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Considerations and Database for Faith-Based Services

Your Service:
  • Is staffed by people with relevant qualifications for working with sexual assault, domestic violence and related trauma?
  • If not equipped to deal with sexual assault, will refer and support to services that are so she gets the help she needs?
  • Understands that partner rape is against the law?
  • Understands that IPSV is as serious and traumatic as other forms of sexual assault and does not minimise it in any way?
  • Understands that IPSV happens in relationships not always characterized by other forms of abuse?
  • Understands that IPSV is one of the most common forms of sexual assault, and entails the highest levels of physical injury and repeated rape?
  • Does not confront the perpetrator about IPSV or other violence a female parishioner discloses; understands that this can be extremely dangerous?
  • Does not believe that women often lie about sexual assault?
  • Understands that IPSV may carry some different psychological and physical issues to other types of domestic and sexual violence and is important in itself?
  • Understands that sexual assault may be other than very violent i.e. sex using verbal coercion is also sexual assault?
  • Avoids dangerously simplistic advice to abused women such as "Read the Bible","Submit" or "It's God's will that you stay"?
  • Asks sensitive but articulate questions about IPSV when confronted with domestic violence?
  • Believes that sexual assault is the responsibility of the perpetrator and does not suggest that it is a woman's "sin" causing it?
  • Places the value of women's safety over saving marriages; understands that sexual assault is a covenant-breaker and does not make blanket statements about divorce being a "sin"?
  • Refuses to act as character witness for an abuser in court becase he has "converted" or changed his behaviour for five minutes?
  • Avoids blaming language such as "Why do you stay" or "What did you do to make him rape you?"
  • Is conversant with possibly concurrent survivor issues such as PTSD or substance abuse?
  • Recognises the importance of clearly naming IPSV as sexual assault, yet understands this can be distressing and has support strategies in place?
  • Liaises with other community organizations useful for survivors of sexual assault and domestic abuse?
  • Is completely confidential (excepting if a client is a danger to herself or others, or minors are being harmed)?
  • Understands that joint marriage or couples counselling can further endanger abused women?
  • Is skeptical of abusers who profess conversion without undergoing lengthy treatment and absent other signs of change?
  • Understands that more than prayer or conversion is needed if a perpetrator is to change abusive patterns?
  • Avoids pressure about forgiving abusers and does not label emotions such as anger "sinful"?

Thank you for reading these considerations. If you are sure that your service is IPSV Survivor-Friendly, please click here go to the Faith-based services database and enter your information.

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