Domestic violence and a Christian response

SASKATOON – “Domestic violence hurts everybody” was the topic of at the fall event held by the Nor’Western Zone of Central District, LWMLC.

Heather Pocock

Heather Pocock

Featured speaker was Heather Pocock from the Saskatoon Sexual Assault Centre (SSAIC). Having to leave an abusive marriage with her two small children she made it her life’s goal to help others get out of the revolving-door syndrome of domestic abuse. After volunteering at the Centre she began working at Interval House, an emergency shelter for abused women and their children. Heather then moved on to the local YWCA where she dealt with women experiencing multiple social issues such as domestic violence, poverty, psychological and substance abuse.
When her daughter-in-law was murdered, she quit the shelter, not wanting to work any longer with violence. However, later she applied her talents and experience with the Sexual Assault Centre in community awareness and administration, with school children and adolescents, Heather uses a puppetry-based school program: “I am the boss of me!” to talk about healthy/safe relationships. Annually, 2,500 children are reached by teachers and university medical and nursing students, trained to recognize and handle abuse cases.
Heather’s involvement with Interval House and the YWCA qualified her to speak about domestic abuse in general. Domestic violence is emotionally damaging and seldom black and white. Trained personnel try to give victims tools to make better decisions, point them to seek help from police, government agencies like a Domestic Violence Court and/or child protection agencies and sound legal advice.
We learned much from Heather’s frank and compassionate talk. It made us wonder: Where is love in abuse situations? It prepared us to dig into God’s Word.
Judy Grande. former national president, wrote a Bible study on domestic abuse specifically for this event and then led it. She connected beautifully to what Heather told us and we searched for the will of God in all of this. Clearly, abuse and violence happened throughout the chapters of the Bible but they were not God’s will. It is our sin that gets us into trouble.
The Bible study deals systematically with what God’s Word has to teach and looks at our response. It shows us God’s will for our lives; asks the question: am I, or is someone around me, a victim of abuse? We looked at relationships between Saul and David and Nabal and Abigail to see what we could learn from them. The Bible clearly states that abuse is sin but God gives us a plan for action; repentance and forgiveness. It is God who provides wisdom and promises.
The study closes with a prayer for God’s help to trust Him above all things. Titled “What is Love?” it is available from the LWMLC Resource Centre, order number C-15-67.
Renate Bishopp

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