According to a study commissioned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men in the United States have experienced a form of intimate partner violence in their lifetime.
“These statistics demonstrate the urgency with which the Church needs to be prepared to respond to the issue,” said Deaconess Kim Schave, chairwoman of the LCMS Task Force on Domestic Violence and Child Abuse and director of Project and Policy Administration in the Office of the LCMS Chief Administrative Officer.
“As Lutheran Christians, we have the very thing that survivors of domestic abuse are in need of most — the hope and healing that comes by way of the Gospel. In an effort to truly love and care for our neighbor in need, we must be prepared to walk alongside those suffering from the effects of abuse, assuring them of the strength they have in Christ Jesus to deal with their difficult circumstances,” she continued.
To assist church workers and lay members with responding to known or suspected instances of domestic violence, free resources are now available on the LCMS website about domestic abuse, and more materials are being developed on a range of social issues. The domestic-abuse resources are meant to aid church workers, friends, family members and survivors of domestic abuse in identifying and understanding the issue, and information is provided for how to intervene when such a situation is confronted.
- a theological statement titled “When Homes Are Heartless,” which provides a Lutheran perspective on domestic abuse;
- pastoral-care rites and resources;
- an information sheet listing both practical and spiritual resources for addressing the issue;
- a tract from Lutheran Hour Ministries written for abuse survivors titled “Has God Abandoned Me?”; and
- a comprehensive training program for districts, congregations and other LCMS organizations.
To find these resources, visit lcms.org/socialissues/domesticviolence.
To hear a KFUO interview about domestic violence and how to respond faithfully in love, visit lcms.org/kfuo/domesticviolence.
Posted Jan. 2, 2015