Faith Communities Responding to Family and Domestic Violence

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Issues of religious faith, or the belief in a specific system of principles and practices that give reverence to a higher power, are often central to the experiences of many victims and survivors of domestic violence. Faith communities and secular domestic violence programs are becoming increasingly aware of the need to create an awareness of domestic violence within faith communities, as well as the need for cross-training and education about dynamics of domestic violence and the role that faith plays in individuals’ lives.

Faith leaders may fear that secular advocates encourage women to divorce, for example, while secular advocates may fear that faith leaders and community members pressure women to stay in dangerous relationships, using religious beliefs to justify abuse and potentially blaming women for their own victimization.

Some secular advocates hold the perception that faith leaders, as a part of a larger socio-cultural structure, may be reluctant to involve themselves or their communities in responding to domestic violence for various reasons, including denial of the existence or prevalence of domestic violence, a sense of fear and hopelessness, lack of appropriate training, the culture of patriarchy, and the possibility that some of these faith leaders are perpetrators themselves.

Yet many faith communities are making public statements that denounce domestic violence and the use of religious teachings to justify it. Moving beyond the misconceptions to work together enables secular programs and faith communities to develop supportive networks that provide comprehensive responses to victims and survivors of faith.

Sharing Activity Responding to Domestic Violence

Domestic abuse can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, gender or religion.

Every day, millions of people are directly impacted by domestic violence.

In the context of domestic violence, religious actors and institutions can both help and harm – but they are not neutral.

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)

Where: Zoom
Register in advance for this meeting (zoom has a new feature to do this!) :


Faith Communities Sharing Preventing Family Violence