Staff meeting today was run by two colleagues presenting information from a recent PASCH conference (aka Peace and Safety in the Christian Home). They brought goodies such as a 2 page document entitled, “Guidelines for pastors responding to domestic violence” and a number of small books. During the presentation they listed two common but problematic responses by well-meaning people (not even considering the “just submit…” mistake) :
1. Pressuring the victim to leave the home…without a careful plan.
It may be important for someone who is in danger to leave. But without a plan, the victim may be in greater danger from a rageful spouse or have no access to money or other family resources.
2. Encouraging a person to go to marital counseling.
Its not possible to do marital counseling when one person is battering (physically or with words) another. Marital counseling presupposes two people working toward the same goal.
The two also mentioned a good website. Check out www.theraveproject.org.