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Document Details :
Title: Seeing Power
Subtitle: Pastoral Recognition and Response to Intimate Partner Abuse
Author(s): HOEFT, Jeanne
Journal: Marriage, Families & Spirituality
Volume: 17 Issue: 2 Date: 2011
Pastors underestimate the presence of intimate partner abuse happening in their congregations and when they do encounter it they often respond inappropriately. This article suggests that seeing power dynamics in relationships will assist pastors in identifying and responding helpfully to intimate partner abuse in their midst. Empirical studies, domestic violence literature, and a pastoral theology of power in relationship provide the theoretical basis for discussing power as it operates in the abusive relationship for the control of one partner over another. A theology of power exercised for more mutuality, rather than coercion, can give the pastor guidance in using power to empower victims and hold abusers accountable when they are people of faith.