Family Violence

Family Violence

Religious Communities Can....

Additional Resources

Two out of every three Americans are affiliated with a religious, spiritual, or faith-based group or organization, and approximately one out of every four Americans is an active member of such a community.1 Based on the breadth and reach of these organizations, it is not surprising that many women and girls turn to religious leaders for guidance in dealing with violence. Some religious, spiritual, and faith-based organizations provide victims with well-informed, practical, and spiritual guidance, including referrals to other organizations.Religious organizations are essential to the culture and sustenance of communities and are uniquely positioned to champion efforts to end violence against women. Although philosophical differences have created tension between some religious, spiritual, and faith organizations and victim advocates, common ground can be found in shared interests to end violence against women.

Faith-based groups and organizations often have strong relationships with communities of color, older women, women with disabilities, and immigrant communities. Religious organizations can reach the large numbers of people often underserved by other groups with messages of safety and support for victims and with information about offender accountability. Establishing training for and by members of religious communities and building the capacity to address the issue will strengthen the role of religious communities in ending violence against women and girls. Outlined below are specific actions religious, spiritual, and faith-based organizations, community-based sexual assault and domestic violence programs, secular victim services, advocacy programs, and public and private funders can take to end violence against women.