The Diocese of Broken Bay has launched a new resource kit to combat domestic violence.
Our families are like schools – they are meant to be places where we learn and teach love. This can only occur when the family is also a ‘school’ of safety and nurturing, and where the flourishing of all individuals and relationships takes focus. Sadly, that is not what we always find. Behind closed doors the reality of many people’s lives is one of verbal, physical, psychological, and sexual abuse.
We might believe that this tragedy occurs only in situations other than our own. Yet, domestic violence can be found in seemingly happy homes and marriages, as much as in homes where there is known separation and brokenness.
According to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures, 1 in 6 Australian women, and 1 in 16 Australian men, have been subjected, since the age of 15, to physical and/or sexual violence by a current or previous cohabiting partner (ABS 2017b).
Through its welfare agency, CatholicCare, the Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay has been proactive for several decades in supporting victims (and perpetrators) of domestic violence, attending to crisis situations, and offering formation in good family living. Today, the Diocese has sought to further raise awareness about Domestic Violence by developing a Resource Kit, A Catholic Response to Domestic Violence. The Kit provides clear information around the Church’s teaching for the dignity and value of the human person, and practical steps of response for everyone in the community – from its leaders and those who support people caught up in this type of violence, and to anyone who considers themselves a Catholic.
The Resource Kit was officially launched to Diocesan leaders in parishes and schools during the annual Diocesan Clergy-Principals day held on Thursday 21 June. “This Kit will be made available to all communities in Broken Bay and highlights how we need to respond as a Catholic community,” said Dr Cristina Gomez, Life, Charity and Social Development Officer for the Diocese.
“We have sought to bring both the reality of this issue to the fore and to include active ways that information and practical support can be shared widely through flyers, posters, key assistance contacts, and prayerful reflections.”
In welcoming the launch of the resource, Most Rev Peter A Comensoli, then-Bishop of Broken Bay, commended the work. “As Church, the living body of Christ, we cannot remain silent. We must collectively and personally denounce a violence which erodes the human person in every way.”
“I encourage you to do whatever you can to act on this issue. Do not be a bystander. Find out now what you can do to help those who are suffering in silence within your community.”
If you or someone you know needs assistance to escape domestic violence, please contact NSW Police. The Diocese of Parramatta primarily through CatholicCare Social Services also assists those in need and can be contacted on (02) 8822 2222 or www.ccss.org.au.
With thanks to the Diocese of Broken Bay.