Religious Leaders Panel – University of New Brunswick

Religious Leaders Panel at the University of New Brunswick

Cathy Holtmann and Nancy Nason-Clark organised a public screening of the documentary “I Believe You: Faith’s Response to Intimate Partner Violence” followed by a Religious Leaders Panel at the University of New Brunswick. “I Believe You” is an Emmy-nominated documentary created by Diva Communications Inc. that explores the stories of religious survivors of abuse and how faith groups can respond to their needs (Facebook Page).

The documentary includes several clips where Nancy Nason-Clark is discussing her research on religion and domestic violence and highlights the RAVE website (, a project in which Cathy Holtmann was involved.

Following the screening, five religious leaders representing different faith groups each responded to the film and then members of the audience asked them questions. Please watch the videos below to find out what the religious leaders have to say.

United Church Minister

Ellen Beairsto is a minister at Wilmot United Church in Fredericton, New Brunswick. She speaks about the courage it takes for victims to disclose abuse to clergy and that disclosure is a gift of trust.

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Baptist Leader

Lois Mitchell is the Director of Public Witness and Social Concerns for the Atlantic Baptist Convention. She emphasizes the necessity for faith groups to speak a unified and prophetic voice in condemning intimate partner violence.

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Roman Catholic Priest

Monte Peters serves as a Catholic priest. He points out the confusion in the hearts of victims as they deal with the abuse along with their feelings of love for the abuser.

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Muslim Leader

Aamir Jamal is faculty member of the School of Social Work at St. Thomas University. He argues that it is up to Muslim men to work together for change when it comes to the misinterpretation of sacred texts.

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Buddhist Instructor

Craig Schneiders is a meditation instructor with the Shambhala Buddhist community. He talks about how Buddhists need to engage in daily practice, in order to deal with confusion and to become more compassionate.

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