Restored is developing in partnership with Paz y Esperanza Int. an On-line course for pastors and church leaders to address domestic violence and support victims & survivors. This is an exciting opportunity to challenge and bring positive change to a culture that allows domestic abuse across Latin America.It has been internationally recognized that faith organization have a key role to play not only attending survivors; but also influencing the local communities where no other actor has access.
The baseline study partly funded through global giving and conducted in 4 cities in Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru, showed that 1 in 4 Christians have suffered from domestic violence in the last 3 years. Only half of the people whom disclosed abuse seek help and of that group 60% went to their Pastor or Church Leader. However in Bible Colleges and other training outlets this topic is not address and Pastors feel ill equipped to adequately respond to disclosures.
Faith and beliefs have a powerful effect on people's behaviours and responses. Pastors and Church Leader who are adequately trained will be able to effectively support victims of domestic violence as well as tackling underline issues of the machismo culture that underpins this issue. We will promote the creation of links between the church and local services for both survivors and perpetrators and in this way increase the impact of the training outside the church.
We believe that we will see a sustained and substantial reduction in the levels of domestic violence in churches and communities across Latin America. This is the second step in 5 year project to promote healthy and fulfilling relationships and challenging a culture that promotes or tolerates the abuse of women. Changing people's minds and hearts is neither easy nor quick, but is the only way to guarantee lasting changes and the Church offer a unique opportunity for this take place.