Change from Within: Engaging Clergy in Domestic Violence Prevention (Session J)
In recognition of the fact that clergy are often first responders in many faith communities, Peaceful Families Project (PFP) provides training to imams who, similar to clergy of other faith traditions, otherwise may not have any preparation to deal with domestic violence. Furthermore, imams have tremendous potential to influence their congregations’ attitudes around domestic violence and help-seeking behavior.
This presentation will describe the training model that has been used to train imams and chaplains. The goals of the training are to increase imams’ understanding of domestic violence, guide them in critical analysis of religious texts that have often been misused to support or facilitate domestic violence, empower them to utilize religious texts and concepts to prevent domestic violence, and motivate them to develop collaborative relationships with service providers and other professionals that work with domestic violence survivors and perpetrators.
The presenters will share preliminary findings of evaluation outcomes research measuring the impact of the training on imams and chaplains. Results will include information about trainees’ knowledge and behaviors related to domestic violence cases before the training, immediately following the training, and two months later.
Participants will learn how to engage imams, who are mostly male, and to build collaborative relationships with them as a way to work more effectively with Muslim communities. Best practices for outreach, training, and partnering will be shared.