Thursday, November 19, 2009

Church Involvement in Ending DV

The Rev. Steven Saul, pastor of Trinity Anglican Church in Douglas County, Georgia, is setting an example for his peers. From the Times-Georgian:

“I want to have the churches become proactive in helping victims who suffer from domestic violence,” he says.

This has led Saul on a mission to make the local religious community aware of the domestic violence problem and to help them recognize signs when it is happening. He also wants to see pastors take an active role in speaking out against violence from the pulpit.

Saul cited the 2008 Georgia Domestic Violence Fatality Report, an annual report by the
Georgia Commission on Family Violence, to emphasize the need for church involvement.

The report shows that 25 percent of domestic violence victims and 17 percent of the perpetrators are actively involved with a church, temple or synagogue.

“What this says to me is that there’s an absolute place for the church to serve in an advocate or support role for people suffering abuse,” he said. “I want to encourage them to speak about the issues from the pulpit and avoid hiding what is public.”
What Reverend Saul says is true. There is absolutely a need for church involvement in the movement to end violence against women. Church leaders should believe and support women who disclose abuse at home and, equally if not more importantly, churches should condemn the actions of batterers from the pulpit, in the pews, in the fellowship hall, and through the words and actions of their members.

1 comment:

sharon said...

Thank you Rev. Saul for boldly speaking out against domestic violence. I believe it is very important that the churches speak out. My ex husband is an ordained minister who attempted to kill me in front of our son. On that day when he dragged me from the bed onto the floor and was choking me, I prayed to God to get me up. When God did, I realized that I had to defend myself in order to live. He left, called the police, lied and pressed charges against me. Yes, it has been stormy, but God is faithful. I know that without God I couldn't endure ALL that is going on right now. Unfortunately, my former pastor didn't know how to handle the situation and he sided with my ex husband, who he ordained. Rev. Saul, everyday gets better. Continue to advocate for women who are victims and I join you in proclaiming that this evil should not continue.