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An Online Resource Library on Gender-Based Violence.

Between Compassion and Accountability: Guidelines for Faith Leaders Responding to People Who Abuse Intimate Partners

General Material
Published Date
May, 2020

As faith leaders bear the responsibility to care for everyone in their congregations, they often ask, “how do I respond to those in my congregation who are controlling or abusive toward their partners?”

Those who abuse are completely responsible for ending the abuse because they are the ones who brought abuse to the relationship in the first place. For faith leaders, loving and supporting those who abuse means holding them accountable for ending abuse. In other words, faith leaders must give those who abuse the gifts of both compassion and accountability. This balancing act is challenging, not only because perpetrators of abuse can be dangerous, but also because most people who abuse work hard to avoid accountability. So faith leaders have a critically important role to play in holding those who abuse accountable, but that role requires information and guidance that most faith leaders have not yet received. 
In response to this recurring question, Safe Havens has partnered with Dr. David Adams, who is a man of faith and also a national and international expert on how to work with people who abuse, to develop this guide for faith leaders. This resource is intended to point the way and to give faith leaders confidence that we can offer those who abuse both accountability and the compassion and support they need to end the abuse.