Family Violence, also called “domestic violence” or “intimate partner violence”, can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Abuse is physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. Religions for Peace Australia invites people of faith in Australia involved in working with or thinking of working with faith communities/ faith leaders on the prevention of family violence to an informal Zoom gathering.
According to the United Nations, domestic abuse — or “intimate partner violence” — is defined as “a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.” This can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, psychological or spiritual actions or threats of actions used to “frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure, or wound someone.”
Domestic abuse can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, gender or religion.
In the context of domestic violence, religious actors and institutions can both help and harm — but they are not neutral.
On the one hand, studies have shown how religion can be, and often is, used to condone, excuse or enact abuse. On the other hand, religious teachings and communities can provide significant resources for victims as they address abuse. Within religious communities, victims find support or counselling relationships as well as texts, teachings and rituals that provide protection, guidance or succour in the process of healing.
Domestic violence can affect anyone, regardless of how they identify, the communities they belong to, or how they are seen by others.
Domestic violence can affect anyone, regardless of how they identify, the communities they belong to, or how they are seen by others. Religious affiliation is no exception to this—domestic violence can affect people who practice any religion, no religion, multiple religions, or who engage in other spiritual practices.
Spiritual and Religious Abuse Wheel
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Abusers may employ religious texts and values to harm the survivor. This can be done by selectively quoting religious texts or interpreting religious values as a means to assert male entitlement and privilege or otherwise provide justification for the abuse. Often, this dynamic manifests as an abuser telling the survivor that they are not living up to the ideals of what a partner should look like according to their religion . Abusers belonging to faiths that emphasize marriage may manipulate the esteem for a religious union to pressure the victim into staying in the relationship in order to preserve the respect of the religious community. An abuser may also use teachings about dating, sexual relationships, gender roles, or reproductive choices to pressure an individual into not seeking help. If the abuser is a religious leader or has a position of respect within the faith community, the survivor may feel additional pressure to remain silent.
Religions for Peace Australia invites people of faith in Australia involved in working with or thinking of working with faith communities/ faith leaders on the prevention of family violence to an informal Zoom gathering.
The purpose of this meeting encompasses states and territories and their work in this area; it is meet and fitting that faith participants share our practices in order to bring about peace in the home, peace in the society and thereafter, peace in the nation.
When: Near the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
Friday 25th of November 2022
Time: 12-2pm AEST (SA 11.30, QLD 11 am, NT 10.30 am, WA 9 am)
Register in advance for this meeting (zoom has a new feature to do this!) :
Image Credits: The Duluth Model Wheel Gallery, Safe Havens Interfaith Partnership Against Domestic Violence