Natalie Collins / 19:28 / 25 Oct 12
Restored recently delivered training to church leaders and interested individuals and organisations in Norwich. Myself and Peter Grant, Restored’s Co-Director delivered the training. We talked of how the Church needs to be equipped to effectively respond to domestic abuse and gave an introduction to domestic abuse (If you would like to find out more about the training we offer, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org). Part of that included me sharing some of my story of how my ex-husband had chosen to abuse me. You can read more of my story here.
After the event various people came up to me to thank me for my willingness to share my story and a few talked of the courage needed for us to speak out about such a “taboo” subject like domestic abuse within the Church. As people shared their gratitude and admiration for what we were doing, I was struck by the reality that actually it is those people who take forward our challenge to get their church involved in addressing domestic abuse. It is those who in their day to day lives that challenge abuse who are the courageous ones.
As educators, trainers and speakers addressing violence against women, we go to places where we have been invited, usually speaking to people who want to hear our message, whereas people who take our message out into the way they live their everyday lives are the courageous ones. To go back to a church that isn’t interested in responding to abuse and persevering with them until they are, takes at least as much courage, if not more, than for me to go to an event and talk to an interested audience.
As I was pondering on this I was reminded of this great TED talk from Derek Sivers on the importance of the first follower in any movement. He says:
“The first follower is actually an underestimated form of leadership in itself. … The first follower is what transforms a lone nut into a leader.”
As we at Restored forge this path encouraging the Christian world to take seriously violence against women, it is only as each person commits to live their life differently and champions the cause of violence against women in their sphere influence that we become a movement. It’s as each person, becomes the first follower in their own contexts, of the vision to see violence against women ended and relationships transformed, that we will see this vision becoming a reality.
We are not the courageous ones, we are the crazy people, with the crazy vision, it is you who are courageous by believing in our vision and enacting it in your lives.
TOPICS: Churches, For corporate members, Men, Peer groups, Women, Youth
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