As Men of the United Methodist Church, we affirm with Scripture the Common Humanity of male and female, both having equal worth in the eyes of God. We reject the erroneous notion that one gender is superior to another, that one gender must strive against another, and that members of one gender may receive love, power, and esteem only at the expense of another. We especially reject the idea that God made individuals as incomplete fragments, made whole only in union with another. We call upon women and men alike to share power and control, to learn to give freely and to receive freely, to be complete and to respect the wholeness of others. We seek for every individual opportunities and freedom to love and be loved, to seek and receive justice, and to practice ethical self-determination. We understand our gender diversity to be a gift from God, intended to add to the rich variety of human experience and perspective; and we guard against attitudes and traditions that would use this good gift to leave members of one sex more vulnerable in relationship than members of another. (Book of Discipline, p.110, para.161)
While we accept our roles as men created in God’s image (Gen 1: 27) we must realize that we have the responsibility to satisfy the needs of the oppressed (Isaiah 58: 10). In doing so, we can no longer stand idly by while the cries of abused women are suppressed. As a society, churched and unchurched, we have turned away from their bruised bodies and offered a deaf ear to their battered souls.
She is woman, created in God’s image – man’s companion.
Domestic violence is a pattern of controlling behavior that one partner uses to get power over the other,including, physical violence or threat of physical violence to get control, emotional or mental abuse and sexual abuse.Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults.
Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women – more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. 85% of domestic violence victims are women. 1/3 of American women and 1/4 of women worldwide will experience domestic/dating violence in their lifetime. Only 25% of all physical assaults perpetrated by intimate partners are reported to police.
Half of all homeless women and children in the United States are fleeing from domestic violence. In 70% to 80% of intimate partner homicide, no matter which partner was killed, the man physically abused the woman before the murder. Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.
The executive committee of the Western North Carolina Conference of United Methodist Men voted unanimously to become advocates of Peaceful Living, adopting the concepts outlined in Men against Domestic Violence (M.A.D.V.) and professing to the world that we honor our wives.
Men against Domestic Violence is a movement developed by Darryl Wilburn of the WNCC UMM and Mike Bizon of Denver UMC. The purpose of the movement is to start a conversation and enhance the awareness of domestic violence among men also recognizing the need to promote peaceful living.
Victims of domestic violence have lost all concept of peace in their hearts and in their homes.
WE ARE MEN AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
We are men who advocate a relationship that is peaceful, respectful and equal to all parties.
We are committed to promote domestic peace by our example, our conversation and our association with other men.
In our conversations and association with other men we will advocate peaceful living not just in our house but in our brothers house. Peaceful living is a healthy, safe and mutually respectful living environment in all relationships.
- We want to have a conversation and listen to anyone who is struggling with changing their abusive behaviors that create domestic violence.
- In my commitment to Men against Domestic Violence, I will respect and honor all women at all times.This leads me to be intolerant of abuse in words or actions.
- In my efforts to promote Peaceful Living, I assume the responsibility to promote and create a peaceful environment and to be an example to other men.
- If at any time in my efforts to promote Peaceful Living I am aware of abuse occurring, I will take action with love and concern to break the cycle of abuse while directing them to professional help.
- Children live what they see. Through my conduct and behavior I will be an example of Peaceful Living.
On September 8, 2014, in Nashville Tennessee, members of the general commission on United Methodist Men considered ways to decrease the incidents of domestic violence. Leaders of UM Men agreed to increase efforts to eliminate domestic violence. “Only men can stop domestic violence” said Gilbert C. Hanke, top staff executive of the general commission on UMM. He told the 20 – member commission, “domestic violence occurs in lots of homes, including parsonages.”
Domestic violence happens in all kinds of families and relationships. Persons of any class, culture, religion, marital status, age, and sex can be victims or perpetrators of domestic violence. As members of United Methodist Men, we are bound by our mission: Men growing in Christ, so other men will know Christ, being an example to the world. As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another (Proverbs 27: 17).
In the five to eight minutes that it took to read this article, 53.3 women in the US were assaulted or beaten.
Darryl J. Wilburn