Two international Anglican bodies have published “a major new resource” to help churches cope with the fact that sheltering in place makes it much more difficult to discover whether domestic abuse is occurring.
The 23-page document (PDF) from the Anglican Consultative Council and the Anglican Alliance is based on the work of Anglican and Episcopal contributors from several countries, including the United States. An excerpt:
National domestic abuse helplines in many countries have seen a huge surge in calls. It is not the government measures that have caused the abuse, as that responsibility and choice remains with the perpetrator, more that the measures can hinder survivors gaining the support needed or escaping from the abuse. The increased fear, tension and lack of money can worsen a toxic environment where abuse can thrive unchallenged.
The Church is well placed within communities to be a light and refuge in times of need and can reach into communities where governments cannot. Our Christian call is to love one another as Christ loved us and not to turn away from our own flesh and blood. This document is a guide to equip church leaders and churchgoers (laity) to be able to respond to domestic abuse in line with good practice.