LOUISVILLE (PNS) – “He grabbed my hair and pulled and yanked. … He grabbed my head and began pounding it into the top step and all I could do was cry and fight back. It hurt so bad that I could barely stand the pain. … I remember saying to myself, ‘If there is a God, please help me. I will never doubt your existence again.’ I never believed in God until that night.”
A standing-room-only crowd heard this stunning testimony, and more, from domestic abuse survivors as worshippers gathered in the Presbyterian Center’s chapel Wednesday for a service marking Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The service was sponsored by PC(USA)’s Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries (RE&WM) and Presbyterian Women.
The Call to Worship, led by Jewel McRae, called upon people to “gather in each other’s presence as we remember, confess, name and respond to the violence in our lives, in our families, in our churches and in our communities.”
Yvonne Hileman led a Prayer of Lament and a Call to Remember those who have lost their lives, literally or figuratively, as a result of domestic violence. Next to her sat a table and an empty chair that symbolized lives taken by abuse. Hileman lit a candle of remembrance and shared a brief personal anecdote about the loss of someone she knew, then she encouraged the congregation to observe a moment of silence to reflect and honor individuals who have been affected by domestic violence.