Is Jocelyn Andersen a Domestic Violence Coach or Counsellor?


 One of my LinkedIn connections asked me if I was a DV coach or counselor as well as an author/advocate in raising awareness and educating on Christian response to domestic violence.

The picture (above/left) is me (far right) with an anonymous litigating Protective Mom (far left) and protective mother Amanda Joy (middle). We attended the 2008 Battered Mothers Custody Conference together. Our tee shirts read "SHINE A LIGHT ON DOMESTIC VIOLENC."

I write to increase awareness and occasionally speak. Most recently, I have been invited to speak at a church luncheon in the FL Panhandle.

I don't professionally counsel or coach victims. I do what I can, and I don't hesitate to refer to local DV hotlines, or to the national hotline if a local one is not available. There is much more we can do, but in some cases, referring to the hotline and shelter is the only safe thing (for all involved--including the advocate...even if a relative) to do.

One awesome advocate, who is a survivor and very good friend of mine, was helped by her local hotline where she was counseled for quite some time before being helped to escape from her abusive and violent husband. She then lived in the shelter for months.

She sought help from her church leadership before calling the local domestic violence hotline, but they refused to help her because her abuser was the youth pastor there. 

I save the number to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, along with numbers to local hotlines, shelters, and resources in my phone contacts and advise others to do the same, especially pastors. It's not a Christian cop-out to do this, and it could save lives.

National Domestic Violence Hotline 800.799.SAFE (7233)

Early in my advocacy I spearheaded a project to empower Church leaders and lay-Christians to respond knowledgeably, compassionately, and biblically to victims of DV. I received an overwhelmingly positive response from church members, but not a single pastor responded. The church members who were interested in heading the project at their churches couldn't get it past their pastor's desks. 

Here is a link to the original press release

Here is a link to a more detailed announcement another advocate wrote about the project. It's a shame the project was stalled by church leaders. That was in 2008. Maybe it was before its time. Maybe I should try again. What do you think?

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