Religion and Intimate Partner Violence: Understanding the Challenges and Proposing Solutions
Author: Nancy Nason-Clark
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Intimate partner violence is a complex, fear-inducing reality for large numbers of women throughout the world. When violence exists in a relationship, safety is compromised, shame abounds, and peace evaporates. Violence is learned behavior, and it flourishes most when it is ignored, minimized, or misunderstood. When violence strikes the homes of deeply religious women, they are more vulnerable. They are more likely to believe that their abusive partners can, and will, change. They are less likely to leave a violent home, temporarily or forever. They are often reluctant to seek outside sources of assistance. They are frequently disappointed by the response of the religious leader to their call for help.
This book navigates the relatively unchartered waters of intimate partner violence in families of deep faith. The program of research on which it is based spans more than 25 years and includes a wide variety of specific studies involving religious leaders. congregations, battered women, men in batterer intervention programs, and the army of workers who assist families impacted by abuse, including criminal justice workers, therapeutic staff, advocacy workers, and religious leaders. The book provides a rich and colorful portrayal of the intersection of intimate partner violence and religious beliefs and practices that inform and interweave throughout daily life, enabling the examination and evaluation of the ways in which religion both augments and thwarts the journey toward justice, accountability, healing, and wholeness for women and men caught in the web of intimate partner violence.
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