The group “One Joplin” sponsored the domestic violence seminar on Tuesday. It focused on dozens of local churches and how they can do a better job in helping victims of domestic violence.
“We have people in those pews and can be an incredible resource to have access to folks to provide care,” explained Rev. Lydia Mulkey with Faith Trust Institute.
And now, dozens of Joplin area pastors and other church members are learning strategies for helping a victim escape abuse.
Mulkey is talking about the opportunities and challenges of the faith community to tackle domestic violence.
“Work to do better–there’s an opportunity to save lives,” Mulkey added.
She points out that it’s a tough history in some cases.
“Faith communities have a history of getting in the way of victims finding the support they need, a history of trying to handle things internally, and a history of trusting the word of abusers,” said Mulkey.
The seminar also hosted a panel discussion and a role-playing exercise where participants got a taste of of what domestic violence victims deal with in real life.
Organizers hope it all means a better chance for faith to play a bigger role in helping victims.
“It’s where people go for healing, help, and hope – it’s a natural fit for our faith community to support victims of domestic violence,” explained Ashley Micklethwaite with OneJoplin.