Domestic Abuse is about power and control. It can take many forms and affects 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men. It can happen to anyone regardless of gender, religion, ethnicity, age, class, mental or physical ability or sexuality.
Loving relationships in the family and in society are at the core of Christianity. Domestic abuse is a gross injustice that can never be condoned under any circumstances. It offends God's law of love and the dignity and fundamental rights of the human person. The encouragement of churches to take necessary measures to be recognised as places where domestic abuse is taken seriously, victims are believed and respected and perpetrators are challenged is surely part of our faith.
In 2013 the Guildford Diocese adopted a voluntary Charter for their churches which was circulated to parishes:
Ending Domestic Abuse - a pack for churches
Christian charity Restored, which aims to help end domestic abuse by working with churches and Christian organisations, has developed a 40-page pack to enable the Church to address domestic abuse both within its own community and wider society.
The pack explains what domestic abuse is, how extensive it is, how to identify it and the practical steps that churches can take to address it. This new edition also includes an expanded theological section which explores some of the issues specifically faced by Christians.
The Right Reverend Andrew Watson, Bishop of Guildford, says: “Reported domestic abuse is alarmingly on the rise in our country, and is no respecter of social, racial or religious boundaries. As followers of Jesus it is vital that we join with others in praying, speaking out, and doing all we can to confront this evil in our society, seeking the protection and restoration of victims and the transformation of perpetrators alike. I commend this pack, and pray that it will be widely distributed and used.”
You can download a pack free of charge here or get a printed copy by emailing your contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org. (A modest donation will be requested to cover costs of print and postage.)
Help, Advice and Support
Training and Advice (Guildford Diocese)
Suzette Jones is the Diocese of Guildford's Health and Wellbeing Coordinator and is able to host Domestic Abuse training sessions for parishes or small groups
Your Sanctuary Domestic Abuse Helpline
Tel: 01483 776822
Surrey Against Domestic Abuse
Outreach Services www.surreyagainstda.info
Local outreach services worked with over 3000 new service users as well as providing support to their many existing service users. They offer independent, confidential support, information and access to specialist services to anyone affected by domestic abuse, whether they have left or are still in the relationship.
East Surrey Outreach
Tel: 01737 771350
Serving Reigate and Banstead, Mole Valley and Tandridge
North West Surrey (Your Sanctury Outreach)
Tel: 01483 776822
Serving Woking, Runnymede and Surrey Heath
North Surrey Outreach
Serving: Epsom & Ewell, Elmbridge, Spelthorne
South West Surrey Outreach
Tel: 01483 577392
Serving Guildford and Waverley
Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling
National Freephone Helpline - 0808 802 9999 open every day
12.30pm - 2.30pm and 7pm - 9.30pm
Description of agency: Helpline and face to face counselling, plus Independent Sexual Violence Advisory Service
Address: The Colebrook Centre, Colebrook Street, Winchester SO23 9LH
Helpline: 01962 871717 and 01962 871718
(Monday 11.30 - 1.30, Tuesday and Thursday 7.00 to 9.30)
- Telephone support
- Female and male survivors of rape and sexual abuse aged 18 years+
Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre, (RASASC) (Surrey)
Description of agency: Supporting male and female survivors of rape and sexual abuse in Surrey
Postal address: RASASC, PO Box 1009, Guildford, Surrey GU1 9EE
Helpline: 01483 546400
Area covered: Surrey and surrounding boundaries
- Helplines - any age
- Individual counselling (16+)
- Court Support Counselling (16+)
- Family Support Counselling (16+)
- Self help groups (16+)
- ISVA service (any age)
Information from our Domestic Abuse seminar 2013:
Surrey Against Domestic Abuse presentation and What is Domestic Abuse Barbara French's presentation. Barbara is the Domestic Abuse Strategy Manager for Surrey's Community Safety Unit. What is Domestic abuse? Is it really an issue in Surrey? It can and does happen to anyone. Which means that people are abusing their partner or former partner or close family, often in the place where we should all feel safe, our home. Barbara's extensive knowledge gives us an insight into what is really happening in Surrey and what is being done to combat it.
ChildLine and the NSPCC
In 75% of domestic abuse incidents, the child witnesses the assault and there is a high link between domestic abuse and child abuse. The ChildLine Schools Service is provided completely free of charge by the NSPCC. It is a groundbreaking initiative which they are aiming to deliver into every primary school in the UK once every two years. The objectives of the ChildLine Schools Service are:
- To ensure children have an understanding of abuse in all its forms, including bullying, and an ability to recognise the signs of abuse
- To ensure children know how to protect themselves from all forms of abuse
- To make them aware of how to get help and sources of help
ChildLine deliver a shortened assembly presentation to Year 5 and 6 pupils which informs children of the different types of abuse and where they can go to seek help.
Followed by an example of the 2nd stage normally delivered 1-2 weeks later, which is an interactive classroom-based workshop to reinforce the assembly messages and encourage discussion and questions.