The LCA’s Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence has met three times since last year’s General Convention of Synod, where delegates directed General Church Council to commit resources to address ‘the prevalence of family violence among us’.
‘It’s too easy to ignore the secular media campaigns and say it’s all about non-Christians – it’s not’, Queensland taskforce member Angela Krieg Mayer says. ‘We want to be a place where “love comes to life”, where we are not bystanders who are ignorant of the pain and violence within and around them, and where, as Christ’s people, our community sees we are different – “see how they love!”’
There is no evidence to suggest the incidence of domestic or family violence is lower in the church, including in the Lutheran church, than anywhere else in society. The taskforce will strive to increase awareness among church members of the signs of domestic violence and provide training for pastors, church employees and members to respond appropriately, including referrals to support services.
It will also research the extent of domestic and family violence within the LCA/NZ and will address Christian perspectives that might wrongly have been used as justification for men using power inappropriately with their wives and girlfriends. It also recognises that men can be victims of domestic violence too.
The campaign activities will start later this year and continue in 2017 and 2018.
In another resolution, General Synod requested the Commission on Theology and Inter-Church Relations to study ‘the Lutheran theological and scriptural understanding of subordination and the role of male headship in marriage and the contextual implications for family violence’.
If you or someone you know is impacted by domestic and family violence, visit ANROWS Get Support website or call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732), the 24-hour national Sexual Assault, Family and Domestic Violence Counselling Line. In an emergency, call 000.