Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Voice of Silence: Domestic Violence and the African American Church Response
by Carter, Selina D., D.Min., New Brunswick Theological Seminary, 2020, 133; 27955755
Abstract (Summary)

Domestic violence is prevalent in every community, crossing all social, economic, racial, and ethnic groups. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), an estimated 1.3 million American women will experience domestic violence and/or intimate partner violence (DV/IPV) each year. Women make up 85 percent of the victims of DV/IPV. For African American women, statistics reflect an all-time high. NCADV reports, “Black women are almost three times as likely to experience death as a result of DV/IPV than white women. While Black women only make up 8 percent of the population, 22 percent of homicides that result from DV/IPV happen to Black women and 29 percent of all victimized women, making it one of the leading causes of death for Black women ages 15–35. These numbers are inclusive to women in the church.

The Voice of Silence—Domestic Violence and the African American Church research was conducted through a series of interviews with African American Clergy serving in urban communities, survivors, law enforcement and local domestic violence agencies. A six-week curriculum was developed to address the social inequalities and religious barriers that inhibit African American women from receiving social services for domestic violence. The study is intended to provide African American clergy, leaders and laity with a curriculum training program to support the safety, emotional, psychological, trauma informed care and spiritual well-being of victims/survivors of domestic violence. The project is intended to bridge theological and educational gaps relating to domestic violence not addressed in the African American Church.

A literature review of scholarly work was performed to identify the role historical violence, systemic racism, theological insensitivity and patriarchal roles have contributed to violence against African American women. The research is intended to address the lack of education among pastors and leaders in the African American Church to support healthy intimate partner relationships for women congregants.

The research revealed the need for a domestic violence curriculum for African American pastors and church leaders. Education is needed to help identify abusive relationships, provide safety, resources and spiritual wellness for African American women within a congregation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Taylor, Faye
Commitee: Hollowell, David, Hollowell, Dorothy, Pulliam, Erica, Walker, Cynthia, Oliver, Simone
School: New Brunswick Theological Seminary
Department: Ministry Studies
School Location: United States -- New Jersey
Source: DAI-A 81/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Womens studies, African American Studies, Religious education
Keywords: Domestic abuse trauma, Domestic violence, Healthy relationships, Intimate partner violence, Violence against African American women, Violence and the African American Church
Publication Number: 27955755
ISBN: 9798641899558
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