Our Mission and Guiding Principles
FaithTrust Institute's Mission and Guiding Principles
FaithTrust Institute is a national, multifaith, multicultural training and education organization with global reach working to end sexual and domestic violence.
WHO WE ARE:
FaithTrust Institute provides faith communities and advocates with the tools and knowledge they need to address the faith and cultural issues related to abuse.
FaithTrust Institute envisions a world where all persons are free from violence in relationships, faith is fundamental to ending violence, religious institutions create a climate in which abuse is not tolerated; faith communities become sanctuaries of safety, worthy of our trust; and all of us experience justice and healing in our communities.
WHAT WE DO:
FaithTrust Institute provides multifaith and religion-specific intervention and prevention training, consulting, and educational materials for national, state, and community faith-based and secular organizations in the following areas:
- Domestic and Sexual Violence
- Healthy Teen Relationships, Preventing Teen Dating Violence
- Child Abuse, Children and Youth Exposed to Domestic Violence
- Healthy Boundaries for Clergy and Spiritual Teachers, Responding to Clergy Misconduct
- Trafficking of Persons
People in crisis often look to their faith leaders for guidance and assistance. Religious values of justice and equality summon us to affirm the dignity and worth of every human being and the right of each person to live without fear or threat of violence. Our religious traditions obligate us to work towards an end to sexual and domestic violence in our communities and in society at large. FaithTrust Institute provides faith communities and advocates with the tools and knowledge they need to address the faith and cultural issues related to abuse.
Numerous victim advocate organizations and faith leaders have spoken to FaithTrust Institute about the great need to strengthen collaboration between faith communities and secular organizations in order to improve community-wide approaches to ending violence against women. FaithTrust Institute provides training and resource materials to strengthen this collaboration. Victims need and deserve the support of both secular and faith communities.
- Sexual and domestic violence violate the rights and dignity of all women, men and children. To the extent that any person is violated by sexual and domestic violence, the dignity and worth of all persons are diminished.
- Oppression is deeply ingrained in our society and all forms of oppression-including racism, sexism, classism, anti-Semitism, ageism, heterosexism and oppression of the differently abled-increase the suffering caused by sexual and domestic violence. Sexual and domestic violence are often instruments of these forms of oppression.
- All those without power and privilege are the most vulnerable to and the most likely to be victimized by sexual and domestic violence.
- Ending sexual and domestic violence requires changing attitudes and practices of individuals, communities, and institutions.
- Organized religious communities have an ethical responsibility to play a major role in bringing about an end to sexual and domestic violence within their own communities and within society at large.
- Faith communities and institutions in supporting and advocating for victims of abuse and in calling perpetrators of abuse to account.
- Victims and survivors by utilizing education and training as the means to engage in the prevention of sexual and domestic violence, and address religious issues and spiritual needs of victims, survivors, offenders and their communities.
FOUNDATIONAL PRINCIPLES for a Faithful Response to Sexual and Domestic Violence:
- Faith is fundamental to ending sexual and domestic violence regardless of our faith tradition.
- Tradition, sacred texts, doctrines, teachings and cultural values will be either a roadblock or a resource to ending violence against women.
- Healing goals are safety for victims, accountability for abusers, and restoration of relationship (if possible).
- Justice-making is the theological and ethical context for the response to the victim/survivor, the perpetrator, and the faith group or congregation.
- Taking sides means to not abandon the victim/survivor; to not accept the abuser’s behavior; to seek justice for the victim/survivor and repentance for the abuser.
- To recognize and address gender based violence is part of our analysis and should be part of our strategy for response.
- The role of the faith leader is naming the unmentionable sins and promoting healing and justice.