Answer: I'm going to be honest and say that for starters, it would be good if churches were even willing to participate in the safety planning process to begin with!
Sadly, in so many instances, I have not found this to be the case. So number one, I would have to say, is to be willing to get involved in the first place.
Then extend help without attaching conditions. There were times help was denied to me (not necessarily by my church) because I would not meet someone's condition (i.e., I'll come get you if you promise never go back. Or worse, why should I come get you? You'll just go back.).
The process must begin with the following two things:
- Willingness to get involved
- Not attaching conditions to the involvement such as requiring the woman to seek legal remedies or never go back.
Demonstrate respect for the woman who is seeking help, and grant her the liberty of making her own choices without risking losing our support.