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I Believe You: Faiths’ Response to Intimate Partner Violence

Watch stories of survivors

It has been said that if people of faith do not advocate for justice, we are complicit in the perpetuation of this crisis. I Believe You: Faiths’ Response to Intimate Partner Violence goes a long way to give voice to the stories of survivors, make clear the assistance faith groups can provid and offer encouragement and direction for women trapped in abusive relationships.

View the opening clip and scroll down to find information on purchasing this important resource. Copies are $25 for personal use, $100 for non-profit/faith-based organizations (includes Study Guide), $250 for educational institutions/libraries (includes Study Guide):

I Believe You: Faiths’ Response to Intimate Partner Violence, an extraordinary interfaith documentary that explores the stories of survivors of abuse and the response of faith groups to address their needs, began airing on ABC-affiliated stations in January 2011.

Produced with the support of The New York Board of Rabbis, United Methodist Women, Presbyterian Women, the Presbyterians Against Domestic Violence Network of the Presbyterian Health, Education & Welfare Association (PHEWA), the Presbytery of Detroit and the Evangelical Church in America, Odyssey Networks and a consortium of Muslim organizations, this one-hour program, featuring the music of Janis Ian.

From rural programs such as the Susanna Wesley Family Learning Center in Missouri to urban programs such as First Step in Michigan, from prevention programs such as Healthy Relationships held at Camp Herzl in Wisconsin, to recognition programs like the Mikveh Attendants program in New Jersey, from support groups at Emma’s Place in Minnesota to healing programs at Mayyim Hayyim in Massachusetts, faith groups are exploring ways to support, advocate for and help aid the healing of those who have been harmed by abuse.

The program is filled with the hard won wisdom of survivors and the insight and understanding of clergy and program leaders including:

  • The Reverend Willard W C Ashley, Sr., D. Min., D. H., Director of Field Education, New Brunswick Theological Seminary;
  • The Rev. Barbara Certa-Werner, executive director, Harbor House;
  • Antonia Clemente, co-founder and executivedirector, Trinity Healing Center;
  • Rabbi Mark Dratch, founder, JSAFE;
  • The Reverend Dr. Marie M. Fortune, founder FaithTrust Institute;
  • Rabbi Lisa Gelber, associate dean, The Rabbinical School, The Jewish Theological Seminary;
  • Rabbi Diana Gerson, executive director of Dayenu, Enough Silence!;
  • Imam Khalid Latif, executive director, The Islamic Center, NYU, and Chaplain, NYPD;
  • Robina Niaz, founder and executive directorr, The Turning Point- Services for Muslim Women and Families;
  • Harriett Jane Olson, chief executive officer, United Methodist Women;
  • Dr. Nancy Nason-Clark, founder, The Rave Project (Religion and Violence E-Learning Project);
  • The Reverend Diane Smalley, survivor and moderator, Presbyterians Against Domestic Violence/PHEWA; Chair, Domestic Violence Work Group/Social Justice & Peacemaking/Presbytery of Detroit
  • The Reverend Ann Tiemeyer, program director, Women’s Ministry, National Council of Churches;
  • Reverend Traci C.  West, Ph.D., author, Wounds of the Spirit: Black Women, Violence, and Racism.


I BELIEVE YOU: Faiths’ Response to Intimate Partner Violence is made possible in part by the generous support of Odyssey Networks, United Methodist Women, The New York Board of Rabbis, National Council of Churches USA, Presbyterian Women, and ELCA Women''s Ministry and ELCA Justice for Women Program.

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  • While I currently serve as a pastor, I served for many years in a domestic violence crisis center. After reading both comments, I think I would agree with both of you. As Kevin said, the statistics are overwhelmingly men perpetrating the violence, and men need to take accountability for that. But I suspect the statistics of men as victims are very much under reported. It is just culturally difficult for a man to report, and much more difficult to tell his story as a survivor. The few times I answered a call from a man, he invariably began the conversation, "You probably won't believe this..." In truth, intimate violence crosses all boundaries, but women are certainly the most vulnerable. Let's pray for the day when all churches break the silence and become places where healing can happen. by on 09/29/2011 at 4:34 p.m.

  • I am a male pastor serving on the Presbyterians Against Domestic Violence Network and we have discussed this issue on the leadership team. Statistics show that 95 percent or greater of the domestic violence cases in the US are male perpetrators against female victims. Because of the limited voices in the church speaking out in churches about Domestic Violence, we believe that we needed to tell the story in a way that targets the overwhelming number of cases against women. Each year PADVN puts out a packet of resources on a theme and we have covered children, youth dating older adults etc. When we effectively break the code of silence in churches towards interpersonal violence then we will have told the whole story. But in many ways we are still at the starting point. At present the number of women who die and who are badly injured by men with whom they are in a personal relationship is the overwhelming reality of domestic violence and its violation against the sanctity of the victim, the children in the family and the institution of marriage itself. by Kevin Frederick on 09/29/2011 at 3:53 p.m.

  • The video is quite powerful. Thank you. It would be good, though, to have a male victim of intimate abuse because this happens and is so rarely discussed. by Teresa Stricklen on 09/27/2011 at 10:48 a.m.

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