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Research Note: The Response of the Clergy to Spouse Abuse in a Suburban County

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An attempt was made to study the response of religious organizations to spouse abuse in a suburban county in the state of Maryland. Clergy members representing a variety of denominations from 143 churches and synagogues were surveyed. The presence of an ongoing problem-oriented discussion group as part of clergy functions was positively related to the identification of spouse abuse. More than half of the responding clerics acknowledged the need to improve efforts in addressing spouse abuse. Victim reticence to seek help, and lack of information about state law, legal options, and programs for spouse abusers were identified as major factors hampering response. Recommendations are made to improve linkages between the clergy and other involved community groups.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Chair, Taskforce on Domestic Violence, Montgomery County Chapter, National Organization for Women, Rockville, Maryland, and Project Director, Police Foundation, Washington, D.C.

Publication date: January 1, 1989

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  • Violence and Victims discusses theory, research, policy, and clinical practice in the area of interpersonal violence and victimization across such disciplines as psychology, sociology, criminology, law, medicine, nursing, psychiatry, and social work.

    The journal's 2012 Impact Factor is 0.981.
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