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Domestic Violence: What Every Pastor Needs to Know [Paperback]

By Al Miles (Author)
Our Price $ 16.15  
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Item Number 51356  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   212
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.56" Width: 5.55" Height: 0.58"
Weight:   0.62 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 2000
ISBN  0800631757  
EAN  9780800631758  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Although victims of domestic violence turn to their pastors more than any other resource, often clergy are not fully equipped to help. Combining real-life case studies (some with strong language), sound biblical precepts, and practical insights, social worker and pastor Miles gives ministers the information they need to provide life-affirming care to suffering families. Includes discussion questions.

Publishers Description
Domestic violence is as ancient as the family unit itself. And according to the American Medical Association, one quarter of American women will be abused by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. Ministers can help care for these victims. Loving and sensitive support can make a tremendous difference to survivors as they struggle with the long and difficult process of healing and regaining trust in themselves and others. Often, however, pastoral caregivers possess the same misconceptions about domestic violence as does the uninformed public. Miles addresses the issues related to inadequate pastoral response to this pervasive problem. He explores the dynamics of abusive relationships and the role which clergy members can take to heal this painful situation.

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More About Al Miles

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Miles works for Pacific Health Ministry as coordinator of the Hospital Ministry Department at The Queen's Medical Center, Honolulu.

Al Miles was born in 1951.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Mental Health > Abuse & Self Defense > Domestic Violence   [136  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Self-Help > Abuse   [150  similar products]
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7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Pastoral Counseling   [1545  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Really, every pastor NEEDS to know this information  Mar 9, 2007
It's refreshing to hear about domestic violence from a male perspective. It's especially refreshing to read about it from a male minister's prospective. Rev. Al Miles does several important things in this vital resource: he defines domestic violence and presents helpful information about its prevalence; he addresses the very real concerns, fears, and spiritual struggles of victims/survivors; he provides excellent exegetical work on some of those difficult Biblical passages that abusers often use to excuse their violence (or worse, to "prove" that it's sanctioned by God); and he offers hope. Reading this book should be required of every minister--it's that vital to the Christian church and, more importantly, the people we serve.
Excellent  May 11, 2006
Domestic Violence What Every Pastor Needs to Know tells it like it really is. It offers great beginning advice on pastor and church care of victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. It confronts mis-used scripture. It is easy to read. I think it would be an excellent required text book for Christian Seminary students.
Domestic Violence Awareness  Apr 14, 2002
A Review by Eric Newell
April 10, 2002

Reverend Miles seeks to inform and challenge the parish pastor, in this revealing book. With the surveys and the interviews that have been conducted and shared, he tells the story of this horror in society which no longer can be ignored. Quickly one is able to tell the author's sensitivity to the plight of women. Just as easily understood is the offense he has toward the local parish pastor who has glibly overlooked or even brushed aside this issue. Perhaps a bit repetitive in nature, the author drives home the points that this is a real problem in society not to be ignored. The problems are pervasive both outside and within the church, but since pastors generally do not know how to approach the subject, they do nothing about the subject. Incorrect understanding and usage of Biblical passages which speak to the relations of men to women are more harmful than helpful; myths regarding domestic violence as well as ill placed counseling efforts can be counterproductive, as well as dangerous to the victim.

The author's focus is upon the local pastor's concern and attention to this issue, overshadowed his advice for helping the pastor to improve his awareness. Two concerns come to surface: 1.) What the pastor does not know and what he/she is not doing, was more of a concern than what could or should be done. The four steps given for effectively caring for perpetrators found on pages 125 -126, are important. It seemed this still was lacking in help for clergy. 2.) Passion almost turned to antagonism with regard to the work of the "Promise Keepers" movement and leadership.

Issues to remember in effectively caring for perpetrators are as follows: 1.) The etymology for forgiveness was helpful for understanding the importance or the extent of the term. The background to this term helped to clarify the message of forgiveness, and the role of the victim with regard to forgiveness. 2.) Scriptural interpretation, was helpful as it gave clear understanding both of the original intent of the passages as well as their misuse. 3.) The exposing some of the myths, was necessary for alerting clergy who being faced for the first time with domestic violence to cautiously respond seeking first to learn of the disorder before seeking to correct it.

Domestic Violence, What Every Pastor Needs to Know, is a good beginning book introducing the pastor to this delicate topic. Reverend Miles provides a cursory approach to the topic. This is important for the parish pastor who is newly introduced to the subject.

FINALLY . . .  Apr 11, 2002
Finally, someone has given victims and survivors a voice! Rev. Miles does an excellent job of addressing abuse within the church that has been perpetrated both, from the pulpit or from the inactions of leadership. Miles does not skirt the issues but challenges clergy of both genders to confront the myths, faulty theology, false beliefs and teachings that have perpetuated abuse within congregations. Rev. Miles' first hand knowledge of the inadequacies of clergy motived him to develop and give seminars to equip pastors.
He accomplishes this by applying truth to four myths. The myths are:
1)There are no abused women in my congregation.
2)Christian survivors need only faith, prayers, and a positive attitude, and God to be freed from domestic violence.
3)Domestic violence occurs only in certain cultural, racial, and socioeconomic groups, and only in urban areas.
4)Victims can stop the battering by changing their behavior and this will save their marriages and families (50-69).

Rev. Miles' work is invaluable for two of reasons. First, he helps pastors who wrestle with theological issues. Miles clarifies such issues as headship and submission, the hierarchy of the family, the relationship between man and woman, forgiveness, and the grounds for divorce. And he focuses on the responsibilities of pastors to educate their congregations in dealing with the victims of domestic violence, including the perpetrators and their children.
Second, as this awareness increases in pastors and congregations, victims, who turn to their pastors more than to any other resource, will finally receive the understanding, counseling, and moral support they need to improve their circumstances.
Miles is utterly convinced and convincing that teamwork is the only solution to domestic violence. "Even with proper domestic violence education and training, which many ministers do not have, ministers (or those in any other discipline) would still be taking a risk to act as lone rangers when it comes to caring for battered women. Victims need not only spiritual support, but also the emotional, financial, legal, physical, and psychological care of individuals with a wide range of expertise" (71).
He analyzes the reluctance of pastors to become involved. He finds five underlying reasons, " . . . denial, fear and helplessness, lack of appropriate training, sexism, and the fact that some clergy are themselves perpetrators of domestic abuse" (166). Miles discusses these reasons in depth. Collaborating with other professionals helps "victims break the isolation and provides them with options for achieving safety in their lives," (72) giving victims the sense of control they need.
Miles addresses the inaction of both clergymen and clergywomen. He says, " . . . their inaction has actually contributed to the violence perpetrated against women and their children" (168). And clergywomen, by choosing to believe " . . . that since most of the perpetrators of violence against women and children are males, it's up to male pastors and other men to `fix the problem' are actually helping abused women to remain victims" (168).
I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking to know the truth of how and why domestic violence has been and is still perpetrated within the walls of the Christian church.

Clergy, Join the Committed Against Domestic Violence  Feb 22, 2002
"Equip the saints for ministry" (Ephesians 4:12) is the scriptural key to Domestic Violence: What Every Pastor Needs to Know, by the Reverend Al Miles. `The saints,' in this case are clergy. As an aside, just so that no one feels too sanctimonious about the `saint' appellation, Rev. Miles also included clergy as some of the perpetrators of domestic violence: "Perpetrators of domestic violence are everywhere; some even worship in and lead our churches" (127). Miles intention, however, was not to assign blame, but to elicit support from clergy in recognizing, dealing with (confession, repentance, forgiveness), and helping in the care of all victims of domestic abuse: perpetrators, target victims, and the peripherally affected. Clergy, by definition, should be part of the care-giving team composed of medical personnel, psychologists, and social workers, which respond to the complex consequences to domestic violence.
Miles suggested eight bullet points to direct clergy on how to become helpful in changing incidents of domestic violence into circumstances promoting domestic tranquility: (1) "Seek training; (2) Know your limits; (3) Avoid bringing the abuser together with the victim to `get at the truth'; (4) Be realistic; (5) Put the victim's safety first; (6) Hold him accountable; (7) Redirect his Scripture reading; and, (8) Hold out hope" (124-126). Miles pointed out an important truth: "Perpetrators of domestic violence can change, but few can do so without long-term commitment to work on their issues. Clergy and other pastoral ministers can assist abusers in this difficult but necessary process. Ministers must also be willing to work closely with professionals from a variety of other disciplines" (127-128). The professional key to dealing with domestic violence is work as a member of a professional team with the understanding of the need for long-term commitment!
Myth busting is part of the work of the clergy according to Miles. Where domestic violence is concerned the more obvious myths are: "#1 There are no abused women in my congregation; #2 Christian survivors need only faith, prayer, a positive attitude, and God to be freed from domestic violence; #3 Domestic violence occurs only in certain cultural, racial, and socioeconomic groups, and only in urban areas; #4 Victims can stop the battering by changing their behavior. This will save their marriages and families" (50-69). Statistics, case studies, sociological surveys, and psychological profiles put the lie to those myths.
The problem according to Miles is that clergy suffer from "denial" (166), "a sense of fear and helplessness" (169), "lack of appropriate training" (172), and "sexism" (174). By acknowledging these problems, by acquiring further specific education, and by working in conjunction with other appropriate professionals, clergy certainly would help rectify the current deplorable situation.
Domestic violence is not going to disappear on its own accord (185). The real issues of power and control, true authority, assignment of blaming, historic patterns of abuse/victimization, and personal duplicity need to be identified, broken down into manageable segments, and resolved for the domestic welfare and benefit of everyone concerned.
Rev. Miles presented compelling evidence, fascinating case histories, and thoughtful reflective questions in each of the six chapters to sustain interest and to invite the reader to acknowledge the wisdom of his approach in proposing solutions.

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