What can we do about it? Prepare our ecclesias to be a refuge for the victims
It is the essence of true religion to care for the fatherless and widows and preparing our ecclesias to do this must be a priority for every ecclesia.
Is our ecclesia prepared to provide food and safety, perhaps sanctuary - secret shelter for a victim and her children - maybe for a long time? Are we prepared for the ‘long haul’ - the time it will take to break the cycle of abuse and the time and constant effort it will take to support the abuser through realisation, confession, repentance and genuine rehabilitation if this ideal outcome is possible? Are we prepared for the time it might take for the victim to overcome the grief and shame of their ordeal and be able to face the ecclesia, let alone the abuser? Are we prepared to face the possible indignation of the abuser when they may have to accept restrictions on their participation in ecclesial activities until the victim is ready?
If this article raises concerns you have about domestic violence in your own life or those around you can call 1800RESPECT (If in Australia) or similar services in other countries. There is also a list of support services on this website including Christadelphian Support Services.
Image: By D. Sharon Pruitt from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, USA (Two Friends In The Woods) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons