The Bishop of Durham – The Rt Revd Paul Butler, addressing conference delegates
On the 23rd of November 2017, we hosted an educational conference geared to empowering faith communities to tackle Domestic Violence & Abuse (DVA) that occurs in their own environments. The conference themed “Foundations For The Future”, was set to lay out a mandate of key objectives to be urgently implemented by faith communities & professionals in addressing the social pandemic in this unique society group, given known challenges examined during the event.
This task was sealed by the signing of a declaration by the 80 delegates & invited guests in attendance, as an act of commitment to participating in the eradication of DVA in faith communities over the long haul. Furthermore, delegates were inspired to set up DVA projects within their faith communities – stand alone or interdependent, to improve practical responses to the multi-dimensional plight of adult & child survivors.
Faith leaders facilitating mandate discussion
Conference guest faith leaders were The Bishop of Durham – The Rt Revd Paul Butler, The Bishop Of The Order Of St Leonards – The Rt Revd Dr David Carr OBE, Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham – The Rt Revd William Kenney C.P., Founder of Imams Against Domestic Violence & Penny Appeal – Imam Abdullah Hasan, Chairperson Of Warwick District Faiths Forum – Jatinder Birdi, Senior Pastor Of Zion City Tabernacle & Founder Of Not Another One – Windsor Queensborough, Nottingham Liberal Jewish Synagogue Rabbi – Tanya Sakhnovich, & Safeguarding Lead Of Archdiocese of Birmingham – Jane Jones. Expert speakers for the event were Dr Lisa Oakley – Visiting Fellow Bournemouth University, Damian Carnell – Director Of End Gendered Abuse, & Kudakwashe Nyakudya – Founding Director Of Kahrmel Wellness.
The mandate laid out is a call for immediate action, for outcomes for adult & child survivors to start developing radically, with vision to extend its progress into the future. Its 24 key objectives include:
- For faith leaders to ensure that faith communities are safe spaces for victims/ survivors, encouraging & assisting them to seek support while challenging perpetrators
- For a general turnaround to be applied in the use of sacred texts – for texts that promote survivors’ welfare & freedom from abuse to be used, instead of those that condemn them for seeking help or those normally misinterpreted by perpetrators to justify their abusive nature
- For judges, court advisors, & legal representatives to be trained on complex dynamics & cultural challenges in faith communities, & appropriate ways of working with this specific society group
- For spiritual healing – which is the linchpin for all round healing for adult & child survivors with a faith – to be facilitated in a safe worship environment
Delegates participating in mandate discussion
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