Domestic violence workshop at Lockharts’ church

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — The Kalamazoo church where Theresa Lockhart and her husband attended Mass is hosting a workshop to help faith leaders to spot domestic violence.

Lockhart, a teacher, had been missing for more than five months when her husband Christopher Lockhart killed himself in their Portage home in October 2017. He left a note in which he said he had killed his wife and a hand-drawn map to where he left her body.

Monsignor Mike Hazard is the pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church. The Lockharts were members of his parish and he also married them. Though the murder was alarming to his parish, Hazard says it was a relief to many people Christopher Lockhart confessed and directed authorities to his wife’s body, which they found in a shallow grave in the Allegan State Game Area. Still, Hazard said, “it doesn’t undo the damage.”

“We knew that things were not always right between them,” Hazard told 24 Hour News 8 Wednesday.

But he said he never knew the relationship could turn violent. When asked if there were warning signs, he said, “Not to me, truly.”

“I knew nothing of violence,” he added. “I never heard from Theresa that he had been violent. There is no room for violence in human relationships.”

On Oct. 2, his church will host an intimate partner violence workshop facilitated by the YWCA, which works to combat domestic violence and sexual abuse. The program is specifically designed to teach faith leaders how to recognize problems that are often kept secret and then respond. Those wishing to register should contact Sherry at 269.345.5595 or sbrockway@ywcakalamazoo.org.

Victims of domestic violence can always contact the YWCA Kalamazoo at 269.385.3587 or the YWCA of West Central Michigan at 616.454.9922.

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