This guide is for people of faith who want to help stop violence against women and girls. Are you a pastor or a member of a women’s or men’s group? A parent or a student? An advocate for peace and justice? Or simply a person who yearns for a nonviolent world? Here are some ways we can together make a difference. And why are we committed to doing so? Some cultural and religious traditions consider women’s suffering as a burden to be borne without complaint. Some suggest a connection between Jesus’ suffering on the Cross, and women’s suffering from violence.
However, this guide is built on commitments to solace, compassion, and an end to the life-damaging effects of violence. We come from a Lutheran theological tradition that emphasizes God’s grace and support for the full humanity of all people — including women. For Bible verses on abuse and violence, see the UK website Hidden Hurt.
Sister Joan Chittister, co-chair of the Global Peace Initiative for Women, tells the story of a daughter who rejected her mother’s advice on salary negotiations, family roles, and domestic abuse. “Oh, mother, please,” the daughter said. “That feminist stuff is so your generation. It’s passé. – We don’t have those problems anymore.” “Really?” says Chittister in the video below. She then goes on to speak about attitudes, paternalistic theology, wage inequalities, rape, violence and other subjects that still very much confront women today.
For more information, download Stopping Violence Against Women and Girls: Ways We Can Help (PDF).