• Better understand Domestic and Family Violence (DFV).

    Get a clear picture of its nature and prevalence, and how it affects Christians and Christian communities. Know the risk factors and recognise common signs.

  • Strengthen your theological framework.

    Know what sorts of pastoral, theological and practical response we might make to DFV and the people affected by it. Be wise to teachings that can be misused and cause harm.

  • Be better equipped

    Gain confidence responding pastorally to people experiencing violence, and people choosing to use violence. Know who to contact for support. Make plans to help prevent DFV happening in your community. Guard yourself from doing damage by knowing your limits, and having a plan for self care.

Subject Content

  • 1

    Lesson 1: The nature and dynamics of DFV

    • Thank you

    • Dynamics of abuse

    • Legal definitions in your State or Territory

    • Types of abuse: tactics

    • Read this list of abuse tactics

    • Types of abuse: the cycle of abuse

    • 'Being in a violent relationship made me feel like the proverbial frog in hot water'

    • Prevalence of violence

    • Prevalence in the church

    • Reaching out for help now

    • Reflection/discussion questions

    • Quiz

  • 2

    Lesson 2: Spiritual abuse

    • Lesson overview

    • What is spiritual abuse?

    • Complete this definition

    • Spiritual abuse wheel

    • How to create robust anti-spiritual abuse cultures

    • What is your church's culture of power?

    • How to create robust anti-spiritual abuse cultures (continued)

    • Reflection/discussion questions

    • Quiz

  • 3

    Lesson 3: How to teach helpfully

    • Lesson overview

    • The Bible's teaching on abuse

    • How to preach, teach and offer pastoral care on these issues

    • Issues relating to the gospel itself

    • On forgiveness

    • On suffering and sacrifice

    • On sin and sinfulness

    • Issues relating to marriage, relationships and roles

    • Reflection/discussion questions

    • Quiz

  • 4

    Lesson 4: How to respond to disclosures of abuse

    • Lesson overview

    • How to respond to disclosures of abuse

    • Luke 8:40–56

    • How to respond to disclosures of abuse (continued)

    • Reflection/discussion questions

    • Signs somebody may be experiencing abuse

    • Starting a conversation

    • What to do when a disclosure is actually happening

    • Connecting with services

    • Denominational support and reporting requirements

    • Quiz

  • 5

    Lesson 5: How to care for a survivor long-term

    • Lesson overview

    • How to care for a survivor long-term

    • What kind of assistance might my pastor offer me?

    • Who is more likely to be targeted and less likely to find support?

    • The effects of DFV

    • Caring for Yourself

    • Reaching out for help now

    • Learn more: interview with Sono Weatherall (optional)

    • Reflection/discussion questions

    • Quiz

  • 6

    Lesson 6: Responding to people who choose to use violence

    • Lesson overview

    • Before watching the interview...

    • Interview with Carolyn Bateman (part 1)

    • Interview with Carolyn Bateman (part 2)

    • Reflection/discussion questions

    • Men's Behaviour Change Programs

    • Summary and prayer

    • Quiz

  • 7

    Final quiz and survey

    • Final Quiz

    • Feedback Survey

About your teacher

Erica Hamence initially trained to be a human rights lawyer, with a BA/LLB from The University of Melbourne. But she found herself drawn to express the same desire for justice within the church. This eventually led her to ministry in Sydney. She is a senior assistant minister at St Barnabas Anglican Church, Broadway (Barneys), where she mostly works to support and raise up leaders. She is also the spokesperson for Common Grace's Domestic and Family Violence Justice Team. Erica is a former student of Ridley College.

Feedback from India

by Jayanthi

I'm very grateful for you for offering the course on 'Responding to Domestic and Family Violence' for free online... I completed the course yesterday as I did it at my own pace as a working woman here in India. The course is excellent!! I absolutely love the way Erica delivered the course contents and I became a fan of hers :) ... As someone from the Indian sub continent, this course is a great learning experience, as a believer, Christian I realised there is much to be done in our communities here especially the church... Thanks Erica and all those who put this online course together.

Please pass on a massive thanks and a big congrats ...

by James

As someone who works in community settings, this material was applicable to me way beyond the DFV context. In fact, it’s the best info I’ve come across on supporting someone through a disclosure. The 4 aspects of SPACE, SAFETY, SLOW, STEPS is so rich yet so simple. “Simplicity on the other side of complexity” 😊. ... I am a complementarian myself, and have heard many unhelpful discussions about “egalitarianism” and “complementarianism”. I really want to thank and congratulate Erica on the way she presented this fairly... The links, articles, websites and resources – so good! So many things to follow up on. ... Well done. So timely in our day and age, and such high quality content!

Photo by Akira Hojo on Unsplash.