Domestic violence robs women, children and families of the dignity and life that God wants for each of us.
Domestic violence is about maintaining power and control over another person. Domestic violence takes many forms and exists across socio-economic statuses and within every racial and ethnic community.
Sexism and patriarchy are woven throughout families, cultures, institutions and societies.The objectification, exploitation and abuse of women and girls directly result from these oppressive systems.
People of faith must work to change attitudes, beliefs, policies, and practices at all levels of society that dehumanize and promote the exploitation and abuse of women and girls.United Methodist Book of Resolutions, 3427
Globally, at least one in three women has been beaten, coerced into sex, or abused in some other way. This happens most often by someone she knows, including her husband or another male family member.
When women and girls are devalued in any way, it normalizes violence and further harms victims and survivors through shame, stigma and internalized oppression.
These same dynamics foster violence men experience domestic violence, as well.
What the Bible and The United Methodist Church Say:
“We recognize that family violence and abuse in all its forms verbal, psychological, physical, sexual is detrimental to the covenant of the human community. We encourage the Church to provide a safe environment, counsel, and support for the victim. While we deplore the actions of the abuser, we affirm that person to be in need of God’s redeeming love.” (Social Principles, ¶161.H)
“The history of our faith is the history of attempts to recover the insight of Genesis 1 that all creation is sacred in God’s sight, and all human beings are creatures of sacred worth. Jesus was an advocate for the sacred worth of all.
“United Methodists have worked to eradicate the many forms of violence that destroy the integrity of individuals, families, communities, and nations. People of faith must work to change attitudes, beliefs, policies, and practices at all levels of society that dehumanize and promote the exploitation and abuse of women and girls.” (Book of Resolutions, 3427)
Three Things You Can Do:
- Advocate for the passage and implementation of laws at local and national levels of government to prevent abuse, protect victims and hold perpetrators accountable. Organize forums, inviting outside speakers, including survivors and advocates to facilitate discussions.
- Review children’s books in spaces where children gather. Purchase additional books with girls and children of color as leaders to ensure every child in your family, congregation, school and community see themselves as valuable. Check out our Sacred Worth Book list for some ideas.
- Teach and model healthy masculinity. Engage men as allies with women to lessen violence and risk factors for abuse.