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Inventory of the Center for the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence Collection, 1977-1992
GTU 95-4-01  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Access Points
  • Biographical/Historical Description
  • Scope and Content

  • Descriptive Summary

    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
    Creator: 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
    Repository: The Graduate Theological Union.
    Berkeley, California
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Source and Date

    Center for the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence (Seattle, Washington), 1995


    1 ff (See Box 1).

    Publication Rights

    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.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Center for the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence Collection, GTU 95-4-01, The Graduate Theological Union Archives, Berkeley, CA.

    Access Points

    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.

    Biographical/Historical Description

    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 Working Together.
    "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.