Sometimes good intentions are not enough when it comes to helping victims of domestic violence or abuse, including those of Christian leaders in churches and other faith-based organizations.
According to the Schuylkill Women in Crisis (SWiC), that is the conclusion reached from a nationwide survey of abuse victims. Even though leaders in faith communities are typically among the first abuse victims to go for help, faith communities rank near the bottom in actually being helpful to abuse victims. This and other information was shared at a recent meeting of the Tamaqua Area Faith Fellowship Network (TAFFN) by guest speaker Darla Troutman of SWiC, a private nonprofit organization in Pottsville.
As a result of that meeting, TAFFN will sponsor a free workshop entitled "Domestic Violence: A Christian Response" Saturday at the New Life Assembly of God Church, 407 Schuylkill Ave., Tamaqua.
The TAFFN, chaired by George Taylor, is a group of 14 churches whose purpose is to promote understanding and cooperation among members of the faith community in Tamaqua and the surrounding area. A variety of denominations are represented. TAFFN focuses on what unites people as Christians sharing the love of God and working together in the name of Jesus Christ to bring practical and spiritual relief to those in the community.
"TAFFN's desire to make our churches safe havens for hurting people corresponds to SWiC's initiative to partner with the faith community by providing information on how to assist abuse victims in a way that promotes safety for all," Taylor said.
Workshop organizers point out that Christian professionals and volunteers from local churches and faith-based organizations will have the opportunity to become better equipped to address the issue of domestic violence in our communities by attending the workshop.
The program will be divided into three segments: "Domestic Violence Basics 101," "What Can Churches Do?" and "Child Victims and Child Witnesses of Abuse."
Sign-ins will begin at 8:40 a.m. and presentations start at 9 a.m. TAFFN member Marie Courtney said all are welcome; especially ministers, congregational leaders, youth leaders, Christian education teachers, women's and men's ministry leaders and other interested Christians.
There will also be time allotted for discussion and questions. Participants are also encouraged to stay for an informal 'bring your own lunch' time with Troutman from noon until 1 p.m.
To register or for more information contact Courtney at (570) 386-4224 or via www.s-wic.org. The SWiC hot line is (800) 282-0634 and its office number is (570) 622-3991.