Gender-Based Violence

Domestic violence is one form of gender-based violence; it is a pattern of violent behaviors used to control an intimate partner that crosses all economic, social and cultural boundaries. It may be physical, but it may also take on more subtle forms such as emotional, verbal or financial intimidation and control.

We are all called to denounce and combat domestic violence and encourage greater awareness in our congregations and communities (ELCA Social Policy Resolution “Violence Against Women,” 1995).

Take action


Call or write to your congressional leaders, urging them to take a strong stand on gender-based violence and protection for survivors. To find your elected officials, go to our advocacy page.

Connect with the ELCA’s Washington Office and the Lutheran Office for World Community. Connect with the Washington Office through Advocacy and learn about national and international Lutheran advocacy at the United Nations.

Support local ELCA-affiliated social ministry organizations that minister to survivors of violence.

ELCA Social Policy Resolution on Violence against Women This social policy resolution speaks out against violence and discrimination against women while encouraging local congregations and communities to make their spaces safe for all.

ELCA Message on Community Violence

Adopted by the ELCA Church Council in 1994, this message outlines a Lutheran, faith-based response to violence in the community, including domestic violence.

Other domestic violence resources

FaithTrust Institute

Founded in 1977 by the Rev. Dr. Marie Fortune, FaithTrust is a leader in educational, faith-based domestic violence resources, including trainings and consultations. Dedicated to multicultural and interfaith work, FaithTrust helps groups gain the tools and knowledge necessary to address the religious and cultural issues related to abuse.

National Domestic Violence Hotline

The National Domestic Violence Hotline provides 24-hour services every day, including crisis intervention, information and referrals. The hotline links to over 5,000 shelters and programs and offers assistance in over 170 languages, as well as a TTY line. Visit their website for more information on domestic violence in general.

National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline

The National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline is available 24-hours a day, and instant chat with peer counselors is available from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. The website is excellent for youth and young adults who want to learn more about healthy relationships.