faithSAFE banner

Family violence and Violence Against Women is a major social and human rights issue in our society. In Australia, one in three women will experience some type of intimate partner abuse at some stage in their life.

Family Violence has an enormous impact on women and their children, eroding their mental, physical, emotional and financial well being.

Preventing and responding to family violence requires action from all sectors of our society – including faith communities.

Response: Faith leaders are uniquely positioned to respond helpfully in situations of abuse, as victims and perpetrators of family violence turn to faith leaders for spiritual guidance and support.

It is important that faith leaders are well equipped to understand, recognise and know how to respond to situations of abuse. Well-meaning words can reinforce a perpetrator’s power and undermine the victim’s efforts to get free from the abuse.

Prevention: Faith leaders can also take preventive measures by creating awareness and having discussions about family violence, violence against women and respectful relationships between men and women in their communities.

It is important in today's society that faith leaders ‘skill up’ on preventive and responsive measures or risk becoming alienated from the lives of people they are welcoming into their faith communities.