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Domestic Violence: What Every Pastor Needs to Know Paperback – February 1, 2011

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Domestic Violence: What Every Pastor Needs to Know + No Place for Abuse: Biblical & Practical Resources to Counteract Domestic Violence
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Fortress Press; 2 edition (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800697553
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800697556
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #804,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"No woman should be forced to choose between the safety of a shelter and the support of her church when she experiences domestic terror. She needs and deserves both. This is our job as Christian leaders: to ensure that she is safe and supported and has the resources to protect herself and her children. We need to assure her that God and the Bible are with her in her hour of need. Jesus unequivocally calls us to be the Good Samaritan to the battered woman and her children. In this book, Rev. Al Miles shows us the way." --Marie M. Fortune, Founder and Senior Analyst, Faith Trust Institute, Seattle, Washington

About the Author

Al Miles has worked for Pacific Health Ministry at the Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu as the Coordinator of the Hospital Ministry Department since 1993. He speaks frequently to nationwide audiences on domestic violence and teen dating abuse awareness. Pastor Miles is the author of Ending Violence in Teen Dating Relationships (2005) and Violence in Families (2002), both from Fortress Press.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ousley Resources on July 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
The title of the book says "What Every Pastor Needs to Know" is the only negative as I think it's mis-leading. The material contained in this book is what every leader especially in a faith community need to know. Regardless of your role in the church failure to know your boundaries, resources available in your area etc. It is a known fact that people in these situation tend to seek out help of not only their pastors but other leaders in the chruch and this is a great source that could be a good book club read for any member of the church.

Knowing what to say and not to say can make or break a congregation. IF Bad advice is given it will travel within the congregation and people will no not to seek help there and some of it just as sited in the book could be just that the leader was mis-informed. We hold the pastor to higher educational standards in speaking the word but we tend not to expect them to know much about anything else. It is a good read if not for a leaders to say to himself I know this and I am prepared.

If you think the author has not addressed the issue then I challenge you to write a better book, make it available and we can purchase and review it. Working with survivors and sharing this book with them many felt their clergy could have benefited from this resource. This book for me was informative and addressed a lot of issues that I see lacking in the faith community. Many of my client personally sought help outside the church as none of them were equip to address the issues. The basic information listed in this book could have made a difference had those they approached knew just the basic. It's a great starter for a check list of what your church is doing.

A must for any member of a church who participates in any role.
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By Christopher Scott on November 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
One strength of Miles' argument is that he uses many stories of both victims-survivors and batterers throughout his book to establish a basis for his thesis and tips for dealing with domestic violence. Domestic violence is a very difficult topic to look at and analyze, and I have found his insights to be both biblically sound and realistic based on the stories shared from both sides of people involved in domestic violence. Another strength of Miles' argument is that nowhere in the book does he give an excuse for or say it is ok for a batterer to harm his or her spouse.

After reading Domestic Violence I am thinking about the different ministry styles offered from so called "mega churches" and more traditional neighborhood churches. In the mega church, they have everything: resources, support groups, a staff well trained in many areas, and lots of ways to help people with their problems. However, a smaller neighborhood church might have the same pastor who preaches on Sunday, also make hospital visits, perform weddings, conduct counseling, and speak at funerals. On top of all of those things, he or she now needs to be responsible for also engaging in training and education in how to deal with domestic violence because as Miles has clearly expressed to us, an untrained pastor can easily do more harm than good. A counseling pastor at a mega church will be much more trained and skilled than the sole pastor of a neighborhood church.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Hrebik on August 18, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having grown up in an extremely abusive home, having witnessed my mother being abused along with my siblings, and having survived extensive physical, emotional, and psychological abuse, I not only understand every word of Miles' book but have personally experienced many of the descriptors, language, nuances, actions, justifications, and so on, including later in life numerous incidents of similar ineffective advice from spiritual leaders.

I appreciated in particular Miles' consistent insistence that victims have the right not to be abused and that abuse is never justified, whether by substance abuse, economics, or mental illness -- and above all, never by God, scripture, or any aspect of the Christian faith. As well, pastors and others in a position to intervene must know and maintain priorities, the first of which is the safety of victims, having a safety plan for them when any intervention starts, holding abusers accountable, listening to and believing victims' stories, not recommending couple's therapy or marriage counseling, and so on (40-44).

It is one thing to read about victims; another to experience such violence. It is one thing to recognize the truth of the author's words; another to have lived through such events as he describes and know all too well the truths of which he writes. For those without prior personal experience and life training, then conference, book, and leadership training should be mandatory prior to promotion and/or ordination to the ministry. In this, Miles could have made an even stronger statement than the strong statement he made, which was unequivocal that pastors and leaders must be trained or they most likely will not help, but will add to the suffering of abuse victims.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Too often We as Pastors believe ordination equals a counseling degree. Every Clergymen and care person needs to read this and keep it nearby for future reference.
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