Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Domestic Violence Awareness

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The bishops' pastoral response to domestic violence against women states, in part:
Violence against women in the home has serious repercussions for children. Over 50 percent of men who abuse their wives also beat their children. Children who grow up in violent homes are more likely to develop alcohol and drug addictions and to become abusers themselves. The stage is set for a cycle of violence that may continue from generation to generation.

The Church can help break this cycle. Many abused women seek help first from the Church because they see it as a safe place. Even if their abusers isolate them from other social contacts, they may still allow them to go to church. Recognizing the critical role that the Church can play, we address this statement to several audiences:

- To women who are victims of violence and who may need the Church's help to break out of their pain and isolation;

- To pastors, parish personnel, and educators, who are often the first responders for abused women;

-To men who abuse and may not know how to break out of the cycle of violence; and

-To society, which has made some strides towards recognizing the extent of domestic violence against women.

We recognize that violence against women has many dimensions. This statement is not meant to be all-inclusive, but rather to be an introduction, along with some practical suggestions of what dioceses and parishes can do now.

We suggest that you read the entire statement.