October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Faith communities should be a primary resource for fighting the scourge of sexual violence, but too often they have been complicit, advancing messages of purity, obedience, and gender-based hierarchies. Often times this is unconscious, and could be stopped. You can help break the silence. The trailer above is for “I Believe You,” a video resource. Click on “more” to learn about this interfaith project.
I BELIEVE YOU: Faiths’ Response to Intimate Partner Violence, is an extraordinary interfaith documentary that explores the stories of survivors of abuse and the response of faith groups to address their needs.
Produced with the support of The New York Board of Rabbis, United Methodist Women, Presbyterian Women, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and a consortium of Muslim organizations, this one-hour program, featuring the music of Janis Ian, airs as part of the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission’s Visions and Values Series.
From rural programs such as the Susanna Wesley Family Learning Center in Missouri to urban programs such as First Step in Michigan, from prevention programs such as Healthy Relationships held at Camp Herzl in Wisconsin, to recognition programs like the Mikveh Attendants program in New Jersey, from support groups at Emma’s Place in Minnesota to healing programs at Mayyim Hayyim in Massachusetts, faith groups areexploring ways to support, advocate for and help aid the healing of those who have been harmed by abuse.
The program is filled with the hard won wisdom of survivors and the insight and understanding of clergy and program leaders including:
The Reverend Willard W.C. Ashley, Sr., D. Min., D. H., Director of Field Education, New Brunswick Theological Seminary;
The Reverend Barbara Certa-Werner, Executive Director, Harbor House Crisis Shelter;
Antonia Clemente,C o-Founder and Executive Director, Trinity Healing Center;
Rabbi Mark Dratch, Founder, JSAFE;
Rabbi Diana Gerson, Executive Director, Dayenu! Enough Silence!;
The Reverend Dr. Marie M. Fortune, Founder, FaithTrust Institute;
Rabbi Lisa Gelber, Associate Dean, The Rabbinical School, The Jewish Theological Seminary;
Imam Khalid Latif, Executive Director, The Islamic Center, NYU, and Chaplain, NYPD;
Robina Niaz, Founder and Executive Director, Turning Point: Services for Muslim Women and Families;
Harriett Jane Olson, Chief Executive Officer, United Methodist Women;
Dr. Nancy Nason-Clark, Founder, The Rave Project (Religion and Violence E-Learning Project);
The Reverend Diane Smalley, survivor and former Co-Moderator, Presbyterians Against Domestic Violence;
The Reverend Ann Tiemeyer, Program Director, Women’s Ministry, National Council of Churches;
The Reverend Traci C. West, Ph.D., author, Wounds of the Spirit: Black Women, Violence, and Racism.