Sermon Ideas for Domestic Violence Awareness Month (October)

This is the best domestic violence sermon I've ever heard. It's from Pastor Neil Schori, of the Edge Church, Aurora, IL. He tells his own story of counseling a woman in his church who was a domestic violence victim, and what he learned. And he gives the biblical basis to care about domestic violence victims.

Updated Facts on Domestic Violence: HERE and HERE

Helpful list of Bible Verses

Pastor Neil Schori's basic DV training for pastors, church leaders, and volunteers

What should pastors do when someone comes and says they are a victim of physical or emotional abuse? Pastor Neil Schori, of the Edge Church in Aurora, Illinois, tells how he changed his approach to ministering to abuse victims, after one of his church members came to him to tell him about her fears about her husband. The woman, Stacy Peterson, disappeared 2 months later and was never seen again. Pastor Schori became a key witness in a murder trial against her husband, police officer Drew Peterson. Drew was convicted. Pastor Schori has a calling to train other pastors and church leaders to handle domestic violence (DV) better. In this powerful video, you'll hear Pastor Schori talk about...

♦️ The story of Stacy and Drew Peterson — and the murder trial where Pastor Neil was a key witness. (To hear a longer version of this, watch Pastor Schori's sermon

♦️ How he found expert advice from DV awareness advocate Susan Murphy-Milano, and realized his masters degree in Counseling in seminary hadn't trained him sufficiently.

♦️ 10:30 - 5 responsibilities of pastors and other church leaders

♦️12:15 - 3 Important Ways You Can Help Victims

♦️ 16:20 - Help victims find their voice and have an opportunity to share their story with safe people. And help them legally document their story for use as future evidence if necessary.

♦️17:20 - Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit (the victim writing their story, then telling it on video, along with a notarized document)

♦️20:30 - Men who are victims of abuse tend to go underground. Schori says about emotional abuse: "Violence to the soul is at least a damaging as physical violence." Don't share with just anyone.

♦️ 24:30 - Making changes to church policy and the official church position on divorce.

♦️ 26:11 - Biblical and theological reasoning for allowing divorce for abuse. PLUS recommended books and DV curriculum for churches at 31:17.

♦️ 30:25 - How Pastor Schori does staff and volunteer training on the topic of abuse.

♦️ 35:30 - DV training is mandatory for hair stylists and bar tenders. Why shouldn't it be for pastors!

♦️ 36:15 - Nearly half of divorces the the U.S. are for very serious reasons.

♦️ 37:40 - "There are women killed every day because someone told them to stay." Gray divorcees are often abuse victims who were shamed into staying "for the kids" when in reality, we now know that kids suffer in these high-conflict homes.

♦️ 37:55 - In the very high-conflict homes, it's better for the children if their parents divorce than stay married. And indeed research shows that the worse the marriage the better divorce is for kids. TWO GRAPHS.

♦️ 38:45 - Nearly 8 in 10 kids of divorce turn out fine with no long-term serious emotional, psychological or social problems. 39:24 - Children in high-discord homes often wish their parents would divorce.

♦️ 40:15 - Luke 13 tells us about the heart of Jesus for those in pain.

♦️ 42:00 - Why divorce in cases of DV saves lives: no-fault divorce lowered the suicide rate, the domestic violence rate, and the homicide rate. To avoid the topic of divorce is to endanger people's lives.

♦️ 43:20 - Don't send people back. Don't shame them for wanting to go. Support their wishes.

More Sermon ideas for Domestic Violence Awareness Month (October in the U.S.)

RAVE Project - Sermons and Resources for Faith Based Congregations

Faith Trust Institute - Sermon Contest Winners

Divorce Saves Lives. When “no fault” divorce laws started passing one state at a time, starting with Governor Ronald Reagan in California in 1969, researchers wanted to see the effect. In states that passed unilateral no-fault divorce, they observed the suicide rate for wives drop 8-16%. The domestic violence rate by and against both men and women dropped 30%.  The homicide rate of women murdered by an intimate dropped 10%.   Stevenson and Wolfers, “Bargaining in the Shadow of the Law: Divorce Laws and Family Distress,” The Quarterly Journal of Economics (Feb. 2006): 267, 286.

Excellent Sermon/Interview

Pastor (Dr.) Peter R. Shaw, Crosswalk Community Church, Napa, CA, interviews District Attorney Allison Haley on the topic of domestic violence during a Sunday morning church service.  (36-minute video)

Resources for Pastors

Why We Don’t Recommend Couples Counseling for Abusive Relationships -

List of Bible Verses on Abuse -



Surveys of Pastors: Changing Approaches 

Survey of Pastors and their Attitudes Toward Domestic Violence


2014 Survey Results 

2018 Survey Results showed a marked improvement

Harvard Divinity School’s Report: Interrogating the Silence: Religious Leaders’ Attitudes toward Sexual and Gender-based Violence 




Start Here


Physical and Emotional Abuse & Infidelity


God Allows Divorce to Protect Victims

How to Find a Good Supportive Church


Divorce Saves Lives: The Surprising (Wonderful!) Truth About Divorce Nobody Told You



Will I Ever Find Love Again? Dating After Divorce: Good News

Finding Happiness and Health After Divorce


Thriving After Divorce: These Christians Tell their Stories

Self-Doubt, Second-Guessing Ourselves, and Gaslighting


Children and Divorce: Researchers Give Hope


High Conflict Divorce and Parenting


Recommended Reading List and Free Resources for Christians and Other People of Faith


Common Myths






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