Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Domestic violence in spotlight


The Oklahoma Conference is partnering to present “Safe Town,” a program on domestic violence awareness, on Feb. 27 at OKC-Church of the Servant.
This one-day training, which is interactive, is made possible through a collaboration with the state’s Department of Human Services (DHS).
“Family units break down,” said Derrek Belase, director of Discipleship for the Conference and a former police officer. “People who experience domestic violence often pull away from the church because they don’t want the church people to see.”
He said Safe Town can help answer United Methodism’s call to #See All the People, a major new initiative, “to help our churches see people not often seen in their communities.”
Participants will not only gain awareness but also learn how to respond to domestic violence — “because churches can say the wrong thing” — and receive church-specific resources.
Belase would like to see the program offered in each district.
He said he is pleased that DHS agreed to partner with the Conference, and he noted that Church of the Servant leaders had been seeking some way to promote awareness of domestic violence. Connie Harrison, a member of that church, is the Conference’s Peace With Justice coordinator.
Some funding support for Safe Town comes from the denomination’s Peace With Justice Offering, Belase said.
The training will begin promptly at 8:30 a.m. Registration is required and must be done online at https://events.oucpm.org/safetown


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