Condemnation of Domestic Violence

March 4, 2016
AN 006 CONDEMNATION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
The following is a true copy of a Resolution adopted by the Executive Council at its meeting from February 26 – 28, 2016, at which a quorum was present and voting.
Resolved, That the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church, meeting in Fort Worth, Texas, from February 26-28, 2016, declare its condemnation of all manifestations and instances of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual violence, and stalking regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity of the victim, and whether the incidents are in the victim’s home, work place, on the streets, in war and war-like conflicts, or anywhere else; and be it further
Resolved, That the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church declare its commitment to support legislative, judicial, and other forms of government and official actions that protect the rights of victims and survivors of these violent acts, including, but not limited to:
• increased funding for victims for support services, for trauma informed care, for prevention, and for education on safe relationships geared toward teens;
• increased training for all professionals connected to the legal system, to assist them in understanding the needs and safety concerns of victims, and the dynamics of domestic and partner violence;
• effective and efficient processes for obtaining victim protective orders (VPO) for all victims, including funding and procedures for the appointment of attorneys to represent victims seeking protective orders;
• consistent and firm implementation of legal penalties and enforcement of protective orders against the perpetrators of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual violence and stalking in order to hold perpetrators accountable and keep victims safe;
• prevention programs directed at perpetrators and prevention programs that educate victims and potential victims of their legal rights;
• changes in the way that family courts handle cases of domestic violence so that domestic violence issues are not shunted to a separate court and ignored in divorce and custody cases;
• increased training for police officers, to help them respond safely and effectively to the needs of survivors, and connect survivors to supportive resources;
• enabling off-site victim testimony in trials related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking so that victims are not traumatized by the presence of the perpetrator in the courtroom.
• helping victims become financially independent in instances where their dependence on their domestic partners or spouses force them to remain in dangerous homes; and
• speedy processing and protection from destruction of rape kits so that the rights of victims of sexual violence are protected until trial; and be it further
Resolved, That the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church urge all Episcopalians to strive for justice and healing for victims of any kind of violence through listening, believing, prayer, education, advocacy, trauma informed pastoral care, and action.
 
The Rev. Canon Michael Barlowe
Secretary of Executive Council and
The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society
of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America