Answering The Call to Respond to Domestic Violence/Intimate Partner Violence

April 29, 2020

At our last General Assembly we adopted Resolution GA-1928, A Call to See and Respond to the Crisis of Domestic Violence/Intimate Partner Violence, (DV/IPV) for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). This call for sharing, education, advocacy, empowerment and healing is particularly important to address during his time of pandemic when victims are all too often being required to “stay at home” with their abuser.  Elders increasingly are among today’s domestic violence victims. Pastors need to be educated so that they can respond actively to this public health crisis. The NBA is on the move with a new “DV/IPV Innovative Conversations Team” on which I am serving as part of my work as DHM’s Minister of Justice and Advocacy for Families and Children. As a pastoral counselor I have had extensive experience dealing with physical, sexual  and emotional abuse. This ministry is near and dear to my heart.

The 13 member team, led by co-sponsors of GA-1928 Rev. Courtney Armento D. Min. and Rev. Yvonne McCoy, has wide ranging long term goals, however its primary goal for this year is to “On-board all regions and Commissions on the Ministry to include/consider DV/IPV as a standard part of our clergy training infrastructrure.”  I am a part of the sub-group working on this goal.

Clergy and lay leaders interested in beginning their DV/IPV education NOW can take a short online domestic violence training course led by Courtney Armento, available now (until June, 2020) through the Disciples Seminary Foundation Discover program (https://www.dsf.edu/discover)

Another step in responding to the resolution’s call which can be taken by the wider church during this time of pandemic is to list domestic violence resources on regional websites. Please check out the website of the Illinois/Wisconsin region which has already done so! (https://cciwdisciples.org/domestic-violence/). As pastoral counselor and as a congregational pastor I have often been involved with DV/IPV and I can attest to the fact that pastoral responses to this public health crisis