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Saturday, October 2, 2021

I am a domestic abuse survivor

I am a domestic abuse survivor. Parish priests must do more to support people like me

The COVID-19 lockdown has caused a worldwide spike in violence against women, according to surveys around the world, points out Constance Phelps in a commentary for NCR at the start of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. 

"While some consider the problem intractable and outside the purview of the Catholic Church, daily parish activities abound with lost opportunities to reshape the cultural and moral environment in which abuse flourishes," she writes, adding that in her experience, domestic abuse has an uneasy and myopic relationship with parish life. 

"The actual experience of being both a churchgoing Catholic and domestic abuse survivor is too often one of frustrated invisibility, listening to homilies that you know are inadvertently pressuring people to stay in abusive and dangerous situations," she writes. "Vague homilies warn against judgment, state that we are all sinners and imply that all our sins are equal, and then turn that idea into a prescription for blanket forgiveness and forbearance."

You can read more of the commentary here.


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