Oct 02, 2023 | John W. Coleman

The Eastern PA Conference Domestic Violence Committee will sponsor its eighth annual seminar October 20-21 to address a widespread, often lethal problem that afflicts many families, intimate-partner relationships and even churches. October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

“Healing from the Trauma of Domestic Violence” is the theme for the weekend seminar— meeting via Zoom on Friday, from 7 to 9 p.m., and on Saturday, from 9 a.m. to noon. Undergirding that theme is the scripture verse: “He will redeem them from oppression and violence, for their lives are precious to him.” (Psalm 74:14, NLT)

The keynote speaker will be the Rev. Neelley Hicks, a United Methodist Deacon in Nashville, Tenn., who founded a global communications organization “dedicated to improving living conditions for people around the world.” She has helped women to forge supportive, healing bonds in international, interracial and interreligious settings to face trauma they have suffered from various forms of abuse.  

Rev. Neelley Hicks

Her firm, Harper Hill Global, provides free trauma-informed resources and training to help people practice resiliency and care for one another in relationships and communities. Those resources include a new youth version of the program, titled TAMAR (Trauma, Addiction, Mental health, And Recovery). Learn more at www.TriumphOverTrauma.info.   

Hicks and other presenters will lead workshops on the causes and consequences of domestic violence (DV) on various groups, including children and persons who are elderly or have disabilities, and how churches can respond. Friday’s plenary session will also include testimonies from DV survivors, who will share their experiences, sources of support and lessons learned.


  1. Healing from Trauma through Reconnection of Body, Mind, and Spirit
  2. DV and its Impact on Senior Adults  
  3. DV and People with Disabilities
  4. DV and Childhood Trauma

Jody Anderson, of West Lawn UMC, a children’s therapist who has taught and written about the impact of violence on children, chairs EPA’s DV committee, which first organized as a conference task force in 2014.

View and download the flyer.