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In Churches Too?: Peter Grant


Peter Grant is Co-Director of Restored.

Peter previously worked as International Director of Tearfund. Before that he was Director for the UK’s Department for International Development, where he had responsibility for the UK’s multilateral development partnerships, (including the World Bank, EU and UN).

Peter grew up in Birmingham and trained as an economist.   His first job was as an economic adviser for the Government of Malawi, living in Lilongwe, where he met his wife Stella. They have two children and live in Streatham, South London.  Peter then worked as a consultant and as a marketing manager for British Telecom before joining DFID in 1990.  Peter’s 15 years with DFID included three and a half years living with his family in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Peter joined Tearfund in 2005 with overall responsibility for Tearfund’s partner programmes and disaster management work worldwide.

Peter’s life was turned around at the World AIDS conference in Mexico in August 2008 where he first woke up to the extent and severity of Violence Against Women worldwide.  He longs to see the church, and particularly Christian men, speaking out to changes attitudes and prevent violence against women

Peter recently joined Streatham Hill Baptist Church and is perennially trying to keep fit and learn French. He is the author of “Poor No More” (Monarch, 2008)

He kindly agreed to blog for Lay Anglicana about the current campaign, against abuse of the powerless in churches.


One in four women in the UK, and one in three worldwide, will be affected by domestic or sexual abuse during their lifetime.   Sadly, the church is not exempt.

“In churches too” is a new campaign from Restored, the international Christian alliance working to end violence against women. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness about domestic abuse and that it happens in churches too. It dispels some of the myths surrounding abuse and explores how we can take positive action to bring abuse to an end.

As part of its campaign Restored has launched a powerful video which gives a child’s view of domestic abuse.  You can see it here.

Over the course of the year Restored will be releasing four more film shorts, each highlighting a different area of domestic abuse, its impact and our response.

Domestic abuse goes to the heart of relationships, distorting all that is good. Over 750,000 children in the UK are growing up each year in households where violence is taking place. It is vital that women and men in the church stand up together to address this issue.  The heart of the gospel is about love and the laying down of power.  As we model what this looks like, and take this issue seriously, then the church can offer hope, both to its own members and to the wider community.

Restored is often asked about the evidence that domestic abuse is happening in churches too. Almost every time we speak at a church event we have one or more women disclosing abuse to us.  It has opened my eyes to what is a huge and hidden issue in our midst.   Some women who experience abuse receive positive, helpful responses from their church, others clearly do not.

Is there a risk that the theology, words or actions of your church could be taken to justify or exonerate abuse?  Every church can take steps to show that it is taking abuse seriously by making information available, building contacts with local services helping women affected, putting posters in the loos and featuring the issue ion its teaching and training.

Restored wants to conduct a baseline survey of domestic abuse in the church in the UK but has so far not found the finances to do so. We would love to hear from anyone interested in helping with this. In the meantime here are the statistics we do know about relating to domestic abuse happening in churches too:

  • 1 in 4 female respondents to a Methodist Church Survey in 2002 reported experiencing abuse
  • 53% of perpetrators of the above abuse where husbands or male partners
  • 10% of people responding to a 2012 Evangelical Alliance (EA) survey reported experiencing physical abuse
  • 7% of respondents of the EA survey admitted perpetrating physical abuse

What can we do to change those statistics?

Restored is on twitter as @Rest0red. Please do find us and follow us. The hashtag we are using for the campaign is #InchurchesToo. It would be great if we could get this hashtag trending and raise awareness of the campaign.


The image (chosen by the Lay Anglicana editor) is copyright: Balqis Amran via Shutterstock

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