Make your church a safe space
We want to create a network of churches that never tolerate abuse, but provide a safe refuge for survivors, nurturing them back to health and demonstrating God’s deep love for them.
We've spoken with survivors of domestic abuse to create this list of things you can do to help ensure your church is a safe space for survivors:
- Raise awareness within the congregation to accept domestic violence happens in churches too.
- Appoint a trained person in your church to offer specific pastoral support for people who disclose abuse.
- Clearly display information about local services and helplines in your church.
- Build a relationship with your local refuge and provide support.
- Pray for victims of abuse in church services
- Preach sermons about the use and misuse of power and control and examples in the Bible
- Teach God's original intention for the relationship between men and women.
- Teach forgiveness carefully, remembering that forgiving is not the same as allowing someone to continue to hurt and abuse you.
- Empower survivors of domestic abuse to help other women in similar situations.
- Teach your young people what healthy, biblical relationships look like.
- Speak about abuse in your marriage prep courses.
- Make it clear to your congregation that it's safe to disclose abuse to you.
"Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone’ (John 12.7). He intervened and would not let Judas abuse Mary. Jesus still says ‘Leave her alone’ to men in families, churches and communities who do violence to women physically, emotionally or spiritually. Restored is an invaluable resource to help Christ’s people hear his voice and to act on it.”
— The Right Reverend Dr Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry —