UM Men and UM Women join to oppose domestic violence

December 31st, 2010


Photo: United Methodist Women and United Methodist Men have joined forces to stand with women against domestic violence.
A UMNS photo illustration by Ronny Perry.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. –– In an effort to oppose domestic violence, the General Commission on UM Men and the Women’s Division of the General Board of Global Ministries are encouraging their constituents to ask ABC affiliate stations to air an hour-long documentary “I Believe You: Faiths’ Response to Intimate Partner Violence.”

A trailer may be seen at the Diva Communications website ( That site also posts presently scheduled airtimes for the program.

Diva Communications, the producer of the program, is three-time-Emmy-award-winning production company, based in New York City.

UM Women and UM Men have also endorsed the message of the National Declaration by Religious and Spiritual Leaders to Address Violence Against Women. The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church signed this in 2006.

That statement affirms “that violence against women exists in all communities, including our own, and is morally, spiritually and universally intolerable.” It also acknowledges that Scripture is too frequently “misused to perpetuate and condone abuse.”

UM Men and UM Women jointly pledge to work toward the day when all women will be safe and abuse will be no more.

“We state as a denomination that we are open,” said Gil Hanke, top staff executive of the General Commission on UM Men, “but if we are silent on the subject of domestic violence, we send the message that it doesn’t happen in our church; our silence serves as denial and it further alienates the victims. Victims of domestic violence come from all economic, religious, educational and ethnic groups. Abusers include clergy, laity, and persons of all ages.

“We need to become a church that is open to listen and minister to all persons affected by domestic violence to move victims into survivors,” said Hanke.

Special training on ways to reduce domestic violence will be offered to leaders of UM Men, March, 2011, in Nashville.

Domestic Violence Resources

Domestic Violence Statistics

  • One in four women (25%) will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
  • More than three women and one man are murdered by their intimate partners in the U.S. every day.
  • During the first five years of the Iraqi war, 4,000 U.S. soldiers were killed in combat. During those same five years, more than 6,000 Americans were killed by intimate partners
  • Intimate partner violence costs over $5.8 billion each year. Nearly $1.8 billion are for the indirect costs of lost productivity or wages.
  • 3.3 million American children witness abuse in their homes every year.