Domestic Violence

General Information

1 in 3 women and 1 in 7 men have experienced violence from an intimate partner. The hidden pain and turmoil present to those who face mental and physical abuse every day is unacceptable. We aim to provide help to those in these situations as well as to educate the community in how to recognize signs of domestic violence. The Catholic Church takes Domestic Violence very seriously, whether it is against spouses or children, it must be stopped, and each parish is called to be a safe haven to those in need.

Check out our Being Pro Life Episode: Understanding and Combating Domestic Violence.  Click the video or one of the icons to the left to watch, listen, and read.

Warning Signs

Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence

For women aged 15 to 44, domestic violence is the leading cause of injury.

Children who witness abuse are victims as well.

Abuse is one secret that should not be kept.

If violence occurs once in a dating relationship, it is likely to occur again.

Children living in an home where the mother is abused are also more likely to receive mistreatment or neglect by the abuser.

The majority (from 47%-87%) of violence occurs during either the steady or serious dating phase of the relationship.

If you are being hit, kicked, punched or verbally assaulted by your spouse, partner, or significant other you must stop taking the abuse.
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may be in an abusive or unhealthy relationship.

Call 1(800)799-7233 for help.

Does your partner ever...

Insult, demean or embarrass you with put-downs?

Control what you do, who you talk to or where you go?

Look at you or act in ways that scare you?

Push you, slap you, choke you or hit you?

Stop you from seeing your friends or family members?

Control the money in the relationship?

Take your money, make you ask for money or refuse to give you money?

Make all of the decisions without your input or consideration of your needs?

Tell you that you’re a bad parent or threaten to take away your children?

Prevent you from working or attending school?

Act like the abuse is no big deal, deny the abuse/tell you it’s your own fault?

Destroy your property or threaten to kill your pets?

Intimidate you with guns, knives or other weapons?

Attempt to force you to drop criminal charges?

Threaten to commit suicide, or threaten to kill you?

Church Documents

“There is no place for abuse and violence in a Catholic Marriage.” ~Sharon O’Brien, Director- Catholics for Family Peace 

St. Rita of Cascia is the patroness of domestic abuse victims. Click the image above for a prayer card.

As pastors of the Catholic Church in the United States, we state as clearly and strongly as we can that violence against women, inside or outside the home, is never justified. Violence in any form”—physical, sexual, psychological, or verbal”—is sinful; often, it is a crime as well. We have called for a moral revolution to replace a culture of violence. We acknowledge that violence has many forms, many causes, and many victims—men as well as women.

The Catholic Church teaches that violence against another person in any form fails to treat that person as someone worthy of love. Instead, it treats the person as an object to be used. When violence occurs within a sacramental marriage, the abused spouse may question, “How do these violent acts relate to my promise to take my spouse for better or for worse?” The person being assaulted needs to know that acting to end the abuse does not violate the marriage promises. While violence can be directed towards men, it tends to harm women and children more. EN ESPANOL

Organizations & Webpages

Below are support organizations, along with their webpages, that serve as wonderful resources for parishes, families and individuals regarding domestic violence.

United States Catholic Conference of Bishops

The USCCB offers a plethora of resources and information on their website. The Domestic Violence Page offers articles, documents, and prayer resources regarding abuse. These resources address Church teaching, support, media kits, homily help, and how to identify victims.

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Mission & Vision: We envision a world where all relationships are positive, healthy, and free from violence. We answer the call to support and shift power back to people affected by relationship abuse. We hope that all Catholic homes will be places of peace. We understand, however, that domestic violence is a serious, relatively hidden problem, widespread in American society. If you are in an abusive relationship, call now (800)799-7233.

Catholics for Family Peace

Mission: Catholics For Family Peace Education and Research Initiative provides education, resources, and research that help pastoral leaders recognize domestic abuse and respond with compassion. CLICK HERE to access a plethora of resources for individuals, families, and parishes.

Artemis Center- Dayton Domestic Violence Resource Agency

Artemis has become a community resource for creating a coordinated response to domestic violence. Because all systems must work together to protect victims and hold batterers accountable, Artemis formed The Family Violence Collaborative in 1993. This Collaborative has brought together law enforcement, criminal justice, child protection and health care professionals to develop protocols of response.

Women Helping Women- Cincinnati

Founded in 1973, Women Helping Women (WHW) prevents gender-based violence and empowers all survivors. WHW provides evidence-based prevention and expert crisis intervention and support services for survivors of dating violence, sexual violence, domestic violence and stalking in Hamilton and Butler, Ohio Counties (including sexual violence crisis services to Brown and Adams Counties). WHW operates from a public health framework that is survivor centric and promotes diversity and inclusion as core operating values. WHW meets the needs of our region and serves over 15,000 clients annually.

Domestic Violence Support by County

County Phone Number Organization
Adams County (740) 947-1611 Pike County Partnership Against Domestic Violence
Auglaize County (419) 738-5511 Crisis Center- Auglaize County
Brown County (800) 928-3335 Women’s Crisis Center (Northern Kentucky)
Butler County (513) 423-0044 Citizens Against Domestic Violence
Clark County (800) 643-9893 Project Woman
Greene County (937) 372-4552 Family Violence Prevention Center- Greene County
Hamilton County (513) 381-5610 Women Helping Women
Highland County (937) 393-8118 Alternatives to Violence Center (Hillsboro)
Mercer County (419) 586-1133 Family Crisis Network
Miami County (937) 339-6761 Family Abuse Center of Miami County
Montgomery County (937) 461-5091 Artemis Center
Warren County (888) 860-4084 Abuse & Rape Crisis Center

Media Resources

In our media-driven world, it is imperative to use media resources to work to spread the Gospel of Life. Below are a variety of these media resources that could be used as conversation starters to delve more deeply into the issue of domestic violence.

Articles

Understanding and Combatting Domestic Violence

This article is part of the Being Pro Life Campaign and features personal stories of those affected by domestic violence. This campaign includes an article, video, and podcast that effectively convey what it means to have a consistent ethic of life.

Interview with Three Catholics Working To End Domestic Violence

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. To put a “face” to what can be done to combat domestic violence, For Your Marriage interviewed three Catholics who are working to raise awareness about domestic violence, to help victims and abusers, and ultimately to build a culture of peace where the family is a safe place for men, women, and children.

Catholics Are Not Immune to Domestic Violence

This article details personal experiences, statistical data, and church teaching to explore the prevalance of domestic violence within Catholic families.

Videos & Presentations

An excellent way to help people to understand an issue is to present them with a story. The below videos and presentations are great resources for discussion on the topic of domestic violence.

Bishop Roy Edward Campbell Jr. gives a Homily for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Please take the time to listen to his message, and let us share in the joyful hope we have as advocates for all people’s safety and dignity.

Leaders from Catholic Charities and Catholics for Family Peace come together to discuss Catholic responses to domestic abuse.  Experts Laura Yeomans and Dr. Sharon O’Brien discuss domestic abuse and what we need to do to respond with hope, help, and healing to victims of domestic violence, with the goal of promoting family peace.

This presentation by Rose Folsom took place at the National Symposium entitled “Hope, Help, and Healing: A Catholic Response to Domestic Abuse and Violence” held at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, July 7-8, 2016, and organized by Catholics for Family Peace.  “We help Catholic women unite with Christ so they can enjoy smooth relationships with God, themselves, and other people.”

Presentations are available on the Catholic Families for Peace website from the 2016 National Catholic Symposium on Domestic Violence.  They cover a wide variety of topics and are all downloadable on the site.  Click the title above to be take directly to the page.

Printable Resources

Get Involved

To end the violation of human dignity that is human trafficking, we must take action. Whether that is through working towards advocacy, awareness, service or prayer. Below are a list of ways to get involved.

Advocacy & Awareness

In order to bring an end to domestic violence in our nation, we must not be silent and we must stay informed. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, in their 2002 Pastoral Statement, When Call for Help, encouraged pastors to dedicate at least one weekend of October to inform parishioners about how they can recognize and respond to the signs of abuse.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. There are a number of ways to get involved to assist in raising awareness within your parish and local community. CLICK HERE for the 2020 Domestic Violence Awareness Toolkit.

Prayer

Listen, God, to my prayer;
do not hide from my pleading;
hear me and give answer.

If an enemy had reviled me,
that I could bear;
If my foe had viewed me with contempt,
from that, I could hide.
But it was you, my other self,
my comrade and friend,
You, whose company I enjoyed,
at whose side I walked
in procession in the house of God.

But I will call upon God,
and the Lord will save me.
At dusk, dawn, and noon
I will grieve and complain,
and my prayer will be heard.
(Ps 55:2-3, 13-15, 17-18)

Click above for more prayer resources.

Service

To promote the Pro-Life cause within our community, it takes many hands. Service is essential to meet the needs of the thousands of women, men, and children who suffer from domestic abuse. We must show them the love they deserve, so that they can escape these unhealthy situations and heal through God’s loving grace.  There are many organizations listed ABOVE to support in a variety of way.  Through donating, volunteering, or helping to spread awareness in our communities, we can work to prevent and end domestic violence.

Contact Us:

Bob Wurzelbacher

Office Director
(513)263-6674

Kara Ross

Associate Director
(937)281-4127

Noelle Collis-DeVito

Associate Director
(937)281-4128