Conference for pastors and church leaders focuses on addressing domestic violence in congregations

The Church is an integral part of many members of our local and national community. Church leaders and pastors play a crucial role in teaching, counseling, and protecting the men, women, and children within the church.

Approximately 36% of Christian women and 24% of Christian men will be victims of physical abuse, rape, or stalking in their lifetime. Roughly 20% of Christian women will be raped at some time during their lives and half of these rapes will be by a spouse or partner. The prevalence for domestic abuse among Christians is roughly the same as the prevalence in the entire population.

To better equip our local churches are equipped with the knowledge and materials to address the very real tragedy of domestic and sexual abuse, A Safe Place and family law attorney Charlene Quint invite pastors and church leaders to a free half-day conference on March 20 at Gurnee Community Church.

The Lake County Conference entitled "Biblically-Based Best Practices for Addressing Domestic Abuse in a Congregation" will educate, equip, challenge, and inspire local Christian leaders to deal with the difficult realities of domestic and sexual abuse that is, unfortunately, in many churches today.

"A pastor is often the first person a woman will confide in, after years of abuse," said Charlene Quint, family law attorney and co-sponsor of the conference. "But in many instances, seminaries do not prepare pastors to deal with the realities of domestic abuse in ways that are supportive to the victim, hold the abuser accountable, fulfill their legal reporting requirements, and are in line with Biblical principles."

The conference will cover topics that include what domestic violence looks like, the effect of abuse, legal requirements for pastors, the effect of silence, and what the Bible has to say about how to protect the vulnerable and how to hold abusers accountable.

The conference will highlight local Christian leaders who will share stories of abuse in their congregations and talk about how they continue to address abuse in their communities. The speakers include Pastor Neil Schori, Senior Pastor of the Edge Church, domestic abuse advocate, and former pastor to Staci Peterson, the fourth wife of convicted murderer Drew Peterson; Father Charles Dahm, O.P., Director of the Archdiocese of Chicago Domestic Violence Outreach; Nancy Dunsey, LPC, MaMHC, domestic violence counselor at A Safe Place, and graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; and Charlene Quint, J.D., family law attorney focusing on victims of domestic violence, domestic abuse advocate, and former Board of Regents member of Trinity International University.

"Our hope is to come alongside pastors and church leaders to provide education on what domestic abuse looks like and the effect it has, equip them with practical, Biblically-based tools and protocols, provide information on mandatory legal reporting obligations, provide contact information of various agencies and resources to refer victims to, and be a trusted resource that they can contact whenever needed."

Since 1978, A Safe Place has been Lake County's sole provider of services exclusively addressing domestic violence, serving individuals throughout the Chicagoland area including Cook, McHenry, and Kenosha counties. The organization's lifesaving programs and services for victims of domestic violence and their children, include crisis support, housing, legal advocacy, counseling, community outreach, and education to prevent future abuse. Last year, A Safe Place answered over 2,000 calls on the 24-hour hotline, entered over 3,000 Orders of Protection for victims of domestic violence into the court system, and served over 15,000 individuals that came from each and every community.

"Scriptures call us to support the oppressed, be a voice for those with no voice, and fight evil. There is no better place to start than supporting the victims of domestic abuse right in our own congregations."

If you or someone you know is affected by domestic violence, call the A Safe Place 24-hour crisis line at 1-800-600-SAFE or 1-847-249-4450.

For more information, visit the A Safe Place website at or register on Eventbrite at or call (847) 731-7165, ext. 104.


Founded in 1978, A Safe Place is the leading advocate for eliminating domestic violence in northern Illinois, and is Lake County, Illinois' only provider of services exclusively for victims of domestic violence. A Safe Place provides emergency shelter, permanent housing, a 24-hour crisis line (847-249-4450), court and non-legal advocacy, individual, group, and children's counseling, art therapy, family visitation services, batterer intervention services; and community outreach, prevention education, and professional training. Our service area includes Lake, McHenry, and northern Cook counties in Illinois; however, our clients come to us from across the state, region, and country.

For more information about A Safe Place, visit, Facebook, and Twitter.

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