Domestic and Family Violence Pilot Workshop
Written by Rev Charissa Suli, Assembly National Consultant
It’s a painful truth but a reality that we need to address: Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) happens in every facet of our society, including our Church.
At the 15th Assembly the UCA affirmed its commitment to addressing DFV, resolved to raise awareness of DFV and find ways to equip our communities to speak about and into an issue that affects people and communities in Australia and across the world.
President Dr Deidre Palmer and I have been working on an Assembly resource to raise awareness and encourage discussion around DFV and its impact on people who experience it.
One of the features of the resource is that it not only raises awareness and gives UCA members practical tools to identify and address DFV where it occurs, it also encourages Biblical and theological reflection on DFV. It encourages conversations on the principle and practice of respectful, mutual and equal relationships, while acknowledging that Bible and theology have sometimes been used to legitimise violence.
Last week a pilot workshop was run in the NSW/ACT Synod with members of the Uniting Church who work in DFV support and policy, front line social workers, community development leaders, congregational ministers, young adults, and Synod and Presbytery staff, to learn how such a resource might work in practice within the context of the church.
There are congregations and agencies within the Uniting Church doing faithful work in this area, but there is much more to be done to affirm and strengthen our commitment as the Uniting Church to shape communities and families where all people are loved, feel safe, and can flourish and grow into their fullest humanity.
The Domestic and Family Violence resource is in its final draft and will be made available through the National Assembly office later in the year. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org