Rev. Dr. Sally MacNichol, our Co-Executive Director opened as Special Guest Speaker of “Fordham University’s Conference, Spiritual Geographies of Domestic Violence” on May 6, 2016.
In addition to sharing her story about how she got started in her work to prevent violence and tansform communities, Sally highligted some key elements that are rarely addressed; spiritual and emotional abuse.
“There has never been a domestic violence survivor that hasn’t said to me that the emotional abuse was worse than the physical,” she said. “You can see bruises, and they heal. But you can’t see spiritual and emotional wounds, and these take a long time to heal.”
We need to become more aware and less tolerant of invisible abuses, MacNichol said, or else a wide swath violence will remain undetected and unresolved. Faith communities have the ability—and the responsibility, she said—both to lead these conversations and to reduce inflicting further harm on victims (for instance, working to save an abusive marriage at all costs, rather than helping an abused spouse who is trying to escape).