At Common Grace, we are calling on all Christians in Australia to commit to 16 DAYS of Prayer against Domestic & Family Violence from 25 November to 10 December.
One of the people who participated last year was a woman named Danielle, who contacted Common Grace to thank us for initiating 16 Days. She writes:
"I work in mental health, and specifically with children of parents with a mental illness - so with fairly vulnerable and often marginalised families and domestic violence in huge. I often feel helpless and challenged by this huge problem within our society and within the families who I work with [...] thanks so much for providing me with ideas of what to pray about, and to help me feel less overwhelmed by the issue and more empowered through God!"
Collectively, over two weeks, we’ll be learning about and praying for those impacted by and seeking to address domestic & family violence: from women of all cultures, classes and backgrounds, to women’s shelters, and police and frontline responders. We will also be posting daily images on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter that can easily be shared on your own social media.
The campaign will begin on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and with White Ribbon Day (25 November). It will also coincide with the UN’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign that, since 1991, has sought to galvanise action to end violence against girls and women around the world.
Why sign up?
As part of the 16 DAYS of prayer, you will receive daily emails from our team, with statistics, stories and prayer points, each regarding a different aspect of domestic & family violence’s wide-ranging impact. It will be a great way to get educated about what is happening in our world and to bring before God the cries of our hearts.
Why do Christians care?
Domestic & family violence has long been a private issue. When current statistics point towards one in six women having experienced domestic & family violence in Australia, we know that within churches there are both victims and perpetrators. How the church and Christians respond to them is crucial in seeing justice, healing and transformation. In some cases, churches have responded to domestic & family violence in wonderfully supportive ways for victims. However sadly there have been countless times when the church has let women and children down, and sometimes put them even more at risk through disbelief, minimising the victim’s experience, or staying silent.
This inadequate response must not continue. We believe that the first instinct of Christians must be a genuine compassion for those who have been harmed in our communities. We at Common Grace hope that we can support churches and faith communities to be equipped to be safe and affirming places for women to disclose abuse. Where justice will be sought, action will be taken and real support offered. Victims need to have confidence that they will be heard and believed. That domestic & family violence will not be excused, that victims will not be blamed.
Jesus always protects the vulnerable and exposes evil. We want to follow the example of Jesus: our model for equal, loving, and mutual human relationships.
We recognise that gender inequality lies at the heart of domestic & family violence. That violent attitudes and behaviours have their root in the same place – the abuse of power and control of one person over another.
In Australia one in three women experience physical violence in their lifetime. One in six Australian women experience physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner, and one in four experience emotional abuse from a partner. And these statistics are just the tip of the iceberg of the brutality and horror of this epidemic.
Common Grace also believes that governments have a major role to play and we will be doing more in the coming months to call the Australian government to urgent, well-resourced action.
Let’s stand in solidarity with those affected by domestic and family violence – united for the common good, together, finding common ground and sharing in common grace.