The serious problem of domestic abuse in our community is exacerbated by Covid-19 social isolation restrictions. While extra funding for shelters, helplines, counsellors, etc. is very important when it comes to providing help in these circumstances, Christian communities also have a significant role to play. I speak with Louise Cunningham from Emu Plains Anglican church, who is my co-chaplain at Moore College. Louise has years of experience in providing pastoral and practical care for people subject to domestic abuse. Louise shares some key principles for what to do – and what not to do – to help us as Christians to care for the vulnerable and help them to seek safety in these difficult times of social isolation.
This two-page summary sheet was produced by Lynda Dunstan, Family and Domestic Violence Advisor at Anglicare (Anglican Diocese of Sydney). It has links to the Diocesan resources and training, plus Lynda’s contact details to remind ministry teams she is here to assist them:
Key contact details (for residents of NSW/Australia):
- If there is immediate danger, call the police: 000
- Website: Domestic Violence: Where to get help in NSW
- Anglicare Counselling: 1300 651 728
- Anglicare Sydney Family and Domestic Violence Advisor: 0438 826 556. Advice for ministry teams.
- NSW Domestic Violence Line: 1800 65 64 63. 24/7 information, support and help.
- NSW Link2Home: 1800 152 152. 24/7 information and referral service for the homeless or those at risk of homelessness.
- Men’s Line: 1300 78 99 78. Counselling service for men with emotional health and relationship concerns.
- 1800RESPECT: 1800 737 732. 24/7 counselling, support and help (Australia wide)
See also the handbook of resources produced by Moore College: “Domestic Violence – A starting point in supporting victims”