It was a privilege today to support a member of All Souls, Esther Sweetman, at the launch of a unique resource she has edited on the behalf of the Christian charity Restored.
The manual is for “female Christian survivors of domestic abuse” and the launch was hosted by Bishop Rachel of Gloucester in the House of Lords.
Esther heads up the survivors’ network for Restored and writes regularly (and beautifully) about issues such as forgiveness or ‘spiritual abuse’.
Restored is a remarkable and hugely important organisation, focusing on an issue which is (and, most importantly, on people who are) so often ignored in church circles, not least because “surely that couldn’t happen here, in Christian marriages?!”.
It was something that Jill McLachlan, Chair of Restored, said at the end of the reception that struck me: that it’s really hard to raise money (or profile) for charities that focus on “unsexy” causes – and domestic abuse certainly fulfills that description. It’s something that unsettles us, especially in the close knit ‘family’ of the church. It’s something that’s hard to admit might exist amongst us – and it’s hard to raise money for, when there aren’t moving photos or easy-to-tell stories to communicate.
So, if you can give to Restored, can I suggest that you consider doing so? Your small donation will be making a big difference – not least in making this manual available to any woman who needs it for free. But also because it should not only be the “sexy” issues that get the focus… and our money.