Erica Hamence opens our series of 16 days of prayer against Domestic & Family Violence - Foundations for Christian Action by reminding us that we pray because our God has promised to transform the world.
Every year, Common Grace's Domestic and Family Violence Justice Team marks the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence with a series of daily reflections from 25thNovember - 10thDecember
In the past, we've sketched out the basics of Domestic and Family Violence awareness - sharing statistics about the prevalence of abuse, characteristics of DFV, who is affected, and how.
This year, we're changing focus to something foundational. We're raising questions (and offering answers) on how cultures of violence are formed in our society and even our churches.
But, importantly, we're also offering reflections, from church works and members, as well as experts, on how they can be changed.
If you're interested in creating space for safety and healing in our churches, and our world, read our daily reflections and prayer guide below.
As we turn to look at violence, Brooke Prentis draws our attention to the patterns of violence embedded in Australia’s history.
Emma Pitman reflects on the unjust structure of the Jericho road for our 16 days of prayer against Domestic & Family Violence - Foundations for Christian Action.
Tamie Davis reflects on the Image of God, suggesting that to abuse God’s images is to insult the Creator.
Aboriginal Christian Leader Sono Leone reflects on the intergenerational trauma and systemic racist structures facing Aboriginal women as part of the challenge of domestic and family violence in Australia today.
Geoff Broughton reflects on how a church might respond to domestic and family violence through a restorative justice lens, as we ask ‘how did this happen in our midst?’
Ray Bull asks: how does the church reassess the assumptions we make in responding to Domestic and Family Violence?
Jeri Jones Sparks raises the question: what have we misunderstood about gender-based violence?
An anonymous survivor of intimate partner violence shares her story of both harm, and healing, in the church.
Graeme Anderson, Amy Watkins and Josh Dowton from Northside Baptist write together to reorient our approach to forgiveness.
Ray Bull inspires us to keep hoping in God’s restorative healing power and purpose, even as we acknowledge the brokeness and flaws of his people and churches.
Our anonymous author is a clinical psychologist, who shares her own experience of family violence, and now works with victims of domestic and family violence.
Erica Hamence asks what can the inclusion of the rape and murder of the concubine in Judges 19-21 possibly have to say to us?
Erica Hamence returns to Judges 19-21 to see what else it can tell us about gender-based violence.
Tamie Davis helps us to see how Jesus raises women up.
Erin Sessions closes our series of 16 days of prayer by calling us to face the ‘tools-down’ national crisis.
The campaign will begin on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women . 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.