News

Domestic Violence Toolkit

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

At the 2015 AGM, Churches of Christ Vic/Tas and affiliates made a commitment "to be churches [and agencies] that advocate for and live out Christ's message that men and women are created equal in God's image...and...consequently work to change attitudes that contribute to the demeaning of and violence against women." CCVT has put together a toolkit of resources and tools to be used by affiliates to begin the discussion of how to be men and women of God together in our communities, and demonstrate the grace, love, and healing of God to our neighbourhoods. This toolkit was originally published as an email in the lead up to White Ribbon Day 2015.

This resolution and attached discussion can be found here.

Domestic Violence Resolution, 2015

The toolkit can be viewed here.

View Online Toolkit and Resources

If you or someone you know is experiencing violence and need help or support, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732).

Resources

Books

Our friend Graeme Cann has recommended a number of books for church communities wishing to engage with this issue.

Unholy Charade | Jeff Crippen

Why does he do that? | Chris Moles

The Emotionally Destructive Marriage | Leslie Vernick

Emotional Abuse. Silent Killer of Marriage | Austin James

Not Under Bondage | Barbara Roberts

Videos

She's Someone | Sally Tonkin CEO St Kilda Gatehouse, recorded by TEDx St Kilda

It's a Men's Issue | anti-sexism educator Jackson Katz, recorded by TED

Change the Story | an initiative of Our Watch

Reflection on Hitting Home

In connection with our emphasis on domestic violence issues, we asked Simon Risson of Horsham church to share his reflections on domestic violence documentary Hitting Home, which aired on November 24 and 25.

The ABC documentary Hitting Home, presented by Sarah Ferguson, has left me feeling unsettled, angry, sad, and like I have been punched in the guts.

I decided to watch the episodes after I attended the local Walk Against Violence in Horsham. At the conclusion of the March we were told that 1 in 4 children sees violence committed against their mum or step mum. I have four children.

In Horsham, with a population of about 15000 people plus surrounding districts, police were called to 1100 domestic violent disputes last year. That equates to, on average, four every day. Four. Every. Day.

Hitting Home follows the stories of women living in refuges with their children, some of whom are unborn or recently born. At one point, Sarah Ferguson asked a ten year old boy, "What are you most afraid of?" “Dad coming back and breaking my jaw,” he replied.

Other families have cameras installed in their homes to protect themselves. Ferguson followed the police’s Domestic Violence Unit and watched as they interviewed victims of domestic violence. One officer, highlighting just how blunt they are required to be, told the woman to whom he was speaking, “This bloke will kill you.”

Ferguson also spoke to men who are sentenced to 1-3 years in prison for crimes of domestic violence and are undergoing a course of awareness and rehabilitation. Some struggled to accept their own responsibility and their actions were not their partner’s fault. When Ferguson asked one facilitator what she sees as she walks into the room with these men, the facilitator responded with one word: "Hope."

Maybe that’s why I watched both episodes when it would have been easy to ignore it. As a local church minister, I want to be someone of hope. I want to create a place, an environment, a community of hope. Not as a cliché word, but as a force that turns control, fear, intimidation, hopelessness upside down. Hitting Home did just that.

Ferguson concluded by saying that governments needs to keep finding a way to respond to this “national emergency”. So do I. So does the church.

Simon Risson
Team Leader, Horsham Church of Christ

You can watch Hitting Home part 1 on ABC iView here.

You can watch Hitting Home part 2 on ABC iView here.

And don’t forget to watch the special edition of Q&A that aired directly after Hitting Home here.



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