Domestic Violence Prevention, Intervention, and Healing
Need Help: National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-7233 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) or 9-1-1
In our Love Does No Harm seminar, you'll find husbands and wives, abused women and men, abusers, children raised in abusive homes, and domestic violence prevention professionals, including police officers. This training is designed to break the pattern of abuse experienced by both the abused and abusers. Our objective is that both groups learn to own and take responsibility for their lives. Our message is, "You don't have to be an abuser" and "You don't have to be a victim." Real love recognizes harm and chooses not to inflict it or continue to live with it. Love Does No Harm was born out of our commitment to break the cycle of domestic abuse and implement our goals of reconciliation and restoration.
What Happens During a Love Does No Harm Seminar?
We begin by creating a place of safety for every attendee. Our training provides a safe place, emotionally and physically, for attendees to learn about the issues that drive and enable domestic violence and how to change the status quo. We begin by encouraging all participants. No judgment. When you participate in Love Does No Harm, you're in a place where you can begin to rebuild. For many, the truths they hear are uncomfortable. Some have the initial response to flee, leaving behind the work they need to do during this session. Be assured that, at any time during the training, there are people available in the room to talk to you and pray for you individually. You'll hear from former victims, former abusers, and intervention professionals along with powerful messages and training on the role domination and control play in perpetuating the cycle of domestic violence. Sometimes, the most powerful testimonies about the full impact of violence on the family come from the children raised in abusive homes. Hearing from them motivates both the abused and abusers to learn how to break the cycle of domestic abuse.
Domestic Abuse and the Law
Police officers experienced in handling abuse cases attend to discuss domestic abuse and the law. Abused and abusers learn what the domestic abuse laws say and what they don't say. You'll gain in-depth information on how to involve law enforcement and the courts in ending violence in the home and punishing perpetrators. Sometimes, attendees have restraining orders against other attendees. That's fine. This is a place to begin the difficult work of learning and changing. Police officers in attendance also ensure the trainings are safe for everyone.
Small Groups Discussion
Later, we break up into small groups, with each having a facilitator. The group consisting of abusers is led by a former abuser, and the group consisting of those who have been abused is led by a former victim of abuse. The talk during these sessions is focused and no-nonsense. Excuses are not allowed. This is the time to get down to the business of how we change the status quo.
Identification repentance is a critical and powerful part of the healing process for both the abused and abusers. During this part of the training, male and female trainers alternate taking on the collective identity of the members of their gender who verbally or physically abused participants in their past. A female trainer stands in the place of all the women who have hurt or belittled male abusers. She apologizes for the wounding and the brokenness these women in their past (whether it was a parent, a sibling, a friend, or a lover) caused them. She rebukes the curses spoken against them by these women. Similarly, a male trainer stands before the women participants, representing all the men who have battered, cursed, and abused them in their past. He repents for all the harm done in sin by these men.
Intercession and Healing
We end Love Does No Harm with a time of Intercession and Healing. This seals, spiritually, the work and the progress made throughout the day. All day, participants have opened up and been willing to be vulnerable in an attempt to heal. They've had their emotions, memories, and wounds stirred by what they've learned and experienced throughout the training. This is a time for letting God complete the work He wants to do this day. We pray for individuals, individual situations, and the movement of the Holy Spirit throughout the room.
After completing the Love Does No Harm training, participants are invited to join Love Does No Harm small groups. In this setting, they work with a curriculum that focuses on teaching them how to love themselves. They also learn how to set boundaries for themselves and others. As abused and abusers grow into a healthy self-esteem, learning to love themselves in a healthy way, they begin to value their own worth. This completely changes the way they view abuse and their willingness to abuse or to stay with an abuser.
Love, real love, does no harm. For most of us, that statement is intuitive. But for both the abused and the abuser caught up in the domestic violence cycle, this truth is lost. The Love Does No Harm Program redefines the boundaries of a healthy relationship. Love Does No Harm support groups meet weekly for 8-12 weeks. Through small group interaction the abused receive ministry and healing.
Our next support in September 2015 at Community Baptist Church in Alta Loma, CA. For more information about joining one of our groups, please call 909-529-3373