Ideas on how to… Assist a victim looking for help
- Make sure that key church leaders know the phone numbers and web addresses of the nearest women’s shelter(s) in your city so they can be provided when needed. Clergy and ministry leaders should be knowledgeable about what local services and help are available for victims seeking help and support so they know ahead of time where to refer victims.
- Have information and the phone numbers for the nearest women’s shelter displayed in the women’s restrooms in the church. Make it clear that the church supports women who seek help.
- The church can assure victims that it will support them through the process of seeking shelter, and then follow through in whatever ways are necessary. Find out what practical support is needed and lead the church in providing that support.
- The church can help the victim to understand clearly that the choice to seek safety for themselves and for their family is the choice that God would have them make, and that they are valued and loved by their church community and by God.
- Be prepared to provide spiritual counsel and friendship that will give the victim hope and the assurance of the support of the faith community.
- Consider starting a support group for women who have been victims of abuse.
- Make it clear that the church will hold the abuser accountable for his actions.
Steve McMullin, MATS
RAVE Fredericton Team