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Why should male ministers preach on domestic violence?

by the Rev. Kevin Fredericks, Black Mountain Presbyterian Church, Black Mountain, N.C., Presbyterians Against Domestic Violence Network (PADVN) Leadership Team

For years many church leaders have operated from the basic orientation that Domestic Violence is a women’s issue. Within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the issue emerged through the Office of Women’s Ministry. In a rather subtle and dismissive way church male leadership has frequently assumed that within our denomination there are women specialists who address the cases of domestic violence that emerge from time to time around the denomination. In so doing, we make the assumption that family violence is adequately addressed within our congregations. Nothing could be farther from the truth.