We were so delighted to join experts on domestic abuse from across the global Church in hosting an online webinar at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women this week. It was great to be in a room with some amazing men and women with lots of expertise, exploring how Christians in around the world are responding to gender-based violence. Here are our highlights...
This year one of the themes of the CSW is the elimination of violence against women. The UN General Secretary, Antonio Guterres, spoke earlier this week about the urgent need to address violence against women. He said it was vital for peace in homes and society that we no longer 'minimise or push aside' the terrible impact of the abuse of women and girls. It really is such a privilege to advocate on behalf of women and girls at this level. Churches are so well positioned to provide the sanctuary and care that survivors of domestic abuse so desperately need, and we want to keep shouting about all the amazing work churches are doing around the world to address this injustice.
'Christian churches have not always protected women but there is a fresh sense that the Church has a valuable role to play in releasing women from abuse and the injustice of inequality. We want churches to be equipped to support victims of abuse and to deal with the perpetrators.'
— Mandy Marshall —
We're really big on partnering with others, and it was a joy to work alongside a new network we're part of! Bekah spoke alongside a variety of speakers from this Christian network called CNEDA (Christian Network to End Domestic Abuse). Since lockdowns began in 2020, Christian groups on the ground have struggled to respond to a hidden pandemic of domestic abuse; we've certainly seen an increased need to training and resourcing churches in the UK. CNEDA was born.
With speakers covering a wide range of topics from Girls' Brigade's work in Nigeria through to how men are being empowered to end domestic abuse in Ethiopia, there are so many highlights! Some of our highlights include:
- Hearing about Open Doors' research: 'The Hidden Face of Persecution - targeted abuse of Christian women' and the persecution women face, particularly from family and intimate partners.
- Hearing about how God is at work in Pakistan, Ethiopia and Nigeria - do pray for the work to end domestic abuse happening in these countries.
- Sharing about CNEDA with all those who attended, particularly our resource 'A Biblical View of Relationships to End Domestic Abuse'.