As a charity that focusses on ending violence against women and transforming relationships, it's a little tricky when it comes to marking birthdays. We want to stop, reflect and give thanks for all that has been achieved, whilst inspiring action for all that is yet to be done. The aim is to see all violence against women ended and there be no need for a charity like Restored to exist. That is the desired result. We are, however, not there yet.
It's not easy establishing a charity, gaining support, encouraging action, alongside being established within the sector. At first a few viewed us with understandable suspicion given that the church has, in some cases, been a place where women have been encouraged to stay with abusive husbands and partners and to 'pray more'. It was important to communicate to others who had been doing this work for considerably longer, that we had training and understanding of the issue and that we were challenging the church to rise up and take action. We also faced a tough year in 2013 when the website that we were using for regular giving collapsed and was investigated by the charity Commission. For a small charity, starting out such as ours, this had a significant impact on us. We are so grateful for Stewardship and Give.net for stepping in and providing a great service.
What has been achieved?
When addressing a difficult issue such as violence against women it is important to stop and reflect on what has been achieved.
- Lobbying UK government, EU and UN on including faith in the response to ending violence against women (VAW)
- Speaking at side events at the United Nations on Christians ending VAW
- Speaking at the Church of England General Synod on a motion to end Gender Based Violence which was passed
- Training hundreds of churches and church leaders on identifying and addressing domestic abuse appropriately
- Speaking and training in various countries including Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Zimbabwe, Zambia, DRC, Burundi, Sierra Leone, USA, Netherlands, Turkey, South Africa, Ecuador and India
- Producing baseline information on family violence in churches across Ecuador, Argentina, Bolivia & Peru
- Over 950 men signed up to First Man Standing taking small actions that make a big difference
- Distributing over 3,000 printed church packs with a further 3,800 downloaded in English, 2,400 in Russian, and 670 in Spanish online.
- 200 blogs written.
- Over 88,000 visits to our website from over 200 countries accessing resources and information
- Delivering over 70 resources
- Producing videos for inspiration and education
- Interviews and articles delivered for different media inc TV, radio and print.
- Informing thousands of Christians across the UK about domestic abuse via Christian festivals and events
- Hosting a photographic exhibition at the International Salvation Army HQ engaging people in the issue that would not necessarily be reached.
- Working with and alongside amazing member organisations around the world and in the UK.
What Restored has meant for some
Perhaps the best reflection comes in the words of people themselves what Restored has meant for them.
' Confirmation that it wasn't my fault, even in the Bible's view; help with explaining to people in church what abuse is and how it can happen 'In churches too'; that pastors get it wrong sometimes...; that God cares, a lot.'
'hope - that other women will not experience some of the things I have'
'An opportunity to invest in and stand alongside people who are doing incredible work to support women and engage the church to take action on ending violence against women' Sarah W
'I know God put it on my heart very strongly that Restored was a Christ centered, prayer powered organisation that has passion and drive to make a real difference in changing the way that the Church, in particular, deals with VAW and works to end it. And that I should get off my backside and do something to support them.' Gwen
A First Man Standing
'The challenge for me is how do I live as a First Man Standing. Am I prepared to actually lift my head above the parapet and say enough is enough.' Neal
'An opportunity to make a difference and understand more about the ways in which we can tackle and end violence against women.' Max
'Restored is the place where I can do everyday deeds to keep the darkness of violence against women at bay' Carolina (paraphrasing Tolkien)
'Restored has been a great adventure as we have explored God's heart for ending violence against women. As a man it is a privilege to see First Man Standing develop as a campaign for men to stand alongside women in addressing these issues.' Peter
Work still to be done
It is encouraging to see more awareness raising and more churches taking action on domestic abuse. There is still a lot of work to be done. The statistics remain horrifying in that 1 in 3 women globally will be abused in her lifetime and 1 in 4 in the UK. Two women a week are still killed at the hands of a partner or former partner. Rape, sexual violence, FGM, dowry killings, shamed based violence all continue and need to stop.
A heartfelt thank you to you who have enabled us to do this work. Your support, encouragement, and continued use of the resources and requests for training, we wouldn't be able to achieve what we have so far. So thank you for making this work possible and for investing in God's Kingdom and bring about change in churches and in Christians across the UK and globally. May you be blessed as you have blessed us, and those with whom we have the privilege to work with and alongside. Thank you
If you would like to join in and enable us to continue the work then please sign up here. Thank you