Domestic violence is an issue that strikes close to home for many in Los Angeles, particularly in the Asian American community. According to an LA Times report in October of 2015, police in Los Angeles respond to an average of 48,000 calls regarding domestic violence each year, and a California State University, Los Angeles study published in May of 2015 says immigrant Korean families are more likely to experience domestic violence than any other Asian American ethnic group.

As a result, pastors are more likely than not to encounter a domestic violence situation happening within the homes of their congregants. But are they prepared to handle the situation wisely?

A non-profit in Los Angeles will be providing a sponsored training program this fall to equip pastors and seminarians with the knowledge they need to not only provide appropriate help to victims of domestic violence, but also to spread awareness of it and help prevent further cases.

The training, called the '40 Hour Domestic Violence Advocate Training’ program, is organized and led by Korean American Family Services (KFAM), and sponsored by the Blue Shield Foundation. Though this year’s class for the 40-hour training program had already been selected, the Blue Shield Foundation has provided additional funding for two more pastors to be added to the class. Normally, such a training program would cost $400 per student, KFAM says.

Participants will be able to learn about topics including the history of domestic violence; child abuse; violence in dating among teens; the responsibilities of the perpetrator; counseling and support for the victim; safety measures; legal support; and others. KFAM is an officially recognized training facility by the state, and those who complete the training will receive certificates of completion.

The training will take place in two periods, with the first period taking place between August 12 to September 2, and the second taking place between October 19 to November 9. Participants must attend both training periods, and sessions will take place on Wednesdays and Fridays between 1 to 4 PM.

Those who are interested must apply by August 7, and must submit a resume and cover letter to