This article is Part 4 in a series about how churches should respond to domestic violence.
In previous posts we’ve discussed what domestic violence is and isn’t, how churches should respond to domestic violence, and how to interact with domestic violence victims. Some houses of worship may believe that these are the only two parties that need to be involved when abuse comes to light. Well-meaning pastors may attempt to counsel both the victim and the alleged abuser, often together, in a setting where the victim cannot safely share the facts of the situation. This may serve to empower and embolden the abuser. It may endanger the victim further. Churches should not try to handle domestic violence on their own; they need to know who to call for help.
Church leaders may feel that they have an absolute duty to try and make peace in an abusive situation. They may call in trusted church members to pray for the couple…
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