Photo Credit: The Law Society
Former Law Society President Andrew Caplen is set to become co-Director of Restored, the Christian charity campaigning to end violence against women. He will join Restored on 1 May 2018 following the retirement of Peter Grant and will lead the charity alongside Mandy Marshall who, with Peter Grant, founded Restored in 2010.
Andrew Caplen said: “I am excited at this opportunity to be involved with Restored and help build on the firm foundations laid by Mandy and Peter. The issue of violence against women is a very real one, throughout society, both in the UK and abroad. In particular, I am looking forward to being involved with promoting Restored’s ‘First Man Standing’ initiative, which works to get men involved in ending violence against women, to as wide an audience as possible.”
Peter Grant said: “Andrew brings a wealth of experience in tackling the injustices of gender-based violence. During his term as Law Society President he raised the profile of domestic violence in the whole legal sector, through campaigning for victims to have access to Legal Aid and by showcasing best legal practice in this so-important area of law.”
Mandy Marshall said: “We warmly welcome Andrew to Restored. With the current #MeToo campaign and the forthcoming Domestic Violence Bill, this is a key period for the church to respond more effectively to domestic abuse and to challenge the root causes of gender injustice in our society.”
Restored believes that domestic violence is a taboo subject that all too often the Church fails to acknowledge. In an endeavour to address this, Restored’s Co-director Mandy Marshall told the General Synod that “if one in four women in the UK experience domestic abuse then it must also be happening in our churches”. In response, the Archbishop of Canterbury acknowledged “the stark reality of gender-based violence in our own churches,” adding that “it is now our own responsibility, as people of faith to speak out and end it”.
In March 2018 Restored launched a ground-breaking report: “In churches too: church responses to domestic abuse – a case study of Cumbria.”
The report found that more than 40 per cent of the 438 respondents had suffered from domestic abuse, but that only 2 in 7 felt their church would handle allegations of abuse well. The report concluded that there is “still much to be done to ensure consistent, safe and pastorally sensitive responses to all victims and survivors of domestic abuse”.
Restored conducts training sessions to help church leaders recognise and respond to signs of abuse, as well as advocating for policy change.