About SAIV

The Spiritual Alliance to Stop Intimate Violence (SAIV) was founded by Riane Eisler and Nobel Peace Prize winner Betty Williamson to break cycles of violence in families and in the family of nations. Ending cycles of violence in families improves quality of life for all of us, since research shows that intimate violence is integrally related to community, national, and international violence.

SAIV recognizes that a crucial element in any efforts to stop intimate violence is strong faith leadership. Trauma victims, especially from rural, immigrant, and communities of color, are five times more likely to seek the aid of clergy than any other professional.

SAIV partners with national and International interfaith leaders who are expert in trauma-informed responses to provide tools for effective prevention and response to intimate violence within their own communities.

Together, we offer:

  • Leadership for cultural transformation from Domination to Partnership systems to create safe families and peaceful communities.
  • Scholars in action infusing theological education with skills and insight for compassionate and effective response to violence in families and communities.
  • Resources for faith leaders and faith communities.
  • The Caring and Connected Parenting Guide promoting partnership relations between parent and their children, with special attention to breaking patterns of violence. Free download in English and Spanish.


Download the Guide in English


Descargue la guía en español

Karen Hessel

Karen Hessel is the Director of SAIV. Karen is a specialist in ecumenical women’s leadership with decades of involvement in economic and social justice work intersecting with gender, race and class. Karen is on the Board of Directors of the Maine Council of Churches, and is the Former Program Director, Justice for Women, National Council of Churches (1992-2004). She is also a former Board Member of the Sister Fund and Interfaith Worker Justice. In addition to her work with SAIV, Karen works as a volunteer with projects such as Interfaith Worker Justice Southern Maine and Caring Resources for Living. Contact Karen.


Meet Our Global Council

The SAIV Global Council is inspired and advised by renowned leaders from around the world, including Jane Goodall, Desmond Tutu, Betty Williams, Deepak Chopra, Prince El Hassan bin Talal, and many more.

SAIV Global Council


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