Welcome To AVA’s Online Tutorial On Abuse

This is a self-paced tutorial on abuse for clergy, spiritual leaders and teachers. It was created by AVA (Advocacy for Victims of Abuse), a ministry of Women Ministries of the Evangelical Covenant Church.

The purpose of this tutorial is to provide leaders with needed information on issues of domestic violence (also referred to as family violence) and childhood sexual assault. Given the prevalence of abuse, all faith leaders need basic knowledge about these two types of violence. This format permits you to gain this information at your convenience and at no cost to you.

While the majority of the content is applicable for all leaders, the tutorial is particularly oriented to those serving within a faith community. It is intended to provide a thorough background in the issues of abuse from a Biblical perspective without entering into topics better suited for a professional counseling environment. For additional information, please see the sidebar entitled General Information on Abuse or visit our website at http://www.covchurch.org/abuse/.

Most victims of domestic violence and childhood sexual assault are female but this does not mean that men are not battered or assaulted; in fact, they are. However, for purposes of this training, victims/survivors will most often be referred to as female.

The log in system uses information unique to the Evangelical Covenant Church and enables us to determine the scope of its use; however, others are provided an easy way to access the tutorial, as well.

A word from the Department of Ordered Ministry of the Evangelical Covenant Church:

In an effort to encourage vocational excellence for all those called and credentialed within the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC), the Department of the Ordered Ministry recommends this thorough and foundational resource.  It is our hope and expectation that everyone holding a Covenant ministry credential will, in short order, complete this basic tutorial.  For some this may be a review while for others it will contain new information; however, it should become a goal that our entire community has common working knowledge and language for responding to this pervasive problem.  No resource can provide all the skill and information needed; therefore, we would expect any Covenant leader responding to this issue would not do so in a vacuum, but avail himself or herself of the wise counsel of knowledgeable peers.  The Department of the Ordered Ministry is indebted to Women Ministries and to all of those serving in the AVA movement within the ECC for the work put into creating this resource.


Learning Objectives

After completing this tutorial you will know:

  • What domestic violence and childhood sexual assault is
  • How to identify domestic violence and childhood sexual assault within your congregations
  • How to respond to incidents of domestic violence and childhood sexual assault
  • Prevention and intervention strategies

The tutorial is comprised of 10 lessons and a glossary.


How to Use This Tutorial

This training is intended to serve as a one-time instruction as well as reference for future use. Like a dictionary, you do not have to read it all at once to get what you want from it. Once you have completed the tutorial lessons, you may return to them any time to refresh your knowledge. The tutorial contains a glossary of terms, accessible from anywhere in the program. Words included in the glossary are highlighted in the text. Hover over the highlighted words to get to additional information from the glossary. 

AVA’s vision is to promote healthy families and safe sanctuaries in our Covenant churches. Your participation in this training will better equip you to realize this vision in your local church.