The Church's triennial General Synod meeting, held this week in Maroochydore, Queensland, heard abuse of power was "at the heart" of many relationship problems in the church.
"We grieve with victims and survivors of domestic abuse, and pray for their healing and recovery," the General Synod said in its apology.
"We give thanks for those women and men, clergy and lay people, who have faithfully supported, cared for and protected such victims in our churches and communities.
"However, we also confess with deep shame that domestic abuse has occurred among those who attend our churches, and even among some in leadership.
"We apologise for those times our teaching and pastoral care has failed adequately to support victims and call perpetrators to account."
The resolution also urged Anglican dioceses around Australia, "to ensure they have policies and good-practice guidelines in place, along with education and training, for responding well to situations involving domestic violence within our parishes and organisations".
"No victim of domestic abuse should ever be pressured to forgive, submit to or restore a relationship with an offender," it said.
'We should be truly regretful': Anglican primateThe apology comes just weeks after an ABC News investigation into religion and domestic violencerevealed the Australian Christian church of all denominations was failing to sufficiently address domestic violence in its fold and, in some cases, was ignoring it or allowing it to continue.
In response, the Anglican Primate of Australia, Archbishop Philip Freier, said victims of domestic violence deserved an apology from the church.
"I'm hoping that there will be some words of apology to people who have experienced domestic violence and any failure from the church at our General Synod, coming up in September," the Archbishop said on The Drum in July.
"I know that these words are easy sometimes to say, but I think we should be truly regretful where we have failed and we haven't listened to people, or understood the depth of their suffering, or the kind of situation that they are being urged to go back into."
Domestic violence and the church: 'Still much work to do'Kara Hartley, the Archdeacon for Women in the Anglican Diocese of Sydney and deputy chairwoman of a taskforce looking into church responses to domestic violence, said while the church had in the past "responded well" to domestic violence, it still had much work to do.
"This is a moment where we as a national church can affirm our commitment to care [for] and support victims of domestic violence in our churches, calling perpetrators to repent, and making churches safe places for all people," Ms Hartley said in an address to synod on Thursday.
David Ould, the rector of Glenquarie Anglican Church, said it was "incredibly heartening" to see the church commit to addressing domestic abuse.
"We've made it absolutely clear to everyone where we stand on family violence, how we've failed in the past and what we hope for the future," Mr Ould told the ABC.
"We've committed ourselves to doing better in every area and level of the church so that we can look after some of the most vulnerable and wounded amongst us."
Co-leader of the website, A Cry For Justice, Barbara Roberts said the Anglican General Synod's apology "sets a benchmark" for other Australian Christian denominations.
"It tells the church fairly and squarely what it must not do to victims," Ms Roberts told the ABC.
As long as the church follows through on its promises, she added, "It will mean [victims] have more likelihood of being believed and supported".
"Those in the church wanting to address domestic violence [now] have a document to stand on, to push back against [others] in the church who are dragging their feet or wanting to shelve the issue."
Anglican domestic violence survivor Isabella Young (not her real name) said she hoped the apology would help victims to heal.
"What I would like to see is for this to trickle down into apologies from individual dioceses, to individual churches and to individual pastoral care relationships," Ms Young told the ABC.
"That would effect real healing and some people coming back into relationships with each other and with the church community again."
Synod votes to 'study family violence inside the Church'The General Synod also voted to look at commissioning, "professionally designed and independent research into the nature and extent of family violence among Anglicans".
"Other churches may be invited to join the research," it said.
Naomi Priest, research fellow at the Australian National University's Centre for Social Research and Methods, said the church should be commended for its commitment to undertaking independent research.
Dr Priest, who recently called for urgent, comprehensive research on domestic violence in Australian faith communities, said any research conducted, "must move beyond questions of prevalence" and seek to, "examine the nature and extent of family violence" as well as, "factors within churches that may enable or protect against domestic violence".
"This includes careful and robust evaluation of the effects — or lack thereof — of any policies and practices implemented [by churches to address domestic violence]," Dr Priest told ABC News.
High-quality, independent academic research of this nature also requires, "substantial funding over time", Dr Priest said.
"Poorly funded, poor-quality research is in danger of causing more harm than good."
This article was written by Hayley Gleeson and was copied from here.