Following Jesus, fulfilling His mission
domestic violence

Domestic violence and the church

Today I’ll be addressing the difficult subject of domestic violence. Taking the opportunity to discuss domestic violence today is grounded in the desire to acknowledge our failures to listen, protect, and aid – along with a commitment do all we can to create a faith culture that listens, protects, and aids our most vulnerable.
Dr Steven Tracy “… the number of times we have seen biblical statements regarding male headship, female submission and God hating divorce outrageously misused against abuse victims”.
Family and domestic violence support services:
1800 Respect national helpline: 1800 737 732
Women’s Crisis Line: 1800 811 811
Men’s Referral Service: 1300 766 491
Lifeline (24 hour crisis line): 131 114
Relationships Australia: 1300 364 277
Transition: Last week the ABC carried an article by reporter Julia Baird highlighting the issue of domestic violence in Christian churches in Australia. This was followed by a 7.30 Report story, an episode of The Drum, a rebuttal from Media Watch and the author of the original research Professor Bradford Wilcox, and even a reply in social media from Steven Tracy.
ABC – ‘Submit to your husbands’: Women told to endure domestic violence in the name of God
Rather than be defensive of media headlines, we take opportunity to open the subject up for dialogue, reflection, confront misplaced beliefs/practices.
Jesus specifically called out the religious leaders of his day for their failure to protect and respond properly to the marginalised and abused (Matt 23:4-36; Luke 20:46-47).
Similarly, the Hebrew prophets repeatedly:
issued stark pronouncements against spiritual leaders who failed to protect abuse victims (1 Sam 3:13; Jer 22:1-5),
failed to confront perpetrators (Is 1:15-17; cp. Job 29:15-17)
or worst yet, colluded with abusers (Micah 3:1-12; Zech 7:5-14).
In response to Baird and Gleesons ABC report Tracy said “God help us as Christians if we cannot acknowledge our failures, regardless of who brings them to light. Worse yet, God help us if we cry “persecution” every time we are held accountable for hurtful failures.”
Proverbs 31:8–9 (NLT) 8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. 9 Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice….