Domestic Violence

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_message icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-quote-left”]“Violence against women, inside or outside the home, is never justified. Violence in any form-physical, sexual, psychological, or verbal is sinful; often, it is a crime as well” 

—U.S Catholic Bishops, When I Call for Help, 2002


The Catholic Bishops of the United States affirmed their stance against domestic violence, and their support for victims of domestic violence, in their 2002 statement, When I Call for Help: A Pastoral Response to Domestic Violence Against Women, an updated version of their 1992 statement. The statement:

  • Addresses abused women, men who abuse, and pastors and pastoral staffs
  • Offers updated statistics, resources and information about domestic violence (updated again in 2016)
  • Includes practical suggestions for dioceses and parishes based on actual experiences

“When I Call for Help” Resources

Full Text of When I Call for Help: A Pastoral Response to Domestic Violence (order hard copies here)

Full Text in SpanishCuando Pido Ayuda: Una Respuesta Pastoral A La Violencia Domestica Contra La Mujer

When I Call for Help Powerpoint (For use in presentations)

When I Call for Help Resource Cards: These cards, available in English and Spanish, list signs of an abusive relationship and include the number of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Ideal for parish pamphlet racks, for placing in parish restrooms, and as a resource to raise a congregation’s awareness about domestic abuse.

Resources for priests, deacons, and pastoral staffs

Media Toolkit for October: Domestic Violence Awareness Month. . . (from Catholics for Family Peace)

Suggestions for preaching about family violence

Addressing domestic violence in the sacrament of reconciliation

Batterers and the sacrament of reconciliation

What do you say?

Life Matters: Domestic Violence (web page format here)

Additional Resources

“Saying ‘No’ to Violence in the Home” by Bishop Richard Malone

Catholics for Family Peace. . . : a Catholic group dedicated to preventing domestic violence in Catholic homes and educating Catholics about domestic violence

National Center on Sexual Exploitation. . .

National Domestic Violence Hotline. . .   (1-800-799-SAFE)

Overcoming Obstacles: Domestic Violence on the For Your Marriage website

Survey of Diocesan Responses to domestic violence (July 2008) 

Source: USCCB