Document the Abuse (documenttheabuse.com) is gearing up awareness campaigns for October to coincide with National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Campaigns will be launched across all social media channels as well as through outreach to individuals and community organizations.
Pastor Neil Schori of Naperville Christian Church in Naperville, Illinois has developed a campaign that will address the faith-based community and it’s role in assisting victims of intimate partner violence. (safefaithcommunity.com)
Schori hopes to encourage leaders to become safe havens for victims of abuse and to duplicate what he has set up in his home church.
According to Schori, “Victims often have limited resources available to seek immediate and long-term help when leaving an abusive relationship, especially those considered high risk. We have established a system of counseling and referrals, along with assisting victims in preparing an Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit (EAA), which we intend to bring to other church leaders.”
The EAA was developed during the high-profile disappearance of Stacy Peterson when Schori, who was Peterson’s pastor, was approached by intimate partner violence prevention activist, Susan Murphy-Milano. Together they were able to utilize video equipment in the church, along with Murphy-Milano’s methods, to establish the outlines of the EAA, a notarized testimony containing details to build a better case for prosecution if the need arises. Detailed instruction is contained in her book, Time’s Up: A Guide on How to Safely Leave and Survive Abusive and Stalking Relationships.
Taking the campaign a step further, the Safe Person Project (safepersonproject.com) was developed as a way to engage individuals to become active supporters of the cause and commit to helping victims with referrals to safety if they see signs of abuse.
Training sessions are available to certify the Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit (EAA). Neil Schori will be holding a training at Naperville Christian Church in October, and Sandra Brown, CEO of The Institute for Relational Harm Reduction, will be holding EAA training for mental health professionals on November 11 in Hilton Head, SC. For details or registration, please refer to the TRAINING page at Document the Abuse website.
To become involved in Document the Abuse and it’s October campaign download graphic files from the website to share across social media platforms and use the hashtag #IAmSafe.