The North Pacific Union Conference is working to gain a broader understanding of abusive relationships among its membership in an effort to bring healing to Adventist families. Thirty churches have responded to the call to contribute to the “Strengthening Adventist Families” research ministry. Union leaders are eagerly awaiting 70 more churches’ positive responses to participate.
Early results from this project indicate that the rates of physical abuse are about on par with the larger population in national studies with both men and women experiencing abusive behaviors from intimate partners. The findings bring to light many ways people can help themselves in difficult situations such as praying, talking to others and reading self-help books. In spite of attempts to get help, church members are often distressed by the physical, emotional and spiritual effects of abusive relationships and would like to get assistance, if possible, within the church. Preliminary responses also indicate church members would most likely use programs that educate children to prevent abuse, attend church-sponsored seminars and talk to pastors who are trained in abuse issues.
These findings are still preliminary, and this union-wide study needs many more responses to improve confidence in the results. If you are willing to help strengthen Adventist families, please respond by filling out and returning the survey when you are offered the opportunity to participate.