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Presbyterians Against Domestic ViolencePADVN welcomes those who promote non-violence in all relationships. They provide advocacy and resources for the prevention of and healing from societal and domestic violence.

Join PHEWA and take part in this ministry.

Read PADVN's theological statement.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

2015 Resources for Congregations and Worshiping Communities


As a pastor, would you be prepared if…    

The Rev. Bonnie Orth, fouding member & leader of PHEWA's PADVN

The Rev. Bonnie Orth, founding member and leader of PHEWA's Presbyterians Against Domestic Violence Network (PADVN)

Summer is a busy time at Mayfield Central Presbyterian Church. We always have a summer intern from Princeton Theological Seminary and a large part of that student’s internship involves leading Vacation Bible School. It was the first day of VBS and it was a sunny, hot day. The church was buzzing- with staff persons, parents, grandparents, and children of all ages- registering children and getting everything set.

Suddenly a woman appeared, sweating, out of breath, and extremely upset, looking to talk to the pastor. She was hysterical. I took her into my office, closed the door, and her story began to pour out in the midst of her hysteria. She has been living in an abusive relationship for the past fifteen years and surviving day by day.

She said that today, at breakfast, her husband told her that he was going to kill her. He kept guns in the house and she knew this was a very real possibility. It was not the first time that he had threatened this. But somehow, she knew that, today, he really meant it and that she needed help.

She said that she had heard about the pastor that “works with domestic violence” and she decided to come to the church to find her. Because of an underlying medical condition requiring her to take medication, she does not drive. And so she left her home, when her husband left for work, and began the six mile walk to find the church where she believed she would find help.

As she was walking along the way on a busy highway, her husband found her, pulled up in his work truck and tried to get her into the truck. He had a gun with him and threatened her again. She ran into the bushes to hide. When she felt it was safe she returned to walking, only to be stopped by her husband again. She managed to get away a second time.

She flagged down a woman who brought her the remaining half mile to the church. 

After four bottles of water and the snack of the day for VBS, she had finally calmed down enough to listen. After agreeing that she could trust me, we called the local domestic violence agency and together we talked about her options. 

Her husband knew where the agency was and she was terrified to go there. An advocate came to the church. We arranged for her to go to the local shelter and to, hopefully, be transferred to another shelter in another county when a bed opened up. She agreed to press charges and soon we had the local sheriff’s department and the state police in my office, because her husband was armed.

She was finally taken to the shelter about the time that Vacation Bible School was ending. The children noticed the police cars, the staff knew that something was happening. What is the point of this story? We all have people in our congregations and in our community who live in, experience, or witness domestic violence. At any time they may come to your church looking for help. Are you prepared to help them? Would you know what to do?

Presbyterians Against Domestic Violence (PADVN), a network of the Presbyterian Health, Education & Welfare Association (PHEWA)  offers resources for pastors, congregations, and worshiping communities to equip you to effectively handle situations like these.                                                 

       The Rev. Bonnie Orth, serves as Pastor of the Mayfield Central Presbyterian Church in Mayfield, NY and as Pastoral Care Coordinator of Nathan Littauer Hospital and Nursing Home in Gloversville, New York. She is a founding member of Presbyterians Against Domestic Violence Network and serves as PADVN Representative to the PHEWA Board of Directors.  Bonnie also serves on the Board of Directors of CEDEPCA (Centro Evangelico de Estudios Pastorales en Centro America), an international nonprofit organization located in Guatemala City, Guatemala, that offers educational programs that allow people to improve their lives and change their communities.  The Rev. Orth has training in clergy misconduct, ethics, elder abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault and violence. Her annual domestic violence prevention and awareness trainings in the local junior high schools, high schools, hospitals, police force, and ambulance services established Bonnie’s reputation in the area for her expertise and enabled this woman to seek her out for knowledgeable assistance in a life and death situation.


2015 PADVN Annual Congregational Awareness & Worship Resource packet


Phewa Domestic Violence RibbonEach October, we are reminded by the many domestic violence awareness activities in all of our communities, that intimate violence is still very much a reality of our times. Perhaps you are involved yourself in Take Back the Night, a candle light vigil, the Clothesline Project, the Silent Witness Initiative, Empty Place at the Table, or other national or local programs.

Presbyterians Against Domestic Violence Network (PADVN), one of the 10 networks of the Presbyterian Health, Education and Welfare Association (PHEWA), urges Presbyterians to be agents of healing by collaborating with our community allies in ending the violence. The church, bringing a faith perspective to this collaboration, has a unique voice in this effort.  We offer here worship and awareness resources to assist in your own observances, in October and throughout the year.


 Men in the Mirror: Constructing and Applying a Christ-centered Masculinity to Interpersonal Relationships

A new 13-session curriculum for use in addressing violence against women and girls

What does it mean to be a mature healthy man? In every society, males of all ages hear and internalize a variety of messages about the definition of, and “appropriate” expression of their masculinity. Some of these messages have very positive impacts on the development and sense of identity of males. Other internalized messages have destructive implications for a man’s well being and those with whom he shares relationships. Internalized messages of identity left unexamined, often create deeply engrained patterns of relationship problems that men struggle with throughout their lives. The lack of a strong forum within the Christian Church designed to encourage men to explore together those qualities, values and practices which make for positive male relationship skills, actually contributes in its absence to the breakdown of healthy dynamics within families and towards significant others. By studying the dynamics exhibited in Jesus’ relationships with a variety of others in his lifetime, this new 13 session curriculum entitled, “Men in the Mirror; Constructing and Applying a Christ-centered Masculinity to Interpersonal Relationships, sets out to explore and address the values that impact men’s relationships giving them the opportunity to critique their own relationship skills and grow in their discipleship to Jesus Christ. This valuable resource was developed by the Rev. Dr. Kevin E. Frederick, Moderator of Presbyterians Against Domestic Violence Network (PADVN), a ministry network of the Presbyterian Health, Education & Welfare Association (PHEWA). Kevin serves as Pastor to the Waldensian Presbyterian Church of Valdese, North Carolina. 

Download the curriculum. 

Read the story behind the curriculum

PADVN Annual Congregational Awareness & Worship Resource packets  

In every congregation of every faith, victims, survivors and abusers sit in our pews. Some are listening for words of recognition, understanding, comfort and healing, hoping to hear that the church stands with them and wants them to choose life. All need to hear a clear message that violence in our homes is against the will of God. Our silence makes us complicit to the suffering.

Presbyterians Against Domestic Violence Network (PADVN) invites you to make your church a place where the gospel of wholeness is heard and lived out. We offer the following resources to aid you in that journey.


Breaking the Silence; Introducing Men In The Mirror curriculum



Stories of Hope and Restoration



Entering the Brokenness


2011 Domestic Violence Congregational Packet

Human Trafficking and the Intersect with Domestic Violence


2010 Domestic Violence Congregational Packet

Parent/Youth Relationships


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.

Continue reading

Turn Mourning Into Dancing!
A Policy Statement with Study Guide on Healing Domestic Violence; Approved by the 213th General Assembly (2001), Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)


PDS# OGA01018
Order online or by calling (800) 524-2612.

Anguished Hearts

A seven-session study on domestic violence for use in congregations, title is taken from Psalm 55:4a, "My heart is in anguish within me ..." The seven sessions cover different faces of abuse; spouse/partner, child, elder, sibling, dating violence and abuse of vulnerable people. Can be used for church school classes, groups, sessions, retreats or other educational events sponsored by the church.

PDS# 7027003025
Order online
or by calling (800) 524-2612.

Get domestic violence resources for congregations

In every congregation of every faith, victims, survivors and abusers sit in our pews. Some are listening for words of recognition, understanding, comfort and healing, hoping to hear that the church stands with them and wants them to choose life. All need to hear a clear message that violence in our homes is against the will of God. Our silence makes us complicit to the suffering.

Presbyterians Against Domestic Violence Network (PADVN) invites you to make your church a place where the gospel of wholeness is heard and lived out. We offer the following resources to aid you in that journey.

2009 Domestic Violence Congregational Packet, Teen Dating Violence


Domestic violence — the basics


Domestic violence tools for pastors and congregational leadership


Worship resources


Children and domestic violence


Domestic violence resources for particular populations


Men stopping violence materials




  • Domestic violence is a problem that effects all areas of community life and it takes the whole community to be aware of and work together to prevent it. I grateul to be a member of tthe PCUSA which takes the the problem seriously from worship, theology, biblical and social, and cultural actions. by Jeanell Morris on 09/22/2011 at 11:03 a.m.

  • HI! I hope that these news are going out to all women, and that includes in the Christian communities too, in hopes for eternal protection against the abuses that are put on girls and women, and even others. Thank you, all for sharing your stories, and God bless you, in Jesus name! Cordially, Respectfully, Afeni! We need protection from all violence and anti-peace! by AFENI MAKEBE NELSON on 09/02/2011 at 12:07 p.m.

  • hi my name is Marybeth McLeod i am a member of ctk dorchester mass i was a battered wife for many years 10 long years ,,this man who said he was my husband we prayed together ,and he beat me i never though i could turn to any one,, him being a man of god who would believe me ,,he was the street angle house devil ,,i never doubted his love for god but as a wife i need love as well him telling me to shower before he would sleep with me & then i still wasn't clean enuf for him.he would his my body where people could not see the bruised,back in the late 80;s women had no rights, at the end of the 10 years stretch with him he put a hammer over my head smashing my scull into pieces,i still have no feeling in my finger tip because of that i took him to court on charges attempted murder ,,he got off only with an assault battery charge.i then got a new ss number/a new date of birth ran for my life my next marriage was with a man that had ties to organized crime .he made me feel safe like no one was going to ever hurt me again after a few years of that bodyguards for my every move & again i had to go to church with his mother & only with other family members my life was in a shell i realized this wasn't love aether i broke away left the state of florida moved back to mass.i lived on my pastors floor woke up every morning read the word of god went into prayer,the church i went to at the time had a street out reach where we spread the word of god i mostly just watched as people would feed the homeless find them shelter ,i saw many die that year as well as seeing people get saved it was the best year of my life after that i found funding to remove all the scars on my face today i talk about the abuse my husband put my three people are writing stories about me i had 9 hours of facial surgery to reconstruct my face back to what it should look like that was just 2 years ago many,many too many scars on my face life is great today i am a member of ctk dorchester church that is my family god has also blessed me with a business i make recycled handbags Jesus has been good enuf to recycle me ,so with my business now i have 5 women that have been battered in the past there all christians finding a new way of life there all paying market rent building there lives my business is ctk is such a big part of my life i love the lord & all the people that attend the church you can google my name and see,read my story so this is it my past makes me a stronger Christin in my walk with the lord feel free to email me by Marybeth mcleod on 07/12/2010 at 12:47 a.m.

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