Domestic Abuse Advice for parishes

Every person has a right to live their life free from violence, abuse, intimidation and fear. Catholic parishes can play an important role in supporting people and fighting the scourge of domestic abuse

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What can parishes do to support people suffering with domestic abuse during the Covid-19 pandemic?

Since the UK-wide Covid-19 lockdown began on 23 March, there has been a 49% increase in calls and online requests for help relating to domestic abuse. 

Every person has a right to live their life free from violence, abuse, intimidation and fear. Catholic parishes can play an important role in the fighting the scourge of domestic abuse, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. You will find here information and resources for how you can play a part.

1. Raise awareness

Women, men and children are suffering domestic abuse at the hands of husbands, wives, parents and other family members. Violence of this kind should never be tolerated or justified. It is an offence against the dignity of the human person. 

Raising awareness of the prevalence of domestic abuse in our society is as important as ever. 

Here are some ways in which you can spread the message about where and how to get help:

  • Publicise information about helplines on parish websites 
  • Raise the issue in homilies in live-streamed Masses 
  • Raise the issue in homilies published online 
  • Use social media to spread information about how to get help 

Further information:

Helplines and information document. Download here.

Government Domestic Abuse Partner Pack. Download here.

CSAS and NCSC Guidance: Supporting people who may be experiencing domestic violence and abuse. This can be read here.

A Catholic response to domestic abuse. This can be read here.

2. Keeping in contact

Many parishes are using their energy to support people via the phone, emails, and social media. This important work is a way of reminding people that they are not alone. 

We urge you to continue this work, and perhaps to ask yourself, who might be being forgotten? There may be parishioners who don’t usually have a lot of regular contact, for example through parish choir or study groups, and so reaching out to those who might not already be in parish Whatsapp groups or mailing lists is especially important.

3. Support local organisations 

Here you will find a short guide on how you and your parish can practically support local organisations and refuges through collecting and delivering donations for women, men and children living in refuges. 

How to support local domestic abuse services during Covid-19. This can be read here.