October 21, 2022, Asbury Park, NJ – In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness month in October and aligning with Mercy Center’s work to support victims of domestic violence in the greater Asbury Park community, Mercy Center spearheaded the formation of the Interfaith Coalition to prevent domestic violence. Mercy Center’s Executive Director Kim Guadagno and Director of Family Resources Veronica Gilbert-Tyson met with leaders from the interfaith community for the inaugural meeting of the Coalition, a group of faith-based institutions that will take on the issues of intimate partner domestic violence and sexual violence.
The workshop on Saturday, October 15, 2022, included imams, pastors, congregants, state representatives, non-profit agencies, Mercy Center victim advocates, and community member Pamela Major, who is coordinating the effort on behalf of Mercy Center. Attendees learned about how to assist someone who discloses domestic violence incidents and heard from Markim Shakur-Purvis, LPC, LCADC, CCS, CPM, of Urban Life Skills Academy, and Wil Dubose, Prevention Coordinator for the New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence.
“Stigma, shame, and fear prevent victims of domestic violence from coming forward and seeking help for themselves and their families as many incidents of domestic and sexual violence go unreported. Integrating members of the faith community into the conversation surrounding domestic violence provides another safe avenue for victims of domestic violence to disclose their struggle and ultimately obtain the help they need,” Guadagno stated.
Leaders in the community highlighted ways to support victims to bring them to safety and resiliency, as well as ways to stop domestic violence at its source – by rehabilitating the abuser. In addition to supporting victims by helping with relocation, accompanying a victim to court, and utility and rental assistance, Mercy Center offers workshops, such as anger management, to help address the causes of violence.
The Mercy Center Interfaith Coalition will operate through June of 2023.
About Mercy Center
Mercy Center, founded by the Sisters of Mercy, provides programs and services that empower, enrich, and educate people facing socioeconomic challenges to realize their full potential, with a special emphasis on women and children. To learn more, visit www.mercycenternj.org.
Think Media Communications