Domestic Abuse Policy and Procedure
Domestic Abuse Policy and Procedure (updated 2021)
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.
The new DA policy and procedure has a number of useful resources about domestic abuse. These are to help increase understanding and ensure this is an area that does not go unnoticed or unchallenged in the Methodist Church.
This DSG this year has committed 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.
How Can the Church Help to Prevent Domestic Abuse?
Read through the policy share with church safeguarding officers
Raising awareness through teaching and worship
Leaders of worship can use the information in this policy to make clear statements that domestic abuse is wrong and to challenge the myths that allow domestic abuse to continue.
Careful thought should be given to the way the Bible is used and how theological interpretations can affirm or damage those caught up in abusive relationships.
The language used in worship and teaching should reflect the Church’s affirmation that all are made in the image of God, and not marginalise those who may already feel unvalued.
Work with children and young people
Disclosures of domestic abuse by children and young people must be taken seriously. It is important to listen and make clear that what they have experienced is wrong and not their fault. You should let them know that to make sure they (and others) are safe you will have to tell someone else who can help. The Church/Circuit Safeguarding Officer or District Safeguarding Officer should be contacted for advice.
Sharing information about local agencies
Churches should display posters and information about local and national support agencies
Training people at all levels in the Church
All those with leadership roles in the Methodist Church should undertake training to recognise and respond to domestic abuse.
Training will help the Church respond appropriately, reinforce the seriousness and impact of domestic abuse, and help minimise any potential harm suffered by others.
Domestic abuse training is now a part of the connexional safeguarding training strategy.
Please speak with your circuit safeguarding officer and Chrissie Slaney if you are planning to raise awareness within your local church.