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Domestic Violence Project

What is it? 

The aim of the project is “to recognise and increase awareness of family and domestic violence in church parishes and to develop skills for clergy and lay leaders to respond when instances of family and domestic violence become known.” 

Background

Assistance was given to the NSW Ecumenical Council (NSWEC), through the NCCA's Glenburnie Program, to conduct workshops in local parishes for clergy, Sunday school teachers and lay persons in leadership positions on how to identify and respond to parishioners who are living with family or domestic violence.

Oliver Slewa was appointed to the position of Family and Domestic Violence project officer and started on 28 September 2020. Oliver is a Deacon in the Assyrian Church of the East, a lawyer with extensive experience working at Legal Aid as well as, on a voluntary basis, conducting groups for men who are newly arrived refugees and that focus on family relationships in a new country. 

About the Project

  • The project conducted 8 workshops and forums for clergy and lay leaders in Christian faith organisations attended by nearly 200 people. The evaluations have been very positive.
  • The project officer was invited to present at a domestic violence conference and was invited as a guest speaker to 11 family and domestic violence meetings and events, some for faith leaders. In the annexure are the details of the meetings, events and other information pertaining to the project. 
  • The work that the Glenburnie Fund grant enabled, resulted in a successful grant application to another funding grant to continue the work in 2022. The same project officer will continue the work.

Visit the NSWEC website for more information about the NSWEC Domestic Violence Project  

Project outcomes:

1. Development of suitable resources with information about referral agencies for clergy and lay persons in churches:

  • A support services poster designed and finalised with 80+ contact details for domestic and family violence services. Poster translated and printed into 22 languages.
  • Support Services pamphlet, DL size also translated and printed in 21 community languages. 
  • Resource booklet for clergy and lay leaders addressing family and domestic violence in the context of the Christian faith.

2. Data from the NSW Police about family and domestic violence reports by LGA has been used to compile a database with about 1300 church contacts in these LGAs. This is used to target churches in these LGAs with invitations to workshops and forums. Church and lay leaders from other LGAs are also welcome to attend.

3. “Declaration of Unity”  Church leaders are asked to declare to stand up against family and domestic violence in their church communities and display the poster. Attendees at the workshops and forums are also provided with the Declaration and asked to sign and promote it. Declaration of Unity - Google doc form

4. Workshops and forums: These events have several guest speakers such as a community liaison officer, often the multicultural liaison officer of a local police command, a representative from the NSW victims support service and a solicitor who specialises in AVOs. There was a high number of attendees from migrant communities. Several pastors asked for ongoing contact to be supported in managing family and domestic violence situations in their community.  

Resources

The printed resources can be downloaded from the NSW Ecumenical Council website. If you would like to receive a printed copy of the Support Services, please email the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject line: ‘order for Support Services poster’. Images below are samples only.

Large poster - English
Tri fold pamphlet - English
 
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