Australian Broadcasting Corporation
November 27, 2017
By Hayley Gleeson
The national body of the Baptist Church in Australia has formally apologised to victims of domestic violence who it says have been let down by churches’ “ignorance” and “failure” to care for abused congregants.
As women begin to publicly tell their stories of domestic abuse for the first time, Baptist leaders have called for recognition “that we have a serious problem with domestic and sexual violence in churches”, and momentum is growing for significant cultural change across Australian denominations.
On Monday, Common Grace, a group of 35,000 Australian Christians from different denominations, published an educational resource, called Safer, calling on the church to “collectively and loudly cry ‘no more'”.
In it they write: “In recent years, the Australian media has shone a spotlight on violence within the home. Communities have rallied to the cause.
“But many church members have not yet been able to wrestle with the idea that they are likely to have victims — and abusers — sitting next to them in Sunday services.”
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