Church Leaders Helping Domestic Violence Victims

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Domestic violence makes up more than 20% of the violent crime in our area. According to Rockford Police, officers hope local church leaders can help report more cases through a special training.

“The first thing I do is pray, it’s hard to think of the suffering of the people involved.”

Christ United Methodist Church is sometimes the first place many people run to after they’ve been verbally, sexually, or physically abused. It’s a challenge Pastor Jane Eaesley says she takes seriously.

“It is challenging to know what to do first as a pastor, to listen to the person but also hear of their safety and try to gauge what you’re hearing.”

“We don’t know what’s going on inside people’s homes.”\

Rockford Police say domestic violence cases make up 25% of all violent crime, which is why officers say they’re asking local church leaders for help.

“It’s about the safety of the person who’s in your church and how do we get them the help that they need.”

Several churches are learning more about orders of protection and domestic violence shelters to help victims. Eesley says we need to work together as a community to save lives.

“So much of what we do is relational and trust, on the other hand, the concern for more or potential victims is more important than that.

Church leaders can report domestic violence cases anonymously by calling Rockford Police at 815-987-5921.

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