An American psychologist is trying to raise awareness of domestic violence at the Synod on the Family by distributing booklets to participants, reports the Catholic News Agency.
Christauria Welland is a clinical psychologist who’s worked with both victims and perpetrators of domestic violence – and with one in three women worldwide suffering from abuse at the hands of a partner, her goal is to make sure bishops know about the problem.
Often kept secret through shame or fear of stigma, the scourge of physical and emotional violence between couples is something that Catholics are anything but immune from, and Welland says she hopes to bring about healing and change through awareness and education.
After raising the issue with Vatican officials during last year’s extraordinary Synod on the Family, she’s seeking to push the issue even further onto radar of this month’s event by distributing booklets to all of the Synod participants.
This year’s Synod on the Family runs from 4-25 October, is the second and larger of two such gatherings to take place in the course of a year. Like its 2014 precursor, the focus of this year’s synod is the family, this time with the theme: “The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the modern world.”
A professor and author, Welland began working in the field of domestic violence 45 years ago, and has extensive experience working in Catholic communities.
She works in private practice in Solana Beach, California, with a hospital practice in the rehabilitation unit at Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas and Paradise Valley Hospital in National City. She is also an adjunct faculty member at Alliant International University in San Diego, where she teaches a licensure course on domestic violence.