"We are still a long way from
​the time when our conscience can

be certain of having done every-thing possible to prevent crime and to control it effectively so that it no longer does harm and (...) to offer

to those who commit crimes a
way of redeeming themselves and making a positive return
​to society."
            Pope John Paul II, July 9, 2000

An African-Centered Approach to Domestic Violence
Tricia B. Bent-Goodley


Domestic Violence Resources:

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence  https://www.nrcdv.org/

Break the Cycle  http://www.breakthecycle.org/ www.loveisrespect.org


The National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)

Human Dignity

Racism is the belief in the superiority of one race over another, which often results in discrimination and prejudice towards people based on their race or ethnicity

African Americans are often revictimized by service providers because of negative stereotypes and a lack of cultural understanding (Allard, 1991; Hampton & Gelles, 1994; Joseph, 1997; Kupenda, 1998; Richie, 1996; Wyatt, 1997). In this article, I will discuss how to apply cultural competence through an African-cen- tered approach to domestic violence and provide implications for practice with African American families.

The Need for a Culturally Competent Approach

The  ability  to  engage diverse populations according to  cul- tural nuances and understandings can result in more relevant solutions and successful outcomes (Fong & Furuto, 2001;  Green,  1999).  Without a   culturally competent approach,  practitioners  often  create  misinformed  assessments, ineffective interventions, and faulty evaluations (Bent- Goodley, 2005). The African-centered or Afrocentric approach provides a culturally competent alternative to respond to domestic violence in the African American family. Williams (1992, 1999) stressed that the lack of a cultur- ally  competent  approach  in  batterers’  intervention  pro- grams has resulted in low participation and completion rates for African American men. African American men often question the credibility and capability of non–African American practitioners to address their issues. Williams (1999) stated that practitioners must have (a) knowledge of themselves and their culture; (b) knowledge of the history, strengths, and challenges of African American families; and (c) the ability to engage the com- munity to sustain advances in the family. Finally, the prac- titioner must also be cognizant of and prepared to address issues of social justice and oppression.

Gondolf and Williams (2001) asserted the need for cultur- ally focused counseling, defined as “specialized counseling for racially homogenous groups that explicitly identifies and addresses cultural issues that may reinforce violence or pre- vent barriers to stopping violence” (p. 284). They provided specific recommendations as to how to engage African American men who batter from a culturally competent per- spective by exploring, for example, issues of discrimination, experiences with violence, and past relationships with women. 
Full story...

National Dating Abuse Helpline 1-866-331-9474  www.loveisrespect.org

National Child Abuse Hotline/Childhelp   

1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)  www.childhelp.org

National Sexual Assault Hotline  1-800-656-4673 (HOPE)  www.rainn.org

National Center for Victims of Crime  1-202-467-8700


Psalm 146:6-7

The maker of heaven and earth,

the seas and all that is in them,
Who keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed...


Matthew 28:19-20
"Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you."

Healing Ministry

Jeremiah 33:6
Look! I am bringing the city recovery and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them an abundance of lasting peace.

Acts 17:26

He made from one the whole human race to dwell on the entire surface of the earth, and he fixed the ordered seasons and the boundaries of their regions...

The United Nations defines human trafficking as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons by improper means for an improper purpose including forced labor or sexual exploitation (National Institute of Justice: ​https://www.nij.gov/)


1 John 4:7
Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone

who loves is begotten by God and knows God.


Domestic violence and emotional abuse are behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other.

MYTH: Domestic violence is a personal problem between a husband and a wife.

TRUTH: Domestic violence affects everyone. 1 in 3 American women have been physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives. 40% to 60% of men who abuse women also abuse children. 

Human Trafficking

The National Black Catholic Congress | 320 Cathedral St. Baltimore, MD 21201 | 410-547-8496
© 2021 The National Black Catholic Congress, All Rights Reserved

Human life is sacred and the dignity of the human person is  the foundation of a moral vision for society. 

Prison Ministry

Domestic Violence

1 Peter 3:7
"You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered."

Children of the Night

Sex trafficking is Maryland’s dirty open secret.
By Ron Cassie - March 2017

It was not the first time “Wendy” had run away and not come home. The quiet 15-year-old from Prince William County, Virginia, chafed under the strict control of her single mom. She had lived previously in Maryland and had friends in Washington, D.C., who would help her get by for short periods.

Domestic  violence  impacts  people  across  race, religion, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. No group class, can claim immunity from this problem, which is universal in scope. Domestic violence can be defined as “a pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviors including physical, sexual, and psychological attacks, as well as economic coercion that adults or adolescents use against their intimate partners” (Schechter & Ganley, 1995, p. 10). Although both men and women are abused, 85% to 95% of survivors are women (Rennison, 2003; Tjaden &Thoennes, 2000). Reported estimates suggest that over 5 million women expe- rience domestic violence annually (National Center for Injury Prevention and Control,  2003).

Domestic violence has been described as more prevalent among African American and American Indian families (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000). The accuracy of this assertion is questionable because of methodological shortcomings, low numbers of people of color in domestic violence research, and difficulty getting people of color to seek assistance from formal authorities (Asbury, 1993; D. W.  Campbell, 1993; Hampton, Carrillo, & Kim, 1998; Hampton, Gelles, & Harrop, 1989; Hampton & Yung, 1996; Lockhart, 1985). Yet there are statistics related to African Americans that cannot be ignored. Compared with all other groups, African Americans are more likely to be killed or sustain a serious injury because of domestic violence (Fagan, 1996; Hampton et al., 1998; Hampton & Yung, 1996; Rennison & Welchans, 2000). African Americans are also more likely to be arrested, prosecuted, and incarcerated because of domestic violence (Mann, 1987; Richie, 1996; T. Roberts, 1994). African American children are more likely to be removed from the home because of domestic violence (Bent-Goodley, 2004a), and the contraction of HIV among African American women is higher compared with other women when involved in a domestic violence situation (Wingood & DiClemente, 1997; Wyatt, Axelrod, Chin, Carmona & Loeb, 2000). Yet African Americans resist requesting support from formal systems of care, such as the criminal justice and social service systems (Bent-Goodley, 2003; Joseph, 1997; Peterson-Lewis, Turner, & Adams, 1988; West, 1999).

In spite of the knowledge of domestic-violence challenges experienced by African Americans, there are limited cultur- ally competent remedies offered to secure change regarding this issue (Asbury, 1987; Bent-Goodley, 2005; D. W. Campbell, 1993; Gondolf, Fisher, & McFerron, 1991; Sorenson, 1996; West, 1999). Thus,  

Catholic spirituality includes the various ways in which Catholics live out their Baptismal promise, through prayer and action. The primary prayer of all Catholics is the Eucharistic liturgy in which they celebrate and share their faith together, in accord with Jesus' instruction: "Do this in memory of me."

I Corinthians 10:4

...[A]ll drank the same spiritual drink, for they drank from a spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was the Christ.

Evangelizing means bringing the Good News of Jesus into every human situation and seeking to convert individuals and society by the divine power of the Gospel itself.

Go and Make Disciples: the 
​USCCB presents a plan for 

Human Trafficking: Modern Day Slavery

The National Black Catholic Congress®

Signs of Human Trafficking:

The person in question:

  • Is not free to come and go as he/she wishes
  • Is under 18 and is providing commercial sex acts
  • Provides commercial sex acts and has a pimp
  • Is unpaid, paid little, or paid only in tips
  • Works excessively long or unusual hours
  • Is not allowed breaks or suffers unusual restrictions at work
  • Owes a large debt and is unable to pay it off
  • Was recruited through false promises
  • High security measures exist in the work site
  • Is fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense
  • Avoids eye contact
  • Lacks health care
  • Appears malnourished
  • Shows signs of physical/sexual abuse, physical restraint, confinement, or torture
  • Has few or no possessions
  • Is not in control of his/her money, identification documents
  • ​Is not allowed or able to speak for themselves

​To request help or report suspected human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888. Or text HELP to: BeFree (233733).

The longing for happiness, deeply rooted in the human heart, has always been accompanied by a desire to be freed from illness...

Yozefu-B. Ssemakulapresents The Healing of Families Ministry

​Catholic Healing Prayers