The response of christian clergy to domestic violence: Help or hindrance?

Colleen Shannon-Lewy, Valerie T. Dull

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


This paper reviews the literature regarding Christian clergy as a resource for victims of domestic violence, a common threat to women. Although assistance is available, there are more victims than resources, resulting in many women having limited to no help at all. One resource for victims is the clergy, who are often perceived as respected members of the community and have the authority to make suggestions or even interventions about family issues. However, the literature suggests that cleric theological beliefs may hinder their ability to counsel victims, and the effectiveness of cleric ability to counsel victims varies greatly. Future directions for research are suggested in order to understand what factors influence cleric attitudes and counseling abilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)647-659
Number of pages13
JournalAggression and Violent Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Clergy
  • Domestic violence
  • Religion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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