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In 2022, we participated in research conducted by the University of Chester, exploring responses to domestic abuse in Christian faith communities. Members of the Restored Survivors' Network contributed to the study, to give an insight into how churches can better respond to disclosures of domestic abuse and support survivors.

Key Findings

Overall, 192 people from the Christian faith community responded to the survey. 84% said that they had disclosed their abuse to a person with a role in the Christian Faith community, like a church leader. A mixture of helpful and unhelpful responses were record. 18% said that the response from their church helped the situation. 29% said that the situation did not change, and 36% said that the response from their church made the situation worse. Helpful responses included believing the disclosure and providing practical support; unhelpful responses included being ignored, not being believed, and supporting the perpetrator.

When it came to asking about how openly domestic abuse was talked about in church communities, less than half of respondents had heard domestic abuse mentioned in sermons, prayers or church meetings. 63% were aware of domestic abuse being discussed in private conversations regularly or sometimes.

The research sought to identify potential helpful actions from churches when it came to responding to domestic abuse. Those who had experienced domestic abuse suggested some things: working with or referring to other domestic abuse services, raising awareness of domestic abuse, and training on domestic abuse were some of the suggested actions.

Oakley & Wright (2023) Developing understanding and effective responses to domestic abuse in the Christian faith community.

Download the key findings

Download a free PDF infographic of the key findings of the research.

Download the findings

Domestic abuse training for churches

At Restored we have over 10 years of experience in training churches to respond to domestic abuse. Find out about the courses we offer, or request a bespoke training package for your church team.

Training for churches