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Anglicans to research domestic violence

Church has role to play in promoting healthy, respectful relationships, says project spokesperson

A research project on family violence will include surveys and interviews with Anglicans within and outside the Church, with clergy and church leaders, and a sample of the broader population.

November 12 2018The Anglican Church of Australia will begin research into the nature and prevalence of family violence in Anglican-affiliated families next year. 

The Church’s national Standing Committee approved a three-stage proposal at a meeting in Adelaide on Friday. The project will include surveys and interviews with Anglicans within and outside the Church, with clergy and church leaders, and a sample of the broader population.

The Church approached several Australian universities and research organisations to design the independent study.

Victoria’s the Revd Tracy Lauersen, who has been leading a working group in family violence for the Church, said: “The decision to conduct research is a recognition of the extent of the problem of family violence in our culture and a desire by the Church to be part of the solution.

“Preventing violence is better than treating its symptoms and to do that we need to understand the nature of the problem, its prevalence, and any characteristics of our church communities that we need to address.”

Revd Lauersen said there was anecdotal evidence about family violence in faith communities, but an absence of solid research. Without that, the Church could not create best-practice prevention policies nor know the best ways to assist those affected by violence.

“The church has a significant role in the lives of millions of Australians and has a great desire to promote healthy and respectful relationships and to complement the work being done by government and other organisations to change the narrative for women and others who find themselves subjected to violence in any form.”

 

Family and domestic violence support services:

1800 Respect national helpline 1800 737 732

Women’s crisis line 1800 811 811

Men’s referral service 1300 766 491

Lifeline (24 hour crisis line) 131 114

Relationships Australia 1300 364 277