Protecting the vulnerable from violence or death is a fundamental part of respect for life.
Domestic violence, also known as intimate partner violence (IPV) is called "a serious, preventable public health problem that affects millions of Americans" by the Centers for Disease Control. It refers to the physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse and includes teen dating relationships.
The Centers for Disease Control reports about 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will be victims of intimate partner violence. Domestic violence affects the whole family, including children.
Faith communities are called to offer hope, help, and healing to all harmed by domestic abuse and violence.
The Maryland Catholic Conference works closely with state legislators to prevent and provide for all victims of domestic violence. Among the legislative initiatives on which the Conference has successfully engaged:
- Laura and Reid’s Law: fetal homicide law that adds 10 years to a sentence for killing a pregnant woman
- Rape Survivor Family Protection Act: prevents rapists from suing for child custody or visitation
- housing for homeless domestic violence victims and veterans
Parish Toolkit |en español
bulletin announcements, prayers of the faithful, and links, including a Novena for Peace in All Families
Restroom hotline signs
English and Spanish - place in restroom stalls; you can add local information
- National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE (7233), 1-800-787-324 (TTY) or www.ndvh.org
- Maryland resources - brochure (information plus county domestic violence support information) | en español
When I Call for Help: A Pastoral Response to Domestic Violence Against Women
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops | English and Spanish
“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.... The person being assaulted needs to know that acting to end the abuse does not violate the marriage promises.”
- from When I Call for Help