Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

Information for Professionals

Faith and Domestic Violence

Overview of the Issue

“None of us as helpers should ever put a battered woman in the position of having to choose between her safety and the support of her religious community. She needs both... and it’s up to us to provide that.”

Rev. Dr. Marie M. Fortune, Director, FaithTrust Institute

Spiritual abuse is a rarely discussed, often misunderstood component of domestic violence. But for those whose faith is a significant part of their lives, this form of abuse can be devastating and extremely damaging. Faith communities can play a significant role in providing support for victims of domestic violence and in holding abusers accountable.

Read more about how faith leaders can respond to domestic violence within their faith communities.

New York State Domestic Violence and Faith Initiative Collaboration

In 2016, OPDV partnered with the Governor’s Office of Faith Based Community Development Services and the New York Theological Seminary to assist faith leaders in their response to domestic violence within their faith communities.

In addition to an event that brought together leaders of many faiths from across the state, we developed and distributed the publication Domestic Violence and Faith Communities: Guidelines for Leaders, to provide information about the nature and dynamics of domestic violence and to guide faith leaders in responding to victims and abusers within their faith communities. The Guidelines publication can be ordered in hardcopy and/or downloaded for free from the OPDV website.

Resources:

Domestic Violence and Faith Communities: Guidelines for Leaders order copies