Offer opportunities for parents and couples to participate in
programs which teach effective means of living together and
communicating intimately, respecting differences, settling
disputes, and parenting and living together with mutual respect
within the family.
Place a copy of local resources and where to go for help on top of
the toilet tank in the ladies room, where they can be picked up
and read in privacy. Place crisis phone numbers of local and
national helping agencies in large print in a prominent place in
Join organized efforts to rid the American media of depiction of
violence, both general and sex-related. People who are repeatedly
exposed to demonstrations of violence become desensitized to it
and come to believe that women enjoy pain, want to be raped, and
welcome physical assault.
Get training in how to counsel victims and perpetrators of
spousal, elder and self-abuse (attempted suicide, etc.), and how
to build self-esteem and self-respect.
Examine your own theology, sermons, attitude and service of
worship to determine if your communication encourages families to
deal with violence in their home or to hide it.
Include, in premarital counseling, discussion on violence,
nonviolent conflict resolution, stress reduction and problem
solving. Seek to learn whether a couple is prone to violence.
Let the couple know that violence is inappropriate and illegal,
and that help is available. Problems can be solved peacefully.
Know the laws, the available resource centers, shelters, reporting
locations and other sources of help for your locale, so instances
of abuse may be legally and wisely handled. Make such information
known to all members.
Pray for fellow members, especially those who experience sexual,
physical, and emotional abuse. Pray for those who perpetrate such
Have members of the congregation volunteer at a local shelter or
domestic violence resource center. Designate part of the
congregation's budget to help organizations that seek to promote
domestic peace and prevent and deal with domestic violence.
Prepare an informational display for a high traffic area of the
church. Include some basic statistics and information about
family violence in each edition of the church newsletter.
Urge legislators to provide funds for shelters and to reconstruct
the legal process so that victims of family violence will be
treated as respectfully, equitably, and rapidly as victims of
violence from strangers.