The LCA is launching its Campaign for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence this month to coincide with International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November.
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The LCA’s new Campaign for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence will carry the tagline Hidden Hurts Healing Hearts.
The campaign, which was developed in response to a resolution passed at the 2015 General Synod, aims to build awareness within the church of the prevalence of family and domestic violence, as well as to train members in challenging those who use violence and in supporting victims of abuse.
The synod resolution called for a church-wide effort to address family violence within the LCA through measures such as resources, education, and providing pastoral care to the survivors and perpetrators of abuse.
As a result, the LCA commissioned the campaign. A working group, comprising lay members Colleen Fitzpatrick, Libby Jewson, Jacqui Kelly, Helen Lockwood, Angela Mayer, Stephen Rudolph, Peter Schirmer, and pastors Keith Stiller and James Winderlich, has overseen its development.
The words ‘Hidden Hurts’ highlight that we too often have not acknowledged the reality of domestic violence in our congregations, and have not always given the victims of abuse the support and care they have needed.
‘Healing Hearts’, reminds us that we are empowered by Christ’s grace to appropriately support victims of abuse and challenge those who use violence.
Hidden Hurts Healing Hearts aims to:
- Make everyone in the LCA aware of the scourge of domestic violence and its impact not only on victims, but also on families and church communities
- Give to members, through training and information, the confidence to challenge people who use violence; and to give victims the support and care they need; and
- Encourage all of us to demonstrate that there is a better way to live as God’s forgiven people.
The Lutheran Laypeople’s League and Lutheran Services Queensland have funded the campaign, including its coordination, providing training, and producing a website and promotional material.
The website will include information about domestic and family violence; training for pastors, church workers and congregations; available support services, and scriptural and theological elements affirming the gospel message and the equality of men and women. Visit the website at www.preventDFV.lca.org.au and complete the online survey on attitudes to domestic violence.
It is our prayer and hope that all violence and abuse in and among families will cease. That remains an unfulfilled desire while we remain sinful human beings, but our hope is in Jesus Christ.
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