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In June, IMA World Health, a faith-based international nonprofit based in New Windsor, co-sponsored a major research study to gauge U.S. pastors' awareness of and response to sexual and domestic violence in their communities. The poll of 1,000 Protestant pastors found that 62 percent responded to incidents of violence in ways that may do more harm than good.

In response, IMA, which leads the national WeWillSpeakOut.US coalition to end sexual and domestic violence, is teaming up with Rape Crisis Intervention Service of Carroll County to host a free workshop for local faith leaders called "Faith, Culture and Violence."

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The workshop will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 2 in the second-floor conference room in Zigler Hall at the Brethren Service Center, 500 Main St., New Windsor.

The workshop will include:

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• A presentation and discussion on "Rape Culture" — how our culture condones and glorifies violence;

• Tips for responding to and supporting victims to promote healing and safety; and

• Practical recommendations for making churches/houses of worship safer spaces for healing and the prevention of violence.

Speakers include Josh Bronson, of the University of Maryland's Office of Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence; Kristen McGeeney, of St. Mary's College of Maryland Title IX Office; Bryna Clark-Braverman, of Rape Crisis Intervention Service; and Emily Esworthy, of IMA and WeWillSpeakOut.US.

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Some workshop content is sensitive and may cause triggering for survivors and those affected by violence.

Workshop registration is available at http://www.wewillspeakout.us/workshop. Clergy and lay leadership from all faiths and denominations are welcome.

For more information about the workshop, contact Emily Esworthy at 410-635-8799 or emilyesworthy@imaworldhealth.org.

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