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What Pastors Can Do


• Recognize that abuse happens, even in your church.

• Work to ensure that your church is a safe place for all.

• Make your church a safe, comfortable place to talk about issues relating to abuse.

• Respect confidentiality.

• Be a good listener—in order to validate the pain and brokenness of victims.

• Withhold judgment while supporting the victims and the family.

• Know what community support is available in order to refer people as appropriate.

• Have information regarding abuse available to your congregations.

• When possible, and as appropriate, support local women's shelters.

• Address issues on abuse from the pulpit.

• Hold perpetrators accountable for their actions.

• Reaffirm the worth of all people.

• Be aware of the barriers victims face.

• Encourage members to talk about abuse.

• Know your limitations in dealing with abuse issues and cases.

• Assist/arrange for the safety and support of victims.



• Use religious teachings and sermons to support abuse.

• Forget that the safety of the victims is most important.

• Deny and minimize violence.

• Ignore, cover, deny or remain silent about abuse.

• Breach the confidentiality of the victim.

• Allow excuses for family violence.

• Assume a role for which you are not trained.

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