Scope and Content
Title: Center for the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence Collection,
Date (inclusive): 1977-1992
Accession number: GTU 95-4-01
Shelf location: 2/F/6 - 2/G/3
Center for the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence
Size: 13 boxes, 2 folios; 9 1/2 ft.
Type of material: Organizational/working files; publications
The Graduate Theological Union.
Source and Date
Center for the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence (Seattle, Washington), 1995
1 ff (See Box 1).
Copyright has not been assigned to The Graduate Theological Union. All requests for
permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing
to the Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf
of The Graduate Theological Union as the owner of the physical items and is not intended
to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be
obtained by the reader.
[Identification of item], Center for the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence Collection, GTU 95-4-01, The Graduate
Theological Union Archives, Berkeley, CA.
Family violence -- Religious aspects
Victims of family violence -- Counseling of -- Study and teaching
Abused women -- Pastoral Counseling of -- Study and teaching
Sexually abused children -- Pastoral Counseling of -- Study and teaching
Church work with abused women -- Study and teaching
Child sexual abuse -- Prevention -- Study and teaching
Clergy -- Professional ethics -- Study and teaching
Clergy -- Sexual behavior -- Study and teaching
Women clergy -- History -- Sources
Violence -- Religious aspects
Fortune, Marie M.
Wood, Frances E.
Burns, Maryviolet C.
In the spring of 1977, Marie Fortune began an educational ministry in Seattle, Washington, the Prevention of Sexual Violence
Project, to "raise in the churches the issue of sexual assault." The Project was intended to be short term, but "it quickly
became clear that there was more to do." In 1979, the Project was "approached by the U.S. Justice Department to apply for
a federal grant to develop educational models on domestic violence." From this grant came a training model for clergy and
laity later published as
Family Violence: A Workshop Manual for Clergy and Other Service Providers (Marie Fortune and Denise Hormann, Seattle: The Center, 1980). The Project "began to see itself as a national resource for
training and educating religious institutions." Due to budget cuts, the federal grant was later lost, causing a crisis resulting
in all Project staff being laid off. The Project remained an agency, however, while different funding strategies were explored.
The agency returned with staff in 1983 as the Center for the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence with the agenda of
training clergy and laity in this area, and broadening the program to "respond to particular needs and issues that were beginning
to emerge". These issues included: curriculum for adolescents, meeting the needs of religious communities of color, and addressing
the problem of sexual contact and abuse between pastors and parishioners. The Center, and members of the staff, have and continue
to offer training opportunities to clergy and lay people through workshops, seminars, and seminary courses. They have and
continue to publish manuals and books such as:
Sexual Abuse Prevention: A study for Teenagers (New York: United Church Press, 1984),
The Speaking Profits Us: Violence in the Lives of Women of Color, Maryviolet C. Burns (Seattle: The Center, 1985),
Is Nothing Sacred?: When Sex Invades the Pastoral Relationship, Marie M. Fortune (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1989), and a quarterly newsjournal
"From modest beginnings, the center has become an institution committed to equipping religious institutions to minister effectively
to both victims and offenders of sexual and domestic violence, helping them mobilize their resources to prevent the recurrence
of these problems. . . . [I]t is engaged in the transformation of religious institutions and bodies of the faithful. A multiracial
and interreligious organization, the center works to confront racism, homophobia, ageism, and anti-Semitism because these
are realities which interfere with efforts to end sexual and domestic violence for all women. . . . It is unapologetically
feminist in its agenda and its way of work, and unapologetically religious in its orientation. . . . But clearly the need
remains and so does the center until our churches and synagogues, stakes and assemblies are fully engaged in eliminating sexual
and domestic violence and ministering to victims and offenders. It is our common task to undertake this theological enterprise."
This description is taken from "The Center for the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence: A Study in Applied Feminist
Theology and Ethics," by Marie M. Fortune and Frances Wood,
Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion (Vol. 4, No. 1, Spring 1988) (found in Box 3 ff 23).
Scope and Content
The collection was packed in boxes and shipped to the GTU by staff at the Center for the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic
Violence staff when its office moved in 1995. The collection follows the original order of the Center. The sections titled
here "Early Organization Files, 1977-81" and "Office Files,
1981-92" reflect a turning point in the history of the Center around 1981 when there was the possibility the Center might
close. The Early Organization Files are evidential of the beginnings of the Center and consolidation of its purpose and support.
The Office Files show the on-going work of the Center. The "Training Presentations Files" are the working/planning files for
training events, speeches, classes, and conference, workshop, and seminar presentations, given by Center staff nationwide.