An ecumenical approach to Domestic Violence


domestic-violence-dvdThe Archdiocesan Commission for Women have joined forces with their Anglican and Uniting Church counterparts in taking an ecumenical approach to the ugly truth of Domestic Violence which continues to plague our society.

Following the ecumenically planned Domestic Violence (DV) Forum held in Canberra in June, plans were put in place for formal discussion in the rural regions throughout the Archdiocese.

As such in late November, Goulburn, Tuross Heads and Cooma hosted workshops on behalf of the deaneries they belong to.

The Western Deanery are looking at holding theirs sometime in 2017, with a date and a venue yet to be determined.

The days at Tuross Heads, Cooma and Goulburn largely followed the Canberra format which worked to the outline of ‘What is Domestic/Family Violence?’

Attendees heard presentations from people who had been involved in domestic violence as well as from a number of local community professionals who are there to assist at various stages of such violence.

Members of these panels included the police, members of crisis centres and housing refuges (where they exist), the Aboriginal and multicultural communities, legal aid and lawyers, court support groups, emergency housing organisations, Centrelink representatives, a doctor, CatholicCare and other Church care groups.

Margaret Ryan, a spokesperson for the Commission, believed that the broad spectrum of representatives

“Such people are not only competent and compassionate, but very generous in their time and efforts to assist those experiencing family violence.

A booklet created and produced by the Uniting Church, called For Such a Time as This was made available at all venues.

The Commission opted to stage the forums in “neutral venues” with the idea being that it might entice a wide range of attendees in the local communities.

A 30 minute DVD has been created of late for those who could not attend any of the forums.

It is broken into five short sections which allows for discussion and conversation.

Strongly endorsed by Archbishop Christopher Prowse, the DVD will be delivered to schools (parish copies need to be collected from local Catholic schools) from December 13.

Mrs Ryan said the DVD would have appeal to many different groups and demographics.

“It would be beneficial for school boards, P&Fs, staffs, and perhaps students from Year 10 upwards, as well as for parish teams, pastoral councils, and parishioners generally.

In order to fund the Domestic Violence project, apart from the Archdiocese, the Commission received donations from Australian Catholic University, the Catholic Development Fund, Catholic Superannuation and Retirement Fund, the Canberra and Goulburn Anglican diocese, the Uniting Church and CatholicCare.

“The Commission is very grateful to them all,” Mrs Ryan said before offering a prayer for the success of the DVD.

“We pray that in this season, when we prepare our hearts for the coming of the Prince of Peace, this DVD is a timely gift to parishes and schools from the Commission.”

For statistics on Domestic Violence in Australia go to

If you are experiencing Domestic Violence call 000.