Most of you know I’m a P.K. (preacher’s kid) and have spent nearly 30 years educating pastors and faith leaders about domestic violence (DV). During this month of Father’s Day, I’m delighted to spotlight my amazing Dad who has supported my work, preached and written on DV alongside me all these years. He is one of the few older prominent male pastors who has loudly condemned the abuse of women in the church for decades, calling on the church to embrace true biblical gender equality.
For years the evangelical Christian church denied and covered up the abuse of women by church-going men and pastors. In the last few years, though, particularly especially since the emergence of #TimesUp and #MeToo, Christian survivors have found their voices, and recently a #ChurchToo movement has developed. As a result, one after another nationally prominent mega-church pastor has been ousted following accusations of DV. In the past month, I have followed with interest the unraveling of the cover-up in the powerful Southern Baptist Church (SBC). Leaders of Southern Baptist Seminary fired their presidentbecause of his ill treatment of sexual assault survivors. On May 22 I joined Dr. Riane Eisler and Rev. Dr. Ron Clark (not the pastor of the same name in the article above!), and activists from around the world in a live discussion of the role of religion in violence against women. We hope you will join us as we continue the discussion in a followup webinar on June 27th.
Now that women in the church are banding together to demand justice, church leaders have been forced to respond at last. We have a long way to go, however. It is my firm belief that until the church repents and acknowledges that women and men were created as full equals, and embrace gender equality, there will be little substantive change. A proposedresolution of the SBC’s all-male leadership makes it clear that there is no movement in this direction. A small group of victims and survivors from around the U.S. gathered for a rally in Dallas, TX, on June 12, during the convention, calling for accountability and change.Follow or join the on-going awareness and advocacy efforts of this growing group.
Things are happening quickly and keeping up is not easy. Of course, I’m still hoping for the emergence of a strong #DVToo movement.
If you want to know more about the influence of religion on violence against women, consider attending the international BISC-MI conference this November, where most of the world experts will present workshops.
ADVOCATE SPOTLIGHT & QUOTE OF THE MONTH
“The last words of Jesus to Peter, revealing our Lord's burden and passion, were ‘Tend my lambs... take care of my sheep.’ It’s so sad that shepherds have often fleeced the sheep rather than fed them. They have harmed the sheep instead of protected them. They have allowed the sheep to become prey for wolves in sheep's clothing.”
- Rev. Bob Owens, Pastor Emeritus, First Presbyterian Church of Honolulu
Bob is Julie’s father, a retired PC-USA minister and long-time advocate for battered women. He and Julie survived an assault by Julie’s estranged husband in 1988. Since then they have spoken nationally and written extensively about domestic violence and the church’s need to respond appropriately. Bob is featured in this year's Pixel Project Father’s Day series, speaking about what he’s learned and what men can do to stop violence against women and girls. You will also find links to Bob’s blog and a sermon he preached on DV.
NEWS YOU CAN USE
- Boulder, Colorado, bans the sale and possession of assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and bump-stock devices
- ERA One More To Go: Illinois Ratifies Equal Rights Amendment
- Blueprint for Safety
Diagnostic Center of the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) identified Blueprint for Safety – a system-wide response framework – as the best strategy for communities to use to address DV/IPV. The Blueprint is a set of coordinated protocols based on knowledge gleaned from thirty years of research, demonstration projects, and practice. MORE INFO
- LIVE RESPECT: Coaching Healthy, Respectful Manhood Curriculum
A CALL TO MEN has launched Free Online Certification Training for its "LIVE RESPECT: Coaching Healthy, Respectful Manhood" curriculum. The on-demand webinar series takes educators, coaches and mentors through A CALL TO MEN’s signature training for middle-school and high-school boys. It promotes healthy, respectful manhood and healthy relationships. The curriculum is also free.
- ANNUAL DV CENSUS
Learn about what's happening in your state/territory when NNEDV releases the 2018 annual domestic violence U.S. report this month.
- June 1: Global Day of Parents
Emphasizing the critical role of parents in the rearing of children, this day recognizes that for the full and harmonious development of their personality, children should grow up in a family atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding. A disturbing trend is underway in the U.S., led by men’s rights (anti-feminist) groups to require 50:50 shared custody of children. This is extremely dangerous. Has a bill been introduced in your state? Find out, and if so, contact your state DV coalition and organize protective abused mothers to testify against it with you.
- June 26: U.N. International Day in Support of Victims of Torture
Torture seeks to annihilate the victim’s personality and denies the inherent dignity of the human being. It is prohibited under international law but persists worldwide. The UN has condemns torture as one of the vilest acts perpetrated by human beings on their fellow human beings. Many forms of violence against women, including much DV, is torture, yet it is not typically designated or recognized as such. The World Organization Against Torture works to ensure that gender-based violence, such as DV, rape, sexual abuse, trafficking and forced prostitution, is included in the UN human rights treaties.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR ACTIVISM
- CALL YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO PUSH FOR A STRONG SEXUAL HARASSMENT & DISCRIMINATION BILL
With pressure from the public, the House and Senate passed bills about sexual harassment and discrimination in the halls of Congress. The House passed a strong bipartisan reform bill, but the Senate’s has loopholes for congress members. Call your Senators and Representative today! Insist that they call for a CONFERENCE COMMITTEE to work out a final, strong bill. The final bill must have no loopholes that let members of Congress avoid liability, strong protections against workplace harassment and workplace discrimination, treat all harassment as unacceptable, and give congressional staffers legal representation equal to what members of Congress have. You can be connected to your Senators and Representative through the Capitol switchboard: (202) 224-3121. Members of Congress should be held to the highest standards of ethics and accountability!
- EDUCATE THE PUBLIC ABOUT THE DV CRISIS IN FAMILY COURTS
Help put a face on the epidemic of abused mothers losing custody and being prevented from protecting their children. In U.S. courts, battered women typically lose custody at least 80% of the time in contested cases. Encourage protective abused mothers to participate. The public and elected officials must understand the crisis and push for a new system that will protect children from fathers who abuse them and their mothers. MORE INFO: The Women's Coalition / Faces of the Crisis
- HELP GET THE ERA PASSED AT LAST!
I'm hoping my state of N.C. will be the final state to ratify the ERA. You realize it never passed and that women do not have equal rights under the law in the U.S., right? The ERA was introduced in 1923. Gender inequality is the very ROOT of violence against women and girls. Pressure NC legislators and those in other states to pass it.
- HELP FVPSA FUNDING GET REAUTHORIZED BY CONGRESS
The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) is the primary federal funding stream supporting essential emergency shelters and support services for DV victims and their children. Reauthorization is required and due now. See this NCADV action alert for more information.
- HELP REVAMP FAMILY COURTS
Be part of the global movement to revamp Family Courts to allow battered mothers to protect their children. Samantha Baldwin is a UK protective abused mother whose children were sexually abused by their father. He has convinced the court that she is a liar and family court officials are colluding and re-victimizing her via DV by Proxy. Your letter can pressure legislators to address this crisis and provide a precedent for other court cases.
ON JULIE'S CALENDAR
- REGISTER NOW: JULIE'S NEXT FREE GLOBAL WEBINAR
The second webinar Julie will participate in with Dr. Riane Eisler and Rev. Dr. Ron Clark will be on June 27. Response to the first webinar on May 22 was overwhelming! “Uncovering the Roots of Violence: New Perspectives on Domestic Violence, Social Justice, and Faith,” had over 1,200 registrants from over 30 countries. Incisive questions were raised that will be addressed in the followup webinar. Missed the May 22 webinar? Watch it here!
- CONFERENCE SAVE THE DATE
Religion, Faith, Spirituality, Science & Research: Engaging for Safety and Accountability, Nov. 14 -16, 2018, Lansing, MI
This groundbreaking international conference will explore and examine the impact of religion/faith/spirituality on battering intervention practice. Speakers will include Julie, Dr. Riane Eisler, Rev. Dr. Marie Fortune, Dr. Anne Ganley, Michael Paymar, Dr. Nancy Nason-Clark, Dr. Oliver Williams, Ty Schroyer & Barb Jones-Schroyer, Deborah Rosenbloom, Rev. Dr. Ron Clark and more. Registration opens soon! MORE INFO