The whole area of domestic abuse is thankfully something of which people are becoming more aware. I was glad to be able to add my voice to the shaping of the Domestic Abuse Act as it made its way through Parliament in 2021.
Sadly, domestic abuse affects 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men across their lifetime (Crime Survey, England and Wales 2019 & Office for National Statistics, (2019)), and it is vital that we bring the issue into the light in our worshipping communities It is a key part of how we recognise and nurture healthy relationships within our communities and face the reality that too many people are experiencing abuse in their lives, which is often hidden, and sadly sometimes even justified and excused because of poor theology.
Therefore, Bishop Robert and I welcome the new e-learning module called ‘Raising awareness of Domestic Abuse’ which under the new House of Bishop’s guidance must be completed by all those holding a Bishop’s license or permission to officiate (i.e. licensed clergy, PTO clergy, Readers and Licensed Lay Ministers), and all those who are authorised or locally commissioned. This includes all Bishops’ Visitors and Pastoral Assistants. It is also to be completed by Parish Safeguarding Officers and PCC members. Furthermore, it is recommended for anyone with a pastoral role in worshipping communities.
We are asking that you complete this module by the end of 2022. Bishop Robert and I have recently completed it and we can confirm that the commitment is not onerous and the module is informative and challenging.
The aim of the module is:
- to equip participants to engage thoughtfully and proactively with the issue of domestic abuse and those affected
- to develop a greater understanding of what domestic abuse is, who it affects, as well as its impact on individuals, children, the wider family, and the community.
We are acutely aware that this is a difficult subject to talk about and want to clearly acknowledge that it can raise issues for people for a variety of reasons, meaning that some people will need support to access and complete this course. If you have experienced, or are experiencing domestic abuse, you do not have to do the training, but we ask that you have a conversation with Becca Faal, our Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor leading on training. Becca will talk with you about support available and issue an exemption. She can be contacted on .
When you are talking with others about accessing the course e.g. PCC members, please do explain to them about the exemption and the support available through the safeguarding team. If they do not want to speak to another person after they have talked with you, please do let the safeguarding team know and they can advise you about the support available and how to exempt them.
Information about accessing the course
The course is available as an e-learning module through the national Safeguarding Portal. If you don’t already have an account on the portal, please register and remember to include Gloucester as your diocese.
Once you have completed the online course, please send a copy of your certificate to so that it can be added to your record. The safeguarding team has access to the training portal records for Gloucester, so if you have not completed it and sent your certificate in before the end of the year they will be in touch with you.
The safeguarding team is also offering this module as a face-to-face workshop. Dates are listed below, and are also on our website (click on ‘Find events’ to search for up-to-date information). To book one of the face-to-face workshops, please contact Laura Evans on .
Thursday 6 October, 2pm to 5pm, St Paul and St Stephen’s, Gloucester
Wednesday 9 November, 6pm to 9pm, Laud room, College Green, Gloucester
Thursday 8 December, 9.30am to 12.30pm, Christ Church, Cheltenham.
Thank you for all the many ways you are living our commitment to be ‘advocates for flourishing’ and to discover and share ‘life in all its fullness’ as offered to us in Jesus Christ.
This comes with my thanks and prayers as ever,
The Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester