'I Believe You': Church Leaders Respond to Survivors | Sojourners

'I Believe You': Church Leaders Respond to Survivors

Photo by Jachan DeVol on Unsplash

On Thursday Dr. Christine Blasey Ford recounted her experience of sexual assault before a committee comprising mostly older white men. Women and other victims of abuse held their collective breath. The details were familiar. The resulting trauma — anxiety, fear of flying, claustrophobia — resonated. Survivors listened — and they recalled their worst experiences.

How will the church step up? We all want our churches to be a safe space for survivors to be heard and to heal. But a recent survey shows us that while 90 percent of pastors encounter domestic and sexual violence through their work, only 50 percent believe they have sufficient training to address it. We want to change that.

Every pastor should be equipped to address domestic and sexual violence in their ministry. And we can begin by looking to those pastors who have already started.

In January we invited pastors and parishioners to send us sermons on domestic and sexual violence, hoping to have 100 by the end of the year. By July, we had nearly 150. We’ve compiled the sermons, along with other resources, for ministers to take and use within their own communities. You can view them here.

People of faith and pastors need to step up to let survivors in their communities know they are heard, they are believed, and they are supported.

Share this video and view all 100 Sermons and resources here.