Catholic Charities of the Diocese of New Ulm and New Ulm Diocesan Council of Catholic Women designated October 2019 to launch an ongoing campaign to raise awareness and reduce domestic violence in every diocesan parish. At all Masses during the second weekend in October, a woman from the parish shared a statement from Bishop John LeVoir on the importance of reaching out as the good Samaritan and not ignoring the issue from the other side of the street like the priest and Levite.
Bishop LeVoir’s statement was prompted by an address he heard from Kathy Bonner, primary spokesperson for the National Council of Catholic Women’s Initiative, “Women Healing the Wounds.” Bonner’s address considered domestic violence against women on a national and local level. Bishop LeVoir learned from Bonner, a domestic violence survivor herself, that children in abusive homes grow up to be victims and perpetrators just like their parents unless the cycle is broken through counseling and treatment. “There is a crisis and until we are willing to intervene and educate around this ongoing, multi-generational dysfunction,” Bonner said, “the cycles of domestic violence will continue to flourish.”
Each parish now has on hand reference materials from “Women Healing the Wounds” and Catholic Charities for both victims and perpetrators on how to seek help. Catholic Charities counselors and staff (1-866-670-5163) provide information on safe haven alternatives if someone needs to leave a dangerous environment. Homily Hints and Prayers of the Faithful were also offered to encourage everyone to address the issue and support families in their efforts for assistance.