By Sandra K. Ziebold and Merideth Bush
Beacon of Hope is a Christ-centered crisis center. To some, it may sound as though we exclusively offer services to the Christian community or that we impose Christian beliefs on those we serve, but this could not be further from the truth. When we say that we are a Christ-centered agency, we mean that our approach to victim services seeks to imitate the qualities exemplified by Christ’s interactions with the hurting people in his community: qualities such as kindness, respectfulness, non-judgement, and acceptance.
What does this look like in practice?
It looks like reaching out to leaders of refugee communities, including those which represent ethnic and religious minorities, so that they know what the laws are regarding intimate partner violence, how to recognize it, and where to find service providers that will respect and accommodate their religious and cultural needs alongside traditional legal and advocacy services.
It looks like looking past gender stereotypes to recognize that 1 in 4 men will experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime. We welcome and advocate for male victims with the same dedication and compassion we show to female victims.
It looks like reaching out to service providers of our immigrant population to make sure they know that they can seek help to escape intimate partner violence regardless of their citizenship or immigration status.
It looks like seeking partnerships with interpreters so that we can overcome language barriers. Domestic violence and sexual assault are not limited by languages. The advocacy we offer shouldn’t be either.
It looks like recognizing that the LGBTQ+ community suffers from domestic violence and sexual assault with the same frequency and severity as their heterosexual counterparts, and welcoming members of this community with open arms when they choose to seek help.
It looks like the relief on the face of a client from a marginalized community when they turn to us at the end of an advocacy appointment, smile for the first time that day and say, “Thank you. I honestly didn’t think I’d find anyone willing to help me.”
This is Beacon of Hope’s Christ-centered approach to victim advocacy in action. Regardless of race, religion, gender, culture, sexual orientation, or any other label that may differentiate us, the Christ-like qualities of kindness, respectfulness, non-judgment, and acceptance are the inspiration for our interaction with every client, and lie at the very heart of who we are at Beacon of Hope.
About this blog
This blog is about our domestic and sexual violence crisis center, Beacon of Hope. We hope you find it full of helpful information, motivation, creativity, serious facts and positivity. We hope that it will help you know what is happening in our center, in our community and with our events. We hope you follow our blog in support of our organization and our mission.