Philosophy & Guidelines*

According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.

Abuse is physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions, or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone.

Building on this definition, Hagar’s Sisters commits to the following:

We put God first in all we do.

    1. Our approach adheres to biblical truths and values.
    2. We express and accept unconditional love and affirm and build up each other.
    3. Prayer is crucial in our support of each other in and outside our meetings.
    4. We seek guidance from the Holy Spirit.

We:

    1. Advocate healthy relationships and healthy marriages, and do not have an agenda that women stay in or leave an abusive relationship. 
    2. Recognize the importance of safety as a top priority for women who are in abusive relationships.
    3. We recognize each form of abuse as significant.

We provide an emotionally safe and respectful environment. 

    1. We invite, but do not require participation in, group discussions.
    2. Women will have the opportunity to share their stories, challenges, vulnerabilities, and express emotion freely, receiving compassion and validation in response.
    3. We recognize the collective wisdom of the group and learn from each other as a partnership in discovery.
    4. We acknowledge differing opinions and disagree respectfully and peacefully.
    5. A woman is understood to be the expert on her own unique experience and life.
    6. Each woman is recognized as a whole person (spiritual, intellectual, emotional, physical), capable of making wise decisions on her own behalf.
    7. Abuse is not the defining aspect of our lives.  (Hence: “women who have experienced abuse” vs. “abused women”.)  

* ©2009 Hagar's Sisters