October 25, 2019

USCCB resources offer ways to raise awareness of domestic violence

Criterion staff report

“Violence against women,
inside or outside the home,
is never justified.
Violence in any form-physical,
sexual, psychological, or verbal is sinful;
often, it is a crime as well.”

—From the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops 2002 statement, “When I Call for Help: A Pastoral Response to Domestic Violence Against Women”

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has compiled a list of resources for parishes and groups to raise awareness of domestic violence.

The USCCB again affirmed its stance against domestic violence, and its support for victims of domestic violence, in its 2002 statement, which is an updated version of its 1992 statement. The statement:

  • Addresses abused women, men who abuse, and pastors and pastoral staff;
  • Offers updated statistics, resources and information about domestic violence (updated again in 2016); and
  • Includes practical suggestions for dioceses and parishes based on actual experiences.

The following are a few of the resources compiled by the committee that can be found at bit.ly/1SmUF2z:

  • preaching suggestions;
  • a resource flier for posting in church facilities;
  • full text of the USCCB’s 1992 statement “When I Call for Help: A Pastoral Response to Domestic Violence Against Women,” renewed in 2002 and updated in 2016 (available in English and Spanish).

The page also includes links to other sites, such as Catholics for Family Peace (including a media tool kit with facts, tips for recognizing abuse, prayers and more), For Your Marriage and the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

Other helpful USCCB resources not included on the committee’s page on domestic violence include a podcast on the topic called “Made for Love” (bit.ly/2VIah6u), and prayers on their Call to Prayer for Life, Marriage and Religious Liberty page (www.usccb.org/pray). †

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