Today (8 March) is International Women's Day - and Restored launches its new Church Pack to help church leaders address domestic abuse.
Today (8 March) is International Women's Day - and Restored launches its new Church Pack to help church leaders address domestic abuse.International Women’s Day – what’s all the fuss about?
International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It is also a day to mark the work still to be done to achieve full equality between women and men. The day is a reminder, and an encouragement, for us all to take action to bring about the reality of every individual flourishing, and fulfilling their potential, to ensure we all benefit from the global and local community in which we live.
Whilst much has been achieved to create an environment where women can flourish and achieve their full potential in many countries, we know that violence and abuse of women remains at epidemic levels ( 1 in 3 women globally, 1 in 4 women in the UK). Abuse can prevent a woman from flourishing, achieving and being all that God created her to be. At Restored we are committed to change that and hope that you are to. Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, stated ‘All countries worry me because of the universality of violence against women. The fact that 75 per cent of violence against women is domestic violence is the issue….The home is the unsafest place for a woman to be’. That is a devastating reality that many women live with on a daily basis.
We want to change that, and with your help we can.
Our NEW church pack launches today
That’s why today we are launching our new, updated and expanded Church Pack (English language version). We want every church, in every nation, to respond appropriately and effectively to domestic abuse. We want to see each church with a policy, procedure and process that is publicised and implemented so that victims and survivors of abuse can disclose in confidence and be signposted to the professional services available. Our new Church Pack contains practical information on what domestic abuse is, the epidemic nature of abuse, practical steps churches can take alongside helpful charts on how to respond. This pack includes an expanded theological section, in response to feedback on our first pack, which aims to guide you through some of the issues specifically faced by Christians that can lead to abuse.
Why should the church get involved?
Too often at Restored we hear the church criticised for making situations of abuse worse - by colluding with or condoning the abuse, or not responding at all. Thankfully we recognise that not all churches respond poorly or are paralysed in fear of what to do next. We want to see the church take its place to be a safe space for survivors of abuse to be believed, listened to and signposted to the services available. We also want to see perpetrators of abuse held to account, encouraged to truly repent and make appropriate restitution for the wrong they have done. We cannot afford to be naive about domestic abuse any longer. This pack helps church leaders, Safeguarding Officers, Pastoral leads, and all of us to understand what abuse is, what it looks like and how to respond. We all need to play our part in preventing and ending domestic abuse.
Our Ambassador, the Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester states, ‘Love and Relationship is at the heart of who God is. Joining in with God’s work of transformation and hope begins by recognising the brokenness in us and around us. This pack is an excellent resource to enable followers of Christ to have their eyes and ears opened to the issue of abuse against women and have the courage to take action for the flourishing of those in our churches, chaplaincies and schools, and in the wider community. To close our eyes to the issue of domestic violence is to prefer the darkness to the light.’
TAKE ACTION! – Download the pack
Today, on International Women’s Day, we are asking you to download our new church pack here and do the following:
- Read it – make time to read the pack and be prepared to be challenged to respond
- Share it – with your church leader, pastoral lead, safeguarding officer and on social media
- Keep yourself informed – sign up to receive regular updates from us, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram
Thank you for being a part of the change we all want to see.
Mandy Marshall, Co-Director