In the U.K., Domestic Abuse Has Soared, Not Least Among Believers May 27, 2020

In the U.K., Domestic Abuse Has Soared, Not Least Among Believers

This is not exclusively a problem of the religious, but (once again) religion doesn’t help.

Religious leaders have warned that domestic abuse victims in their communities face the greatest obstacles to getting help, and raised fears that the coronavirus lockdown was causing such violence to soar.

Figures from Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Hindu and Sikh communities said they had heard reports of abuse in the home ranging from psychological and physical violence to spiritual abuse during the Covid-19 emergency.

Spiritual abuse, a term I hadn’t heard before, means that

abusers use religion to persuade people to stay with an abusive partner. Children are often the hidden victims.

Secular women are more likely to walk out on an abusive partner than people of faith are. That reluctance is also pronounced among non-white women, at least in the U.K.

A joint statement, signed by leading figures from a range of faith-based domestic abuse charities, said women in faith and black and minority ethnic (BME) communities stay with abusive partners for longer than women in the wider population and are less likely to access support.

I presume that’s due at least in part to religion’s typically male-dominated culture, as well as the propensity to keep dirty laundry inside the faith bubble so as not to give the outside world grounds for criticism.

We cannot ignore that there are perpetrators within all our faith communities,” the statement says. “At our best, our faith communities nurture healthy relationships and strengthen society. The home exists alongside our churches, mosques, synagogues, gurdwaras and temples, to enable growth within both faith and our local communities. Sadly, the ideal that our faiths provide does not always materialize.”

Understatement of the year.

According to the Independent,

Domestic abuse has risen during the coronavirus emergency, with visits to the UK’s online national domestic abuse service surging by 700 per cent in a single day last month and a report recently released by MPs revealing domestic abuse killings doubled over 21 days.

The new campaign, which is titled #FaithsAgainstDomesticAbuse, called for the government to provide more funding for all domestic abuse services.

Isn’t it odd that people who say that the Lord watches them, and that they’re good because of God, would engage in widespread cruelty and violence?

(Image via Shutterstock)

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