DAY 1 - Women and Domestic Violence Around the World


“I want to tell everybody that family violence happens to everybody. No matter how nice your house is, how intelligent you are. It happens to anyone and everyone”. - Rosie Batty


Today is November 25 the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the first day of Common Grace’s 16 DAYS prayer campaign. Our 16 DAYS prayer campaign is part of a wider international movement – the UN’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign. By learning about the issue and praying each day, you are helping to keep domestic and family violence against women and children at the top of the public agenda in Australia and around the globe.


Around one in three women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence – mostly by an intimate partner[1]. Around 38 per cent of all women who are murdered are killed by their partners. The World Health Organisation says that violence against women has reached "a global health problem of epidemic proportions".

Violence against women often goes unreported[2]. In countries where there is extreme poverty as well as cultural obligations to stay with a partner, leaving a relationship may not be an option for many women experiencing abuse. And in many countries violence against women is not against the law, with marital rape still permitted in many countries[3].

Even despite the existence of laws criminalising domestic violence, police and court responses are often inadequate.

“Rosa”, a victim of domestic violence in Timor Leste, travelled more than 100 kms from her remote village for a hearing at a court in the capital city. "My husband was angry and he hit me, then I reported it to police and they sent my report to the court," she said. After waiting several hours outside the courtroom, the judge failed to turn up and Rosa returned home, giving up on any hope of getting help from her country’s legal system[4].

When it comes to prevention strategies, different countries need different approaches. In poorer countries, some development organisations focus on gender equality training and supporting women’s livelihoods as a way of empowering women who may be in abusive relationships[5].


God of the universe, all people are made in your image. You love them and you know each one by name. God, please bring your boundless resources to help women and children around the world who are experiencing violence of any kind. We pray for governments around the world to rule wisely and to make and enforce laws to protect women and children from violence. Please provide support agencies with the resources they need to provide for the rights of victims.

And please change the culture that permits, ignores, downplays or excuses violence against women and children throughout the world. Please give your grace, comfort and healing to all those who suffer. Amen.



[2] A recent EU study on 28 EU countries found that only 14 per cent of women reported their most serious episode of domestic violence to the police.
[3] Marital rape was only criminalised in all Australian states and territories in 1992.