On October 24th, the Women’s Federation for World Peace sponsored a presentation on domestic violence at the Kodiak Family Church meeting room.
The presenters were Rebecca (Beckie) Shields, executive director of the Kodiak Women’s Resource and Crisis Center and Beth Davis, a faith advocate with the center.
First Shields explained that the problem is not always about hitting, but it is any coercive relationship where the victim is living in an environment of fear. Its about one person behaving in controlling ways, like putting a woman down verbally all the time or withholding money and then accusing the woman of not meeting the families food needs.
Beth talked about the extra difficulty that women from a faith group might face. Because churches place so much emphasis on good families and good wives etc, this can become a barrier for a victim to come forward because they feel so guilty about not being a good person, wife or parent. For this reason churches must be tender, gentle and wise when dealing with any person who plucks up the courage to talk about the difficulties in their relationship. We must also think about the husbands viewpoint and what can be done to help him.
Children too, often witness domestic violence, but don’t know what to do about it, they only know that for some reason those who are supposed to be caring for them don’t. Quite often older children and teens will turn to drugs, alcohol or gangs to try to get their needs met.
During question time, David asked Beckie whether the KWRCC would be open to having us support their outreach efforts into the schools. Beckie said that they would and David replied that he would look into what he could find from the WFWP in the way of educational resources for young people.