"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." USCCB,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 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
Delivered at the Vigil Mass in Observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, October 3, 2020. The Mass was co-hosted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life, & Youth.
This report was compiled from a survey conducted in summer 2017 of individuals serving in various capacities in Catholic dioceses throughout the country. Its purpose is to better understand the Catholic Church's response to the topic of sexual and domestic violence/abuse which spans all levels of the Church throughout the United States.
The hope is that the results will raise awareness of available resources and strategies in place as well as highlight those in need of further attention. The leaders surveyed represent a range of ministries and areas in the Church, but a different survey and approach would be necessary for a truly comprehensive and scientific account. This limitation should be kept in mind while considering the survey's results.