Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why is it called Restored?
We recognise the horrific way abuse destroys people, but believe that every individual is made in the image of God and can be Restored into fullness of life through Christ. We also recognise that there is a brokenness in the universal relationship between men and women and believe that through the power of Christ, there can be a transformation and restoration of the way men and women relate to each other on all levels.
2. What is Restored about?
Restored is an international Christian alliance working to transform relationships and end violence against women. We want to see the Church take action and be a safe place for both women and men to be the people that God made them to be. The Church is often central in community life and can have a big influence over culture. We want to see the cultures in our societies and churches changing so that violence against women is ‘never acceptable, never tolerable, never excusable’ (Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General). Our resources section has lots of free resources to help churches get started.
3. How does Restored differ to other organisations tackling violence against women?
Firstly, Restored is a Christian organisation. Much of the response to domestic and sexual violence has been from a secular perspective that cannot comprehensively respond to issues of faith and theology. Restored aims to build on the excellent work done by such organisations and add to it by addressing theological issues that can contribute to violence. We also recognise that the Church and congregations have been doing some amazing work over the years. We want to share this work with others and let the whole world see where the Church can, and is, making a difference - a lasting, sustained, 'transformed lives' difference.
4. What is domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse takes many forms. This includes physical, sexual, emotional, verbal, psychological, financial, spiritual and social abuse within an intimate or family-type relationship that forms a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour. This can include forced marriage and so-called 'honour based violence'. Domestic abuse is also known as domestic violence. (Adapted from the Women’s Aid definition of domestic violence.)
Although a perpetrator of abuse will be intentionally using abusive tactics from the start of the relationship, these may be very subtle and will only become more obvious as he begins to develop his level of control. This may happen in times of increased vulnerability of the woman, such as pregnancy.
Verbal abuse is not simply arguments or disagreements but repeated patterns of verbal violence and false statements that demean or belittle a woman thus eroding her self-esteem. Domestic abuse happens because a person makes a deliberate choice to behave in a way that will enable them to have power and control over another person.
5. Why an international alliance?
Restored aims to link up churches and organisations around the world that are passionate about seeing the issue of violence against women ended. It’s a massive issue and requires a global response. The church, in most communities, is in a unique place to respond in this dimension as nearly every community has a church. The local church congregation can be effective in preventing violence against women, promoting healthy relationships and be a sustained part of positive cultural change.
6. Why two Co-Directors?
Violence is an issue that affects both men and women. Often domestic violence has been labelled as a women’s issue. We wanted to move away from that and make a stand to say it’s both a men and women’s issue. We want to demonstrate a partnership between men and women working together to end violence against women.
7. Why the Church?
We believe the Church has an answer. The Church can bring hope and be light in the darkness of violence. The church can restore women and men. We want to see churches equipped to deal with the issues of violence in their own churches and communities and reach out to change the culture that currently allows violence to go on. This is why we have produced the church pack and the Christians Ending Violence Against Women resources. The local church congregation can be effective in preventing violence against women, promoting healthy relationships and be a sustained part of positive cultural change.
8. Hasn’t the Church contributed to violence against women?
Yes it has, and sadly in some places, continues to do so. We want to challenge the Church to change and take action to bring this to an end. We want the Church to promote healthy relationships and prevent violence against women. Some churches, and Christians individually, are doing amazing work in what can be very difficult circumstances (see our members page). We need to keep a balanced perspective, addressing the many difficulties and celebrating, endorsing and supporting the positive actions being taken.
9. How big an issue is it?
- Globally, women aged 15-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war and malaria, according to World Bank data (UN).
- Up to 70 per cent of women experience violence in their lifetime, according to country data available (UN).
- A World Health Organization (WHO) study in 11 countries found that the percentage of women who had been subjected to sexual violence by an intimate partner ranged from 6 per cent in Japan to 59 per cent in Ethiopia (UN)
- One in three women globally suffers abuse in her lifetime (UN 2007).
- In the UK two women a week are killed by a partner or former partner (Crime Survey of England and Wales).
- In El Salvador it's one woman a day; in Russia one woman every hour dies and in the Ukraine it's one woman every 35 minutes (Atlas of Women in the World 2009).
- A woman is raped in South Africa every 83 seconds. In the UK 167 are raped every day.
- In England and Wales 90% of the victims of the most serious sexual offences knew their perpetrator (ONS 2013)
10. I don’t understand why women suffering abuse don’t just leave their abusive partners.
Maybe a more appropriate question to consider is why don’t violent men just stop being abusive? We seem to always focus on the woman rather than the abusive man. There are many and varied reasons why women stay with abusive men. This includes eroded self-esteem, fear, any children that are involved, economic situation, isolation or loss of support from friends, family and sometimes the Church. It can be the stigma and shame the perpetrator pushes onto the woman that prevents her from seeking help and support. Many women in abusive relationships try so hard to make the relationships work believing that if they only try harder, it will succeed.
Each woman has her own story. Women are most at risk of being killed by their partner when they leave. It is important to realise women leave abusive relationships when they can.
11. What about men that are abused?
All domestic violence is wrong. However, the overwhelming majority of violence is by men against women. Restored is clear on its aim and mandate. We want to see violence against women ended and relationships transformed. In some countries there are organisations already established to help male victims of violence. We would encourage male victims to seek help from them. The abuse of women by men has some of its foundations in the historic inequality of men and women - when women were (and in some places still are) possessions of men. This is not a foundation of abuse of men and therefore, there must be different and very separate responses to both these terrible issues.
12. Your web site is 'Restored relationships' - are you expecting women to stay in abusive relationships until they are restored?
No, we have no such expectations. The ultimate aim is to see all relationships transformed and restored. We are, however, very clear that the transformation of the individual MUST precede any restoration of relationship. Restored also wants to see some of the wider cultural issues addressed that can contribute to unhealthy relationships and violence against women. We want to see the underlying inequality between men and women, which can lead to violence, ended and the equal value of women and men promoted.
13. I’m not an abused woman, where do I fit in?
We need you to lead the way and model a healthy positive life whether you are a part of a relationship or not. Women who have been through abusive relationships or are still in them need to see positive alternatives to the current lifestyle, alongside help and support to make choices about their own. We also need to reflect on our own attitudes and actions that may contribute to a culture that continues to allow violence against women to continue. This can be difficult and soul searching. For example, do we sometimes wonder whether a woman has done something to deserve the abuse or to provoke it? We know the right answer is no and never, but what does the default reaction in us say? It is this sort of thinking and misconception that we need to bring before God and be transformed.
14. I'm not an abusive man, why should I join?
Great. We need more men like you to be positive, healthy role models in your family, church and community. Join us in praying for an end to violence against women. You can speak up in your church, pub, club about healthy, positive, relationships. In 2011 we launched a campaign to engage men in their churches and communities to promote healthy relationships, called First Man Standing. We have hundreds of men already signed up to respect all women, challenge other men's attitudes and actions and join in the cause to end violence against women. Regardless of how healthy our relationships are, we all need to reflect on our attitudes towards women.
You can join First Man Standing here and be a part of the movement for change.
15. Is this anti men?
Absolutely not! In fact we want men to be involved. We need men to be involved. Men often find themselves in positions of influence and power. We want to see all men able to use their power and influence for good and demonstrate a healthy use, and not abuse, of that power. In some cases it may mean laying down that power. We want men to demonstrate healthy role models of positive relationships. We want men to join us to end the violence. See our First Man Standing campaign for more info & our resource “Living as a First Man Standing”, on how to live out a life that challenges abuse and violence.
16. It’s none of my business!
It is often said that domestic violence is “none of my business” and what happens ‘behind closed doors’ is not anybody else’s issue. This is incorrect. Domestic abuse costs everybody. It costs in terms of the economy in paying for services, hospital treatment, ongoing recovery and support. Other costs include housing provision, social costs & disruptions to business. This is besides the actual cost to the family. It’s a community cost that many countries support through taxes. When there are children in the house, domestic violence is a form abuse to the children, and we all have a responsibility to protect children. Domestic abuse does affect us all. It is our business.
17. Abusive men don’t change, they simply change their tactics.
It is right that abusive men do change their tactics of violence to keep a woman under their power, control and influence. Most abusers are expert manipulators and incredibly convincing. We believe that change and restoration is possible through Christ. It does require complete repentance of the violence, a total change and turn around from an old life, a choice to remain accountable at all times and a deep commitment to follow a new path of laying down power and control on a daily basis and replacing it with love. We believe abusive men need professional help to recover from the cycles of violence and to face the reality of their own attitudes and actions. True heart change is possible and therefore we believe abusive men can be fully restored.
18. What is your position on divorce?
The theology of divorce is something that each individual must come to their own conclusions with God on. However, the Bible states that love is of the highest priority (1 Corinthians 13:13) and so our focus at Restored is to ensure love is shown. We believe God desires for all women and children to live in safety, free from abuse, with the ability to be all He made them to be. Living within an abusive household takes away all of this and our highest priority is to ensure a women, and children are safe and healthy, physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually.
19. It doesn’t happen in my church, does it?
The chances are someone in your church is, or has been, affected by abuse, and it’s just that you don’t know about it yet. Globally, one in three women will suffer some form of abuse in her lifetime. the statistic is one in four women in the UK. If you think about your church and the number of women and do the maths then you will see the potential numbers of women who are currently silent about the issue. You can speak out in your church about domestic abuse and healthy relationships. Pray and see the Get Involved section for more ideas or download our church pack.
20. What can my church do?
Break the silence and stigma around domestic abuse. Restored has produced a Church Pack that is free to download to assist churches in dealing with the issue. You can encourage your church to speak up about the issue, addressing it in sermons (see our resource Christians Ending Violence Against Women for theological input), small groups. Additionally you can place posters in the women's toilets. We have a free poster here. Join Restored's network of people praying to see violence against women ended. Give to your local domestic violence service (Refuge, Women’s Aid in the UK), or Restored. Find out more about the issue and educate your church. See the Get Involved section for more ideas.
21. Why should I join/ become a Corporate Member?
We want to connect churches and organisations around the world to share resources, lessons and stories of work to end violence against women. We also want to advocate and campaign on certain issues. We can only do this with your support and participation in Restored. As a member-based alliance we are the sum of our members and need you to be involved. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
22. How can I give to Restored?
Restored is a registered charity in England & Wales. You can donate online through Virgin Click Here or Stewardship Click Here as a one off donation or by setting up regular giving. For our regular givers we have created the Crown Club. More info to follow.
If you prefer to give via CAF or cheque then make the donation out to Restored and send to our address PO Box 447, Teddington, TW11 1AY.
You can also give by text. Please text Rest03 (amounts between £1 and £10) and send to 70070.
23. I work in the arts & media. How can I help?
The arts & media have a significant role to play in bringing about cultural acceptability or silence about violence against women. We would love to hear from individuals and organisations who can work with us on shaping a strategy for moving forward.
24. I’m currently being abused. How can I get help?
You are not alone. In many countries there is help and support for you. If you are in the UK and in immediate danger and fear for your life then dial 999 and ask for the police. Otherwise call the national domestic violence hotline on 0808 2000 247 who will direct and guide you. Further support and information is available from Women’s Aid
If you are based internationally and have access to the internet then look at Hot Peach website for services available in your country.