The V.I. Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Council (DVSAC) will host a Faith Based Community Prayer in collaboration with its Faith Based Committee at 11 a.m., Friday, Oct. 18, at the and at 5:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 25, at Emancipation Garden on St. Thomas. The event is open to the community who will pray collectively against domestic violence and will seek healing for victims, survivors, families, perpetrators and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
As the Territorial Coalition, DVSAC spearheaded the signing of the Domestic Violence Awareness Month Proclamation through the Office of the Governor, which confirms that domestic violence has led to the death of over 260 Virgin Islanders in one decade. In just one year, 795 new domestic violence victim cases were opened on St. Croix and 378 domestic violence cases were opened on St. Thomas.
With violence on the rise in the community, awareness activities such as the Faith Based Community Prayer is necessary to draw attention to this epidemic and promote healing in order to end it. According to Kalyn Fahie, DVSAC’s program liaison who coordinates meetings and activities for the committee, ‘DVSAC’s prayer event has been created from the faith-based leaders in the territory wanting to collectively speak up and speak out against domestic violence. They are committed to working together with each other and the community to help end this issue.’
Both DVSAC and the DVSAC Faith Based Committee are committed to working with clergy and faith-based leaders to identify and combat domestic violence and sexual assault within secular and non-secular communities. Faith communities can benefit from examining the issue of domestic and sexual abuse within the ministerial relationship as a way of helping their churches or synagogues to develop a compassionate and just system of responding to this potential problem (Faith Trust Institute, 2019).
To address this issue within one’s own faith community and/or to engage with DVSAC’s Faith Based Committee to coordinate sermons, messages and outreach that is conducted by members of faith, please email [email protected] or contact DVSAC at 774-0144.