Because many victims turn to their spiritual leaders and faith communities for guidance and support, the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence recognizes the unique and pivotal role faith-based communities can play in the effective response to and elimination of domestic violence. The MNADV helps keep faith-based communities well-informed with practical information and resources, and connected to other faith communities through trainings and events. Two initiatives are currently supported by MNADV, which others are invited to join.
Call to Action
Top 15 Ways Faith Leaders Can Support Healthy Families
Incorporate any of these ideas during the October Weekend (October 24-26, 2014) and other times throughout the year.
1. Use the universal prayer to end domestic violence during the October weekend in your sermon (Download the Call to Action and see page 2 for the prayer).
2. Make a connection with your local domestic violence program and other local service providers, so you know how to refer those in need (see MNADV website for listing).
3. Host a food or diaper drive to collect items for your local domestic violence shelter (shelters often have wish lists on their website).
4. Hold a prayer breakfast. Invite your local domestic violence program and survivors to tell their story.
5. Incorporate issues of healthy relationships and domestic violence into your weekly sermon.
6. Encourage healthy marriages and healthy families that are free from violence, each day of the year.
7. Place brochures in your bathrooms so that victims know where to get help (visit MNADV website to order a free supply).
8. Hold a moment of silence and then break the silence. Victims need to know that they can seek out assistance. Refuse to be silent.
9. Encourage parents to talk to teens about healthy relationships.
10. Include a message and local hotline number in your weekly bulletin so victims know they are not alone and that help is available.
11. Know where to refer someone who is using violence in their relationship to a certified Abuser Intervention Program (visit GOCCP’s website for listings).
12. Incorporate the idea of healthy families and healthy relationships that are free from violence in children’s sermons and teen groups.
13. Consider having a survivor give testimony during your service or at another faith sponsored event. Be sure that it is a safe environment and a healing experience for them.
15. Attend the Interfaith Domestic Violence Coalition’s Day of Learning on October 1, 2014, and attend other domestic violence trainings (Visit the FaithTrust Institute and this webpage under Events).
Interfaith Domestic Violence Coalition
MNADV provides support and participates on a steering committee made up of clergy, lay leaders, and advocates from Baltimore and across the state to enhance a new, innovative model program established by two judges and supported by the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office and the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives (GOCI). This model seeks to engage these stakeholders to improve partnerships and collaboration with each other, to encourage cross-training and promote opportunities for learning, and to encourage congregations to speak out and take action about domestic violence. Two events, a summer Kick-Off Event and a fall Day of Learning, are held by the steering committee. The program culminates with an annual call to clergy and congregations to take action during a designated October Weekend. Dates for 2014 are included below. For more information on the Initiative, contact GOCI using the form below.
- Day of Learning: Wednesday, October 1, 2014 Registration is now open! Click here to register!
- Weekend of Ministry: October 24-26, 2014 Sign the pledge!