Open Up is a project that runs under the charity ‘Selig (Suffolk) Trust’ that also runs the ‘Ipswich Winter Night Shelter’ and ‘Hope into Action’. It hopes to enable the church to address domestic abuse both within its own community and in wider society initially through:
- Increasing awareness in church communities of the existence and effects of domestic violence.
- Encouraging churches to take necessary measures towards being recognised as places where domestic abuse is taken seriously, victims are believed and respected and perpetrators are safely challenged.
- Providing ideas for theological reflection on issues of domestic abuse.
Churches can become safe places for survivors of domestic abuse in all its different forms of control, whether physical, emotional, sexual, financial or spiritual. One of the experiences of those subject to abuse is isolation and providing safe places where victims and survivors can be real, open up to what is or has happened and receive love, belief, support and prayer, as well as signposting to the expert services.