Turn Mourning Into Dancing! A Policy Statement on Healing Domestic Violence

The 213th General Assembly (2001) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), in reliance upon God under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and in exercise of its responsibility to witness to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in every dimension of life, has approved this policy statement “Turn Mourning Into Dancing! A Policy Statement on Healing Domestic Violence.” It is presented for the guidance and edification of the whole Christian Church and the society to which its ministers; and will determine  procedures and program for the Ministries Divisions and staff of the General Assembly. This policy statement is recommended for consideration and study by other governing bodies (sessions, presbyteries, and synods). It is commended to the free Christian conscience of all congregations and the members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for prayerful study, dialogue, and action.

This policy statement is the result of a development process that included wide consultation and participation throughout the church, drawing upon biblical sources and insights from the Reformed tradition in giving renewed definition to Presbyterian understandings concerning the root causes of domestic violence and the church’s complicity and response to the problem. The term “domestic violence” in this policy statement and its rationale is used as an inclusive term to broadly encompass the abuse found in child/child, parent/child, spouse/spouse, partner/partner, adult child/aging parent relationships, as well as violence that occurs in sibling and dating relationships.

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