Domestic abuse is widespread. It continues to affect people from all walks of life, including churchgoers and those with whom we come into contact through our activities.
These pages will feature a number of resources about domestic abuse to help increase understanding and ensure this is an area that does not go unnoticed or unchallenged in the Methodist Church. This will help to ensure that victims and survivors feel able to come forward and know they will receive an appropriate and supportive response from the Church, and that the actions of perpetrators are not ignored and they are accountable for their actions.
Domestic Abuse Policy and Procedures
The Methodist Church holds that domestic abuse in all its forms is unacceptable and incompatible with the Christian faith and a Christian way of living. It is committed to being a safer space for all. This means ensuring that members of the Methodist Church have an awareness and understanding of domestic abuse, and know how to respond appropriately and effectively. When victims disclose abuse, they can expect to be listened to, taken seriously, supported and referred to local professional services, as appropriate. Local churches should receive advice and support from their Church/Circuit Safeguarding Officer and the District Safeguarding Officer. This Domestic Abuse Policy and Procedures document includes recent legislative changes, contained in the Domestic Abuse Act, England (2021)4 and legislation in other jurisdictions. It also highlights useful resources available to local churches, victims and survivors:
International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women
25 November is White Ribbon Day, the International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women.
The White Ribbon - Methodist Blog
Gauri Taylor-Nayar has written a blog about White Ribbon Day. Gauri is a Local Preacher and an Independent Domestic Violence Advocate. White Ribbon Day on 25 November, also the day of Elimination of Violence Against Women, is the start of 15 days of action.
You can find organisations that offer support at the bottom of the page.
Prayer for the International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Deacon Kerry Scarlett, the Vice-President of the Methodist Conference 2023-24, has written a prayer to mark the day.
Domestic Abuse Posters and Stickers
The Methodist Council adopted a policy on domestic abuse in 2021 and now the Domestic Abuse Planning Group has produced an A3 poster for display on church notice boards and small stickers intended for display behind toilet doors (which have been found to be an effective and discrete place to share important information). The intention of the posters and stickers is to make clear the church’s commitment to highlighting the dangers of domestic abuse, in all its forms, and where people can find support to protect themselves.
As a church we can make a difference in highlighting issues such as domestic abuse, helping to remove the stigma that is often attached to the subject and thus helping to give victims and survivors the courage to come forward and seek support. Please feel free to download copies of the poster here.
Sheets of 12 stickers can be ordered from Methodist Publishing
'The Hidden Victims of Domestic Abuse' Webinar: Thursday 24 November 2022
The third Domestic Abuse Webinar was held on Thursday 24 November at 10.00 am. The theme was ‘The Hidden Victims of Domestic abuse’ and with this in mind presentations included domestic abuse amongst older people, young people and within ministerial families. Speakers included Veronica Gray from Hourglass (Formerly Action on Elder Abuse), Maggie Wilkinson from Broken Rites, and Beckie Wood from What’s the Debate.
The President of Conference gave the opening address, Michaela Youngson spoke about domestic abuse and the Methodist Church stance, and the Youth President offered some closing reflections. You can watch the webinar again below.
Earlier Domestic Abuse Webinar: Thursday 25 November 2021
The Methodist Church held a second domestic abuse webinar in November 2021. We had a full programme which included prominent speakers including Bekah Legg who is Chief Executive Officer of the Christian domestic abuse charity Restored. The webinar also had contributions from two victims/survivors. There was input from the President of Conference and Chair of the Safeguarding Committee Revd Henry Lewis.
Previous Domestic Abuse Webinar: Tuesday 24 November 2020
The Methodist Church held its first Domestic Abuse Webinar on Tuesday 24 November 2020
To view the webinar again and for more information, please see Domestic Abuse Webinar: Tuesday 24 November 2020