We have found the following to be important:
effective planning leading to shared information with clergy, it
is important to have an organizational committee comprised of
professionals with a strong history in working with the problems
of domestic violence. Our group included social workers,
attorneys, law enforcement officials, sociologists, academics,
researchers, clergy, activists, and representatives of community
service organizations, as well as volunteers with a rich history
of service. Each contributed vital information to address these
destructive problems cohesively and thoroughly. The members
learned much from each other, and the information was disseminated
in a flexible and thorough way, addressing the specific needs of
each individual religious community as the community itself
requested. Prior to specific requests for information, general
educational written material was sent to each religious community
we knew about.
It is important to reach out to clergy of all faiths -- Christian,
Jewish, Muslim, etc. -- for this coordinated effort to be
effective. Parent organizational lists are available through
religious administrative offices. Planning committee members with
a knowledge of clergy who will be sympathetic. Women's groups
within the houses of worship will provide vital leadership and
impetus in this area.
The Mayor, political leaders, and community and local press will
usually be cooperative and help to publicize such an event.
Publicity will help religious communities climb aboard efforts for
an ongoing planning effort.
role of women's organizations within the houses of worship can not
be underestimated. They are frequently impetus towards involving
their houses of worship.
Flexibility is key: What we know is available to houses of worship
for their use as they see fit i.e., sermons, workshops, study
groups, prayer services. All we do is share the educational
material that we have for the individual and personal use of each
religious community. We are available to participate in
individual programs or to share our information by mail, e-mail,
etc. without direct involvement. We are also available to share
information by meeting religious leaders within the houses of
worship, without direct involvement per se in the programs they
Though the Sabbath of Domestic Peace is highlighted each October
by Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we urge that awareness is a
year long effort. New sponsors and chairs of the events committee
throughout the year work with the involved clergy and related
church organizations as indicated. We stress the following vital
violence occurs in all religious and socio-economic groups. No
religious, financial, or social status makes a family immune.
Approximately four million women are physically abused each year
by their spouses or partners.
c. It is
estimated that one in three marriages in the United States has
some form of domestic violence.
d. Each nine
seconds a woman in the United States is physically abused.
percent of all murdered women in our country are killed by their
intimate partners or companions.
f. Whenever a
women's health and life are at risk, the health and lives of her
children are at risk also.
g. Abuse is
not only physical -- it includes humiliating, shaming, berating,
demeaning and insulting a partner as well as refusing to discuss
important issues and withdrawing love and contact as a means to
control a partner.
h. The problem
of domestic violence cannot be addressed without thorough
and invested involvement of all houses of worship.