One in four churchgoers in abusive relationships, UK study finds

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

March 26, 2018

By Julia Baird and Hayley Gleeson

One in four churchgoers has experienced domestic abuse in their current relationship, according to a new study in Britain.

The research, conducted in Cumbria by academics at Coventry University and the University of Leicester in conjunction with Christian charity Restored, has led to urgent calls for churches in Britain and Australia to expose and counter abuse in their midst, with the authors finding more priests need to publicly condemn abuse “from the pulpit”.

Almost half of those who sought help from their church (47.2 per cent) said they were unlikely to do so again, if they experienced abuse in the future.

Only two in seven thought their church was adequately equipped to deal with a disclosure of abuse.

Mandy Marshall, a co-founder of Restored, a global Christian alliance that aims to end violence against women, said: “One of the biggest barriers we have faced is Christians not believing that domestic abuse could happen in their church.”

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