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By CarolynCHolland(9,534) CarolynCHolland

Carol J. Adams, is author of Woman-Battering, a pastoral counseling book, and a teacher at Perkins School of Theology, Texas, where she teaches a course on sexual and domestic violence. She said she is angry with seminaries which graduate pastors untrained in domestic violence issues. The following set of articles comes from seminars she presented to pastors a few years ago.
Because a pastor is trained to be reconciling (an approach enabling the continuance of violence), he finds it difficult responding in the confrontational manner essential in stopping a batterer’s controlling behavior.  "Battering is the batterers responsibility," Adams emphasized. "Domestic violence is about control. It is a pattern of behavior involving violence, control and subtle forms of abuse. It is not conflict run amok, but an issue of power and control. Even the 'nice' phase is a tactic to get women to comply." She acknowledges we live in a society that accepts on a deep subconscious level that women are the property of men. For the controlling party, the victim will always do something wrong, and it isn't the "something wrong" that matters. What matters to the batterer is the level of control he has over his chosen victim.
Adams bottom line is safety. Pastors cannot provide safety, but secular agencies, particularly women's shelters, are designed to do this. After a pastor determines domestic violence is present, he should refer her to a shelter. He can then be free to help her work through theological issues.
Both religious and secular populations understand divorce as breaking marriage vows. In the presence of domestic violence, however, the violence, not the divorce, destroys the marriage covenant. "The violence, that's the real sin," said Adams.
Every 9 seconds a woman is battered by her spouse or companion; each day four U. S. women die. 75% of these deaths occur at the time the woman leaves the relationship.
Both religious and secular people understand divorce as breaking marriage vows. However, where domestic violence is an issue, the violence, not the divorce, destroys the marriage covenant. "The violence, that's the real sin," said Adams. "A loving God does not want anyone to die of love and commitment."

"When Jesus had the opportunity to stop or prevent suffering, he did. Often, the suffering were women.”

Churches can become a part of a cooperative ministry that says battering is wrong and it has to stop. In making a decision, to err on the side of safety is better than to err on the side of danger.
It is not a matter of choosing sides, but of meeting needs. Batterers need to stop; battered

women need a plan for safety and the support of a community that holds her abuser accountable, because she cannot. Both need a just relationship, and a restoration of family relationships if possible. If not possible, they need to mourn the loss of the relationship.

Thank you for visiting www.ProBlogs.CarolynCHolland. Return tomorrow night for the conclusion of The Role of Pastors in Domestic Violence Situations.
This is the eve of September 11, 2001. To read John’s story of his experience in the South Tower when the plane crashed into it click on LMB RESIDENT SHARES HIS SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 EXPERIENCE Part 1. His story will continue at www.ProBlogs.com/LMBoroLMPark

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Posted to ProBlogs.com on Monday, January 01, 2007
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