This section lists organizations, campaigns and initiatives addressing the connections between gender-based violence and religion/faith/spirituality. Also included are resources developed by these organizations to address gender-based violence and intersecting forms of social injustices within their respective faith/religion communities. Note that this list is not meant to be exhaustive but rather a starting point for faith leaders and domestic violence advocates as they seek education, tools and opportunities for partnership building and collaboration.
FaithTrust Institute is a national, multifaith, multicultural training and education organization with global reach working to end sexual and domestic violence. FaithTrust works with many communities, including Asian and Pacific Islander, Buddhist, Jewish, Latino/a, Muslim, Black, Anglo, Indigenous, Protestant and Roman Catholic. FaithTrust Institute offers a variety of training and consulting services for your congregation, denomination, seminary, or organization on the intersection of religion and domestic violence, healthy teen relationships, sexual violence, healthy boundaries for clergy and spiritual teachers, prevention of sexual abuse by clergy, and child abuse. FaithTrust Institute’s education and training resources create awareness, increase capacity for change and accountability, build local and national networks, and facilitate secular and religious collaboration.
Safe Havens Interfaith Partnership Against Domestic Violence and Elder Abuse is a national, faith-based non-profit agency dedicated to strengthening the capacity of diverse faith communities to engage in a coordinated effort to end domestic and family violence. Working as a bridge between diverse religious communities and social service providers, Safe Havens creates systemic change by providing education, resources, advocacy, and technical support to improve access to services for all persons affected by domestic violence.
Transforming Communities: Technical Assistance, Training, and Resource Center (TC-TAT) is a national technical assistance, training, and resource center that advances new practices, skills, movement building, and policies to prevent violence against women and related forms of abuse, including domestic violence, sexual assault, teen dating violence and gender-based bullying. TC-TAT offers ongoing technical assistance to support advocates around organizing in faith communities
CONNECT Faith, a NYC non-profit offers customized training programs for clergy, seminarians, members of faith-based communities and lay leaders, guidance on changing the beliefs and practices that lead to abuse, assistance in developing religious and culturally relevant programs and policies, referrals for faith-based counseling for victims, survivors and perpetrators, training for secular advocates and agencies in effective ways of addressing a client’s religious and spiritual concerns. A monthly Interfaith Theological Roundtable offers ongoing supportive and educational and healing space to discuss the practical, pastoral, theological and spiritual challenges of working with victims and perpetrators of violence in a faith-based context.
Baha’is of the United States have worked for more than a century to advance the status of women by advocating policies and legislation that promote gender equality. They also collaborate with national coalitions on legislation against domestic violence; education on the health implications of violence against women; promotion of complete gender integration in development planning; and advocacy against international gender-based violence.” Advancing Toward the Equality of Women and Men reviews the endeavors of the Bahá’í community to this end. Guidelines for Local Spiritual Assemblies on Domestic Violence offers a policy statement and recommendations for addressing domestic violence in the context of Bahá’í principles, laws, and exhortations.
Peaceful Families Project (PFP) is an organization with international reach that recognizes domestic violence is a form of oppression that affects people of all faiths. Its mission is to work towards ending all types of abuse in Muslim families by increasing awareness regarding the dynamics of domestic violence. PFP, in partnership with the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence, has published a Directory of Domestic Violence Programs Serving Muslims and the guide, Islamic Marriage Contracts: A Resource Guide for Legal Professionals, Advocates, Imams & Communities.
Karamah: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights “is a U.S.-based nonprofit organization that derives its name from the Arabic term 'karamah,' which means dignity. KARAMAH’s vision and mission are informed by the view that a just society values the informed participation of its members through the pursuit of knowledge, access to opportunities, and equity among all 'children of Adam,' regardless of gender or other differences. Through education, legal outreach, and advocacy, KARAMAH contributes to the understanding and promotion of human rights worldwide, particularly the rights of Muslim women under Islamic and civil law.”
Project Sakinah is an initiative of Dar al Islam, a religious and educational nonprofit founded in 1979, with a history of innovative projects designed to deepen the appreciation of both Muslim and non-Muslim Americans for Islam. “It is an effort to build the public will necessary to achieve lasting change in the attitudes and behaviors of Muslims around the issue of violence within families... Project Sakinah’s strategy is centered on the principle that by gathering our community we can stop family violence. Ours is a grassroots movement to change people’s behavior surrounding taboo issues such as domestic violence; child, sibling and elderly abuse; and child molestation within Muslim American families. We gather advocates, imams, survivors, families and friends to prevent family violence in various ways.” They offer an online Directory of Services for Muslims dealing with relationship issues and family violence.
Jewish Women International (JWI) is a national Jewish organization focused on empowering women and girls through economic literacy; community training; healthy relationship education; and promoting women’s leadership. JWI’s “programs, advocacy and philanthropic initiatives protect the fundamental rights of all girls and women to live in safe homes, thrive in healthy relationships, and realize the full potential of their personal strength.” Information about JWI's various initiatives to empower women can be accessed via their website, in addition to a comprehensive guide for Jewish clergy on domestic abuse.
National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a “grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms.”
Jewish Coalition Against Domestic Abuse (JCADA) seeks to “support victims of domestic abuse to become empowered and obtain safe environments; educate community professionals and others about domestic abuse and appropriate responses to it; and prevent future generations from suffering domestic abuse by raising awareness.” JCADA serves the metro Washington, D.C. region.
Counseling, Helpline & Aid Network for Abused Women (CHANA) seeks to “aid individuals in the Jewish community who are victims of domestic violence by providing support, counseling and assistance, empowering women to create a safe environment for themselves and their families.” CHANA serves the greater Baltimore, MD region.
Jewish Institute Supporting an Abuse-Free Environment (JSAFE) “works to promote a Jewish community in which all of its institutions and organizations conduct themselves responsibly and effectively in addressing the wrongs of domestic violence, child abuse and professional improprieties, whenever and by whomever they are perpetrated.”
FOCUS Ministries “is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization offering hope, encouragement, support, education, spiritual direction, and assistance to teens, women, and families who experience domestic violence, destructive relationships, separation, or divorce.” This organization also provides training and resources for churches to address domestic violence in their congregations.
The Rave Project “seeks to equip religious leaders to respond to domestic violence in ways that are compassionate, practical, and informed by the latest research and best practices for professionals; Rave seeks to build bridges between the steeple and the shelter; Rave seeks to walk alongside victims and survivors on their jouney towards healing and wholeness; Rave seeks to hold abusers accountable for their actions, while offering hope for a transformed life.”
Peace and Safety in the Christian Home (PASCH) “is a biblically-based international network providing spiritual insights, practical resources and positive guidance to all those who in any way address domestic violence. Its outreach extends to victims, perpetrators, law enforcement, medical personnel, shelter workers, safe home providers, social workers, clergy, therapists and counselors. The primary emphasis is on God's pattern of peace and safety in the home and on the deterrence of domestic violence and abuse.”
Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE) International “is a nonprofit organization of Christian men and women who believe that the Bible, properly interpreted, teaches the fundamental equality of men and women of all ethnic groups, all economic classes, and all age groups, based on the teachings of Scriptures such as Galatians 3:28.” CBE International offers a variety of articles and resources to address abuse.
A Better Way Ministry Inc. seeks to “aid in the eradication of Family and Domestic Violence through prevention, awareness, and intervention campaigns. Addressing the Screaming Silence of Family and Domestic Violence by hosting up to date training and intervention events. The traumatizing effects of Domestic Violence is far reaching and can be devastating to those who are around and witnesses the abuse.” A Better Way Ministry Inc. operates the National Dedicated Domestic Violence 24/7 Prayer/Text/Helpline, which is available to “help survivors assess the danger they are in, and to provide prayer, help and support in conjunction with local authorities in Emergency situations.”
Evangelical Covenant Church addresses sexual assault and its related concern, domestic violence, through the Advocacy for Victims of Abuse (AVA) initiative. “As a church we acknowledge the reality of brokenness and sin in the world as well as the power of the community to heal brokenness through Jesus Christ. AVA informs, educates, and raises awareness in our congregations and communities.”
Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is “a worldwide ministry of Anabaptist churches, shares God’s love and compassion for all in the name of Christ by responding to basic human needs and working for peace and justice. MCC envisions communities worldwide in right relationship with God, one another and creation.” MCC has developed information and tools to help address domestic violence.
Daughters of The King is an initiative that focuses on the unique circumstances of women who are affiliated with churches that have their “root” (foundation) in the Pentecostal & Holiness Movements or churches that are Non-Denominational. This initiative has been designed to raise awareness of domestic violence in the church community, empower victims/survivors seeking help, and educate supporters. This is accomplished through presentations, training and resource development. Daughters of The King is a project of SOIREE (Sisters of Intellect, Righteous, Elegant & Enlighten) the women’s department of True Test Ministries, Inc.
Presbyterians Against Domestic Violence Network (PADVN) “welcomes those who promote non-violence in all relationships. They provide advocacy and resources for the prevention of and healing from societal and domestic violence.” Their website offers a variety of free resources including tools for pastors and congregational leadership to address domestic violence.
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) “is an assembly of the hierarchy of the United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands who jointly exercise certain pastoral functions on behalf of the Christian faithful of the United States.” USCCB has addressed the issue of domestic violence in the statement “When I Call For Help: A Pastoral Response To Domestic Violence Against Women.”
Catholics for Family Peace Organizing Group is a group of people working together to create a coordinated Catholic response to prevent domestic violence and to promote interpersonal and family peace.
Seventh Day Adventist
North American Division of Seventh Day Adventist Women’s Ministries seeks to “model Jesus Christ through meaningful relationships and effective ministries.”
enditnow is a global campaign to raise awareness and advocate for the end of violence against women and girls around the world. It aims to mobilize Adventists around the world and invites other community groups to join in to resolve this worldwide issue. This campaign, which extends to more than 200 countries and territories, was launched in October 2009 in partnership between the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), a prominent humanitarian organization, and the Department of Women's Ministries of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, two entities that are representative of the Adventist Church.
Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) has developed resources to offer education and model policies for safer congregations. Unitarian Universalism is “a religion that celebrates diversity of belief and is guided by seven principles. Our congregations are places where we gather to nurture our spirits and put our faith into action through social justice work in our communities and the wider world.” UUA recognizes that the work of anti-racism and anti-oppression is essentially spiritual work.
United Church of Christ
United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries “is one of four Covenanted Ministries in the UCC, helping local congregations and all settings of the church respond to God's commandments to do justice, seek peace and effect change for a better world. The work of JWM is guided by the pronouncements and resolutions approved by the UCC at General Synod.” UCC has made an effort to provide tools for faith leaders on domestic and sexual violence.