**Trigger Warning; Domestic Violence**
Over the past six months, we have launched a new field of ministry that we are excited to share more about. Rapha is a research project focused on understanding the experiences of domestic abuse among church-goers in Quebec, and the subsequent response of the church. The name, Rapha, was taken from the Hebrew word for healing, as the project intends to investigate the current landscape of this issue and establish a collective step forward towards restoration.
In the fall, we hired a primary researcher to lead this initiative. Armed with a Masters degree in public policy with a specialization in critical feminist policy analysis, Emily is well-equipped to work on the front-lines of this deeply complex issue. She has spent a great deal of time active in women's issues, from working at a local pregnancy care centre to volunteering for Disarm the Dark and participating in other anti-trafficking work. She has recognized many similarities between victims of human-trafficking and domestic violence, and seeks to understand more about the patterns involved in these systems.
One of these patterns relates to the ideas of redemptive and restorative justice. Emily explains that to operate in this space, one has to be intentional about holding an abundance mindset and remember that God's heart is for all of His children.
"I've spent the past 5 or 6 years of my life... focusing specifically on finding true justice, which is reconciliation with the Lord, and so we have to believe that there is hope and there's grace and there's justice, not only for victims but for [traffickers and perpetrators of violence] as well."
She is currently working on phase one of the project and preparing to launch a survey that would invite church-goers to share their experiences within this topic. Emily looks forward to sharing insights from the survivors she has encountered and the research she has compiled in the coming months.
On a personal level, Emily is learning a lot too. She is gaining a new appreciation for what it means to be an active listener. Through intentionally and quietly making space for individuals to share their stories, real human connections can be formed that offer solace in situations of profound isolation.
We ask that you join us in prayer for this project, primarily for the safety and provision of those impacted by domestic abuse. We also ask for spiritual and emotional protection for all members of our team involved with this work, specifically Emily, Jenna and all members of our advisory committee.