouraging congregations and individuals to engage in ongoing advocacy and education concerning domestic violence. Find the statement at www.brethren.org/ac/statements/1997domesticviolence.html . Educational resources are available at www.brethren.org/family/domestic-violence.html .
A brochure published by FaithTrust Institute, “What Every Congregation Needs to Know about Domestic Violence” is being sent to every congregation in November’s Source packet. Additional copies are available from Congregational Life Ministries by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-323-8039 ext. 306.
An introduction to the DVD from Faith Trust Institute, “Broken Vows: Religious Perspectives on Domestic Violence,” can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=bR45maMwabQ and purchased through the institute’s online store. This is an excellent resource for clergy, deacons, and anyone seeking to provide assistance to victims of domestic violence. Additional information about domestic violence is available from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence at www.ncadv.org .
-- Debbie Eisenbise is director of intergenerational ministries for the Church of the Brethren, serving on the staff of Congregational Life Ministries.