Challenging Domestic Violence
In light of recent reminders in the news about domestic violence among ministry families, Moore College wishes once again to affirm our strong commitment to tackling domestic violence and doing all in our power to ensure that all of our students and their spouses are both safe and equipped to deal with the issue. For several years now we have been working to address the issue in multiple ways, including:
- In May 2015, the Governing Board approved the College’s Domestic Violence Policy, which we have published on our website and repeatedly draw to the attention of students and their spouses.
- Alongside the policy is a list of counsellors, psychologists, social workers and therapists available to provide help for both victims and perpetrators, compiled by an independent expert.
- Since February 2016 every student and wife (or husband) attending our Community Welcome Day has been given information about the details of the College’s Domestic Violence Policy.
- For the last four years, students have received lectures aimed at helping them recognise and respond to domestic violence. Most of these lectures are taught by external guests (e.g. family counsellors).
- All college faculty have received training on recognising and responding to domestic violence, most recently in June 2017.
- Throughout 2016 Moorewomen worked on producing a resource booklet for our student wives and female students, a draft of which was provided to our leaving women in November 2016. In July 2017 the final version of the publication Domestic Violence: A Starting Point in Supporting Victims was published and distributed to all full time Moore College student wives and female students, and following this to Ministry Wives in the Diocese of Sydney. This 97-page booklet is aimed primarily at Ministry Wives as a resource for them to help female victims, but was prepared with the understanding that ministry wives can themselves be victims of domestic violence and so contains information specific to their situation. It includes numerous contributions from a wide range of women and men, including experts and victims. It covers topics such as biblical teaching, the nature of domestic violence, supporting victims, and diocesan standards. A slightly edited version is available on the College website.
- In August 2017, Principal Mark Thompson and lecturer Jane Tooher addressed the students at length in an all-in chapel service, detailing the reality and seriousness of domestic violence among ministry families, and once again drew attention to the resources that are available. The address was made available to the public on our website and promoted on social media.
As Principal Mark Thompson stated to the college community in this address (August 2017):
“No doubt there is more to be done. We haven’t said any of this as a way of patting ourselves on the back. We are not perfect and we have sadly failed people in the past by not noticing the warning signs and not making as clear as is possible that this kind of behaviour is completely unacceptable, no matter who you are and no matter what your circumstances. But you need to know that we take this issue seriously and are trying to address it as effectively as possible.”All News