Domestic Violence Awareness

Domestic Violence Awareness

by the Rev. Davis Ferrell, Deacon, Holy Trinity, Nevada City

October was Domestic Violence Awareness month. Domestic Violence is a subject that is often avoided, especially within the church. Some congregations are thought to be one big, loving family where abuse could never happen. The sad truth is that Domestic Violence can and does happen anywhere.

When a video clip of a professional football player beating his girlfriend went viral, calls to Domestic Abuse hotlines shot up, as much as 87% in some areas. The typical call was from women who were fearful that the next time they experienced abuse they might also be physically injured. Too often, victims are told they are to blame for the abuse they receive. This can discourage victims from seeking the help they need.

Recently, the Rev. Debra Sabino, an intake officer for The Episcopal Diocese of Northern California, made the Domestic Violence Awareness Manual accessible to the diocese. This manual was created to assist the clergy of this diocese, and I am very thankful for it. The manual can be accessed via the Safe Church page on the diocesan website at or at under the “Domestic Violence Awareness.”

Clergy especially need to learn how to create an environment that is open and encourages victims (both women and men) to feel safe to talk about what is really happening to them. Becoming aware of some of the signs of abuse is also an important step. For more information on Domestic Violence training, please visit

Click here to view and download Domestic Violence Awareness Manual.


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