Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
We’re in our Spring Fundraiser and you can help! Support KSMU programming today!

Workshop trains faith leaders to respond to domestic abuse

Brochures from the training.
Chris Drew
/
KSMU News
Brochures from the training.

Members of Harmony House, the Greene County Family Justice Center, Women’s Medical Respite and Missouri Faith Voices partnered with North Carolina-based Called to Peace Ministries to provide the training.

Greene County consistently has one of the highest rates of domestic abuse in Missouri. Local organizations hope after a day of training Thursday area faith leaders are a bit more prepared to help their communities respond to that violence.

Members of Harmony House, the Greene County Family Justice Center, Women’s Medical Respite and Missouri Faith Voices partnered with North Carolina-based Called to Peace Ministries to provide the workshop, which focused on educating faith leaders on the signs and experience of domestic abuse and best practices in supporting individuals experiencing abuse.

Attendee Rev. Dr. Orin Cummings of Messiah Lutheran and co-organizer Kai Sutton with Missouri Faith Voices and the Springfield NAACP stepped out to speak with KSMU.

Sutton said often faith leaders may not know what they don’t know.

“Something like this will give them the tools to be able to support victims of domestic violence,” Sutton explained, “because victims of domestic violence are in church congregations every Sunday and may not be speaking out.”

Presenters focused on signs of abuse and best practices for maintaining confidence and trust of victims while providing practical support and connection to community resources. They discussed the barriers that keep people stuck in abusive situations and worked to make sure attendees understand the experience of victims, all while utilizing their faith as a point of strength.

Reverend Cummings said he saw value in learning the signs of abuse and building his network and knowledge of community resources. He would like to see more faith leaders taking on this issue and at workshops like this.

Rev. Cummings said, “when we look at the statistics of how much domestic abuse is in our constituencies, we should be very concerned, and we should have the resources to be able to deal with it.”

If you or someone you love is a victim of domestic violence, contact Harmony House in Springfield at 417-864-7233 and online at myharmonyhouse.org