Church Positions on Domestic Abuse
This page gives links to a number of denominational position statements, booklets or webpages on how to deal with domestic abuse. Bear in mind that even if a denomination has a stated policy or position statement, that does not necessarily ensure that every church and every pastor in that denomination will know and adhere to that policy. In addition, many of the denominational statements listed below are non-binding on individual churches; they are guidelines provided by the denomination but they are not compulsory.
We are not aware of any other denominations that have stated positions on domestic abuse, so an abuse victim is in unchartered waters if they try them out. If you know of any denominational statements other than those listed here, please advise TWBTC (the woman behind the curtain). firstname.lastname@example.org
Some of the items in this list are not denominational statements but we have included them because they could be useful for a denomination which is seeking to develop its own policies and/or programs on domestic abuse.
This is a PDF titled Responding to Domestic abuse: Guidelines for those with pastoral responsibilities. Published by Church House Publishing
Allows divorce for proven physical abuse.
A survey by Sojourners and IMA World Health (on behalf of We WillSpeakOut.US) that asked 1000 Protestant pastors their views on sexual and domestic violence. Survey taken June 2014.
Church Discipline versus Responsibility in Relationships, Part 1
Church Discipline versus Responsibility in Relationships, Part 2
Pastors and leaders may find these articles by Ps Stephen Rives helpfully thought provoking.
A cluster of churches from various denominations in Australia developed and implemented a number of Family Violence prevention program known as Enough is Enough. The program aimed to equip the church to deal effectively with Family Violence and to educate the congregation on this important issue.
Produced by Lutheran Hour Ministries, this booklet is an excellent resource that accurately reflects the position of the Lutheran Church MO Synod.
The MCC site is in both English and Spanish and covers the following topics: Am I being abused?, Plan for safety, Covering your internet tracks, How to find a good therapist, Being an advocate, Faith teachings and abuse, Educational resources. The educational resources section includes a good booklet about pornography that can be downloaded for free.
This letter is a PDF. Readers are granted permission to reproduce this letter and use it to good ends. Please do not alter or change the wording.
The section entitled Applying Paul’s Instruction About Desertion Today (Section II, paragraph E, subsection 4) addresses the PCA’s position on divorce, remarriage, and desertion by abuse.
We have heard that this Position Paper is not followed in some (many?) PCA churches and it appears that some PCA pastors have not even heard of it. Also, we understand that many PCA churches rely heavily on Nouthetic counseling and Peacekeepers, both of which concern us because they’ve caused harm to many victims of abuse. Also, some (most?) of the PCA churches subscribe to the Danvers Statement of CBMW, which, for all its nice sounding rhetoric, can easily (in our observation) become bedfellows with a hard patriarchal attitude towards women.
And we are concerned that the paper mutualizes all marriage problems. On p. 245, when advising elders who are dealing with a marriage in which divorce is on the cards, it says
The the elders must carefully approach the question of delving beneath the precipitating cause of the divorce to the underlying issues. The elders cannot allow themselves to be used by one spouse seeking the condemnation of the other’s sin, while refusing to acknowledge, in most cases, some responsibility for the crisis.