In 2017 the House of Bishops agreed Responding Well to Domestic Abuse: Policy and Practice Guidance. This sets out the Church of England’s position and the detailed practice guidance on how the Church of England will implement this policy. It supports the Church’s commitment to address and respond effectively to domestic abuse both within its own community and wider society.
The practice guidance is intended to raise awareness and to highlight some of the areas that need to be considered in making our churches safer places. It is a sad fact that domestic abuse is present but not seen in many church communities. To encourage churches to become places of safety where domestic abuse is taken seriously, it is necessary victims/survivors are believed and respected and alleged or known perpetrators are challenged.
This guidance aims to inform, direct and equip those working at a local level, not only those working in ministries such as clergy, readers or commissioned local lay ministry, but also those who may be entrusted by victims/survivors or alleged or known perpetrators to hear their story and who want to offer the most appropriate care.
As well as policy and guidance, Responding Well...includes fact sheets and signposts to resources and Appendix 3 addresses the way scripture has sometimes been used ‘unhelpfully’ to explain or excuse abuse in the Christian tradition. The Diocese of Carlisle and Carlisle Cathedral are committed to strengthening our response to domestic abuse through partnership and training with Churches Together in Cumbria (CTiC). CTiC offers not only training but accessible locally focused resources – to see these, download them and contact CTiC, visit the Churches Together in Cumbria website