By Kelly Crawford
June 13, 2018
We have been hearing a lot of great stories about how people are engaging with the issue of domestic and family violence both in their churches and in their communities. Some of the projects churches are working on have been going on for some time and others have grown out of clear needs that have surfaced since churches have started to engage with local domestic and family violence services.
One such project is “Walk in Love”, an initiative in the Ryde area that aims to train women in churches to be pastoral care visitors to women who have left domestic and family violence situations. Women who leave abusive relationships may initially go through counselling and receive visits from a DV Chaplain. However, once those services come to an end they can find themselves feeling very alone. When leaving the abusive relationships, they often leave behind family and friends and even faith communities. One woman said, “I wish I just had someone to go to the movies with me.” They need women who are willing to visit them and just listen without an agenda.
Some women at Ryde Baptist recognised that with appropriate training and supervision, they could take on a pastoral care role. Thus, “Walk in Love” was born. The project is still in the planning stages and will run through a pilot stage before it is fully launched. If successful, it could help link women in churches to women in community in a way that eases the burden of loneliness for women who have experienced a great deal of trauma from domestic and family violence and who are trying to rebuild their lives.
It is such a great example of what you can do when you start to engage with the local community, when you see a need and recognise that there is something that you can do to help.
If you are interested in hearing more about this project, contact Kelly Crawford at firstname.lastname@example.org.