9 March 2024

Domestic abuse: Have your say!

Amy Quinn-Graham

A photo of holding hands

Amy Quinn-Graham (Research and Development) introduces a survey on domestic abuse.

In the UK, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will be victims and survivors of domestic abuse. Research tells us that these levels of prevalence are the same inside the Church as they are outside it. It can happen in our corps, workplaces, communities and contracted services. 

Domestic abuse is ‘any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members’. 

The consequences are devastating, wide- ranging and long-lasting. While it can happen to anyone, women are more likely to be victims and survivors of the most pervasive and damaging forms of domestic abuse.

The Family Ministries Department’s new survey will take 10 to 20 minutes to complete, depending on how much you want to share, and is completely anonymous. Whether you have experienced domestic abuse, know someone who has, have heard Christian teachings that you’re worried might condone domestic abuse or haven’t really thought about it before, this survey is for you. By filling it in, you are making a real impact on the future of The Salvation Army’s response to domestic abuse.

Lieutenant Amanda Sewell is a chaplain in the Ireland Division and a survivor of domestic abuse. She’s been working tirelessly to raise awareness of the importance of speaking out against domestic abuse and equipping the Army to respond in an effective and compassionate way.

‘Responding well to domestic abuse means being prepared to see people’s brokenness and journey with them,’ she says. ‘There is a lot of fear of the unknown when it comes to domestic abuse. Every situation is different and we don’t know what a victim or survivor is going to need. We can feel helpless. That’s why this survey is so important. We need an evidence base that gives us a starting point as an Army and identifies what support we need.’

Ultimately, we know that domestic abuse is not part of God’s plan for us. Domestic abuse is an abuse of power, and throughout Scripture God is always on the side of the powerless. We see this in the Old Testament Law, where the Israelites are commanded to treat the foreigner, poor, widow and victim with dignity and justice (see Leviticus 19, Deuteronomy 24), all the way through to Jesus’ posture towards women and inclusion of women in his ministry (see Luke 10, John 4).

It’s our job as Christians to call out domestic abuse, stand against it and support victims and survivors.

The survey will remain open until the end of April. Please do share widely with anyone connected to The Salvation Army and play your part in equipping Family Ministries with the evidence to respond to domestic abuse in an effective, safe and Christ-centred way.

Written by

A photo of Amy Quinn-Graham

Amy Quinn-Graham

Action Researcher, Territorial Headquarters

Share your thoughts

This anonymous survey offers anyone connected to The Salvation Army the opportunity to share thoughts on domestic abuse, whether you've experienced it or not.

Complete survey

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Lyn Woods talks to Restored UK and Family Ministries about their partnership working with survivors of domestic abuse.

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