October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Mourning, Celebrating, Connecting.
During the month of October, communities of faith will
join advocates against domestic violence to mourn those who have lost their
lives to violence, celebrate those who have survived, and connect with
others to bring an end to the epidemic of family violence.
Learn More & Take Action
October 3, 2012
What can I do?
There is a lot that you can do during October — and all year
round for that matter — to raise awareness about domestic violence from
placing information about local shelters in the women’s and men’s restrooms
at your church to working with your local domestic-violence program to plan
a candlelight vigil.
For starters, though, find one or two others in your church
family who will partner with you in the work. There’s no need for a large
committee. God will use the sacred space created when two or more are
gathered in Christ’s name and bless your efforts.
Begin in prayer, asking for God’s direction in what would have
the most impact in your community and don’t be afraid to follow the guidance
of the Holy Spirit in trying something new or different.
Here is a starter list to get you thinking about what you could
do to raise awareness about domestic violence in your corner of the world:
a.. Create a bulletin board or display in your church for
October. Contact your local domestic violence program for materials.
b.. Include a litany for survivors of family violence in your
c.. Contact your local domestic-violence program and ask what
your church can do to support its work. Arrange a collection drive or work
project day, depending upon the program’s needs.
d.. Host an “In Her Shoes” simulation activity at your church
(for more information on this please send an email to me).
e.. Preach and teach on domestic violence.
f.. Talk with friends and family and begin to pray and
brainstorm about how to raise awareness in your local community.
Some resources to help
The following are resources to help you in this vital ministry:
Breaking the Silence, a Resource to Equip United Methodists to
Speak Up & Speak Out about Domestic Violence, provides an opportunity for
church members, either as individuals or in small groups, to study domestic
violence through the lens of the Wesleyan quadrilateral of scripture,
tradition, reason and experience.
FaithTrust Institute is a multifaith, multicultural training and
education organization with global reach working to end sexual and domestic
violence. It offers excellent resources.
Futures Without Violence (formerly Family Violence Prevention
Fund) works to prevent and end violence against women and children around
the world. Its website contains information, fact sheets, and resources on a
wide range of violence-related topics.
The Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American
Community focuses on the unique circumstances of African Americans as they
face issues related to domestic violence, including intimate partner
violence, child abuse, elder maltreatment, and community violence.
The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence has a variety
of Domestic Violence Awareness Month resources.
The NO MORE Campaign is designed to galvanize, change and
radically increase the awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault in
our communities. There is a free toolkit available on its website.
Peace and Safety in the Christian Home (PASCH) is a coalition of
academics, professionals, clergy and lay people alarmed by domestic violence
in the Christian home.
National Network to End Domestic Violence has a lot of great
material. Check out the “Resources” tab and sign up for its action alerts by
clicking on “Take Action.”
Also, visit our website umc-gbcs.org/issues/domestic-violence to
download a clergy guide, a sample pledge for communities of faith and a
Violence Against Women Act organizing toolkit.
Please send me an email and let me know what events you have
planned for the month of October. Feel free to send me an email or call if
you need additional resources.
From: Amee Paparella
Director & Organizer for Women’s Advocacy
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