DO RELIGIONS HELP OR HINDER DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS?
Popular televangelist Pat Robertson recently advised a child who wrote in asking what to do when his father waves a gun around the mother when they fight. With all apparent concern and sincerity, the TV preacher told the child, “you don’t want to get your father busted,” and that instead of calling the police, the child should tell his mother to tell the father to get help. Huh?? This man clearly has no business giving out advice about domestic violence when he so clearly has no grasp of what it is nor how to handle it. Unfortunately, the young listener isn’t the only one who is getting dicey and dangerous advice about DV.
So is Robertson typical of the religious stance on domestic violence? Are women being given advice by their clergy that is wrong, harmful, lacking in understanding of what DV is? Unfortunately, some women are. The good news is that some clergy have the knowledge, understanding and common sense to really help in these situations.
Carolyn Scott Brown, M.A., is the Director of Learning and Resources for FaithTrust Institute in Seattle. She helps faith and community organizations develop a combination of resources and training services to help prevent and intervene for domestic & sexual violence, child abuse, teen dating violence and ministerial misconduct. And she does it from a faith-based perspective. Scott-Brown, author, psychologist, and consultant, has an undergraduate degree from Brown University and a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Columbia University. She is the author of The Black Woman’s Guide to Menopause: Doing Menopause with Heart and Soul. She joins us July 5th to talk about how faith and religion can be compatible with helping abused women stay safe.
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