Why Faith Matters is an online network connecting individuals and faith communities that are dedicated to addressing and ending interpersonal violence. Our commitment is to creating safe and healthy sacred places that recognize the impact of trauma on our lives, and working to make our sacred places free from abuse, harassment, bullying, and harm.
Why Faith Matters has grown out of a decade of regional trainings, sponsored by InFaith Community Foundation. Central to their deep dedication to ending violence against women, the Safe and Healthy Churches Trainings have brought together faith leaders and laity to address the most common human rights abuse in the world: gender-based violence.
Why Faith Matters recognizes the central role that spiritual beliefs, practices and community play in the lives of victims/survivors. A person’s faith and faith community can create avenues of tremendous opportunity for healing and justice in the aftermath of violence.
FaithTrust Institute and Why Faith Matters
Founded in 1977, FaithTrust Institute’s core mission is to address the central role that faith communities can take in confronting sexual and domestic violence. A majority of Americans report a religious affiliation from childhood and/or adulthood, and victims of violence who are religious are most likely to seek help or comfort from their faith community. Rev. Dr. Marie Fortune, our founder, realized that faith leaders were often not trained or prepared to address the practical, or the spiritual, issues that victims bring. In addition, the cultural, historical, and theological beliefs of faith communities may contribute to the suffering of victims, through the misuse of sacred texts and traditions to justify or excuse abuse.
We know that our varied faith traditions and sacred texts are sources of healing, support, encouragement, and clarity through pain and adversity. It is our goal to elevate these messages of freedom and healing, while addressing the abiding values and traditions that diminish or limit a victim/survivor’s safety and well-being. We believe that faith is fundamental to ending sexual and domestic violence.
FaithTrust Institute has been at the forefront of addressing the religious and cultural issues related to abuse. Our 40 year history has impacted faith institutions around the world, and has given voice to survivors/ victims of violence and abuse. Learn more at www.FaithTrustInstitute.org.