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Parish Resource Kit to support our response to domestic violence


2016 Statement by Victorian Bishops


Parish Brochure - Responding to domestic and family violence
Statement by Bishop Vincent Long, February 2016 
A prayer to end domestic and family violence 

Victorian Government 10 year strategy Transforming our approach, November 2016  

New app connects women to local services: 1800RESPECTDownload Daisy here
Ugandan Bishop:  We cannot keep silent 

 
Domestic Violence
Save the date! On Sunday 2 December 2018, an ecumenical service to remember the victims and survivors of domestic and relationship violence, Holding the Light, will be held at St Peter's Anglican Church, 315 Gisborne Street, East Melbourne, from 2.30pm - 3.30pm. Find out more, here
In response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, many organisations have redoubled their efforts to ensure they respond properly to known or suspected incidents of abuse. To facilitate learning, the Australian Safeguarding Network held an online webcast in October, Abuse in Organisations: Prevention is Better for Everyone, delivered by Professor Stephen Smallbone. It provided information about preventing child sexual abuse by assessing and mitigating the situational risks in community services organisations and activities.
Many women coming to court to get intervention orders against a violent partner have no alternative but to bring their children along, according to a new report released by Ms Felicity Broughton, Deputy Chief Magistrate on behalf of RMIT’s Centre for Innovative Justice (CIJ) and McAuley Community Services for Women.
The leaders of Catholic Religious Australia and the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference have welcomed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s national apology on 22 October to survivors of institutional child sexual abuse and recommitted to working with the community to eliminate the scourge of child sexual abuse.
‘Chaos’, ‘War zone’, ‘domestic terrorism’, ‘lost childhood’, ‘uncertainty’, ‘tangle’, ‘why me?’, ‘is there a way out?’ These were just some of the words used to describe family and domestic violence by participants in an interactive workshop hosted by Catholic Social Services Victoria last week with Sr Nicole Rotaru rsm. Twenty participants from Melbourne parishes attended the workshop in order to increase their understanding of domestic and family violence and its impact, particularly from the perspective of women and children.
Our July edition of Catholic Parishes Serving the Community newsletter aims to highlight news and events of interest to Catholic parishes and social services agencies. It highlights the ways in which our parishes are assisting, or can further assist the pressing needs of refugees and people seeking asylum, and the ways in which parishes can assist people impacted by domestic and family violence. View the full newsletter, here.
Jesuit Social Services’ Men’s Project has been established to provide leadership on the reduction of violence and other harmful behaviours prevalent among boys and men, and to build new approaches to improve their wellbeing and keep families and communities safe.
The Diocese of Broken Bay has a comprehensive set of resources to assist the Catholic community in gaining a deeper understanding of domestic and family violence, and how to best respond. The resources which come under the title, Catholic Response to Family Violence, include a booklet, fast facts, Catholic social teaching on domestic violence, a prayer, and relevant support programs and response information. Each of these resources can be accessed on this page.
Sr Nicole Rotaru rsm has worked with women and children in many settings to build understanding of family violence, particularly as it affects children and their mothers. On Wednesday 25 July, from 1.30pm - 4.00pm, Nicole will lead a workshop for parishes at the Cardinal Knox Centre, East Melbourne. This workshop will help participants respond to people who have been affected, and to assist them in rebuilding their lives.

Together with ThinkPrevent, Catholic Social Services Victoria is hosting a workshop on Bystander Intervention for parishes and those keen to respond, to the prevention of family violence and violence against women. The workshop will be held at the Cardinal Knox Centre, 383 Albert Street, East Melbourne, from 6pm (for 6.30pm start). Dr Ree Boddé, CEO of ThinkPrevent will speak.

'Holding The Light', an ecumenical service of remembrance for victims and survivors of domestic violence was held on Sunday 26 November to remember those who have been killed this year through family violence. During the service, the bell tolled 42 times to pay tribute to the women who were murdered by someone known to them between Jan-Nov 26, 2017 in Australia.
 
The Service organiser and Director of ThinkPrevent, Dr Ree Boddé, also provided this powerful address, which was delivered to 200 plus delegates at the Bendigo Interfaith Conference held on 12 November 2017: "There is never a religious, a cultural, a societal justification for violence against women. Period."  Click here to listen.
 
Women escaping domestic violence who are forced to seek temporary refuge in motels will benefit from a new crisis centre in Adelaide’s northern suburbs. The Vinnies Women’s Crisis Centre was officially opened on 8 October in a ceremony led by Sr Meredith Evans RSM and attended by Vinnies national and state presidents Graham West and Cathy Beaton. Vinnies chief executive officer David Wark said, “It was clear to us a couple of years ago that Vinnies could make a difference to outcomes for women at risk, who are often housed in motel accommodation, and we set about making that happen. This new service will provide a wrap-around service where women and their children will have the support of the whole Vinnies community.”
 
Our latest Catholic Parishes Serving the Community newsletter contains news about local parishes serving in their community including St Dominic's East Camberwell and Holy Eucharist St Albans South; events of interest, in particular an upcoming evening forum to assist parishes in supporting asylum seekers, on 11 October; along with important in depth articles  that will assist the parish community to understand more deeply the issues of homeless and youth justice, and what role we can play in lessening their detrimental effects within the community.
 
Download the full newsletter, here.
Pope Francis has condemned "verbal and physical violence towards women" and called for "respect" while addressing large crowds on a recent visit to Colombia. The Argentine pontiff, the first Pope to visit the country in over three decades, said that the Bible celebrates women who are strong and influential.
 
"How many women, in silence, have persevered alone?" he asked those gathered in the city of Villavicencio, Colombia, where the Pope travelled to show support for the country's peace process. Read the full BBC story here.
Catholic parishes play an important role in supporting and serving the most vulnerable within their local communities. Whether it be in the assistance of material, financial or relational support to newly arrived asylum seekers, or being aware and knowing what to do in the situations of family and domestic violence, or reaching out to an elderly or isolated neighbour, we all have a role to play in bringing to life the Gospel message.


Following the release of the Victorian bishop’s statement condemning family and domestic violence earlier this year, and the distribution of the resource kit to parishes, Catholic Social Services Victoria is continuing its work in providing ongoing support for parishes and providing opportunities for clergy, pastoral staff, and parishioners to increase their skills in responding well to people experiencing family violence. We are in the process of developing a training package tailored specifically to people and organisations within the Catholic community.
 

McAuley Works are a free outreach service who specialise in working with women overcoming Family Violence, mental health and homelessness to find and sustain employment. They also have great success collaborating with services who are already supporting clients in other matters and just need extra assistance in finding, applying for and starting work. Women are referred to the program through McAuley Care and McAuley House as well as from other Victorian agencies.

Following the call of Victorian Bishops, Catholic Social Services Victoria has developed a resource kit for parishes in order to help them better respond to domestic and family violence. The resource kits are being distributed to every parish in Victoria, plus leading social services organisations and include a variety of important resources, which can be found on this page.
Fr Andy Hamilton SJ of Jesuit Social Services and Eureka Street has provided further comment on the recent statement released by the Victorian Bishops condemning family and domestic violence. Fr Andy identifies the need to build on the Bishops' statement, in the provision of support services, and in reflecting on the role of alcohol and of pornography in creating a culture within which violence can occur. 
 
Read Fr Andy's article in Eureka Street, here.
The Victorian Bishops released a statement on 29 November 2016 condemning domestic and family violence in the strongest possible terms, and have called on the whole Church community to work together in preventing violence. "Our goal must be a society where all people are safe in their home, families and close relationships; where violence and abuse are not acceptable; and where all relationships respect the equality and dignity of each person. This is part of the Gospel vision of love and respect."
 
 
 
 

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