In order to raise awareness within the Catholic community of domestic abuse and the impact upon victims and their children, the National Board of Catholic Women (NBCW) has released a booklet that offers pastoral care and guidance.
Commending the booklet, the Bishops’ Conference liaison to the NBCW, Abbot Hugh Allan, O.Praem, believes its publication is particularly timely: ‘At a time when the crisis around the pandemic has seen an increase in cases of domestic abuse, this timely booklet from the National Board of Catholic Women is an excellent resource for all of us.
‘The masterpiece of creation is a human being. This great dignity is the birthright of everyone. The welfare and safety of all God’s children is a something every Christian has a responsibility to act upon. No one should ever live in fear of violence or of any kind of abuse.’
The booklet contains notes on Church teaching on violence in relationships – including extracts from the 2016 apostolic exhortation ‘Amoris Laetitia’ – and provides useful links and resources to help both those suffering in various situations of domestic abuse and also survivors who need time, space and help to recover. Preventing and combating domestic abuse is a shared responsibility, and the booklet has a section offering simple, practical guidance to Catholics who want to play their part.
Margaret Clark, president of the National Board of Catholic Women England and Wales, says: ‘This booklet is primarily intended to raise awareness in the Church of the devastating effects of domestic abuse and violence. We hope it will help victims get the support they need through the pastoral care of parishes, organisations and individuals. We hope the booklet will encourage its readers to seek out and support initiatives, publicising them more widely within their parishes. We believe that promoting a greater awareness of the problem will, together with the support of existing specialist support services and projects, be the most effective method by which Catholics will be able to help victims of domestic abuse.’