The No Place for Violence Here campaign for Australian churches officially launched in November of last year. Since that time I have had numerous conversations with individuals and churches about their engagement around this important issue.
One such conversation was with the Cottage Care Counselling Centre on the Northern Beaches. Counsellors at this centre regularly work in the area of domestic and family violence. Upon learning of the No Place for Violence Here campaign, they utilised the opportunity to engage with churches in their local area with whom they had existing relationships. They were asked by a minister from a local church to speak at a men’s breakfast event and help men in the area learn about the nature and types of domestic and family violence and how they can respond. It was an excellent opportunity to engage with men around the different types of domestic and family violence, how to recognise the signs and symptoms and how to respond appropriately. It gave men the chance to have open discussion in a safe environment and to explore specific vulnerabilities in a faith community. One counsellor went into particular detail about the role men have to play in calling out inappropriate behaviour when they see it in other men, including jokes and comments about women that are degrading and that perpetuate a culture where domestic and family violence can occur. Men cannot be bystanders.
“When we talk about domestic and family violence, it loses its power.”- Counsellor
There are also opportunities in the Counselling Centre’s local area for counsellors to meet with ministry teams to educate them on domestic and family violence, its particular manifestation in the church and how to respond.
For more information on domestic and family violence as a men’s issue, access Jackson Katz’s Ted Talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/jackson_katz_violence_against_women_it_s_a_men_s_issue
If you would like to register with the No Place for Violence Here campaign, visit https://ajustcause.com.au/no-place-for-violence/.
To learn more about the Cottage Care Counselling Centre, visit http://cottagecounselling.org.au/.
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