Here in the UK, 1 in 4 women will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime, while 1 in 5 have experienced some type of sexual violence since the age of 16 (ONS, 2018).
These numbers are tremendously troubling, indicating that every single one of us likely knows more than one woman who has experienced domestic abuse, as well as more than one who has experienced sexual violence in their lifetime.
Worldwide, 1 in 3 women experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, according to figures updated by the World Health Organization in 2017. These figures are incredibly sobering, and act as a clear reminder that violence against women and girls is an epidemic on an international scale – and it must be stopped.
These figures acted as the fuel that fired up Restored, an international Christian alliance working to transform relationships and end violence against women. With the knowledge that gender-based violence is prominent in every corner of the earth, in every industry and every profession – churches included, we’re pleased to announce that UK SAYS NO MORE has officially partnered with Restored. The future looks brighter when we stand alongside one another, and #TogetherWeCan truly be the change that needs to be seen. Here’s a little more about Restored:
An Introduction to Restored
Restored (co-founded by Mandy Marshall and Peter Grant, formerly of Tearfund, in 2010) is a Christian charity that works to help end violence against women. We are the world’s largest Christian alliance working to end violence against women with over 100 member organisations worldwide and including Christian Aid, CAFOD, Tearfund, Mother’s Union, Livability and Boaz Trust in the UK.
There are 2.2 billion Christians on the planet, and the church has an enormous influence worldwide. It has the potential to be a major catalyst in ending violence against women, but despite this, the church and the men within it are doing little to prevent it. Church leaders are not speaking out and challenging the attitudes and behaviours that promote violence against women, and this has to change.
Due to the sheer scale of this issue, we work heavily alongside our partners in the roll out of numerous projects. We:
- Campaign to raise awareness amongst Christians of the issue of violence against women and we advocate for change.
- Mobilise and equip churches, Christian organisations and individuals to act against violence against women.
- Challenge men to recognise the part that they can play in helping to end violence against women.
- Develop new initiatives to meet specific needs that are not being met by other organisations.
Our #inchurchestoo campaign raises awareness of domestic abuse among UK churches (through exhibitions and events), trains and supports them to challenge the attitudes and behaviours that promote domestic abuse and enables them to provide compassionate support to survivors. As part of this campaign, we have produced a free Church Pack of which over 13,000 copies have been distributed.
This explains the nature of domestic abuse, signposting to sources of help for women affected and guidance on other positive actions that churches can take to counteract domestic violence. In March, we will publish ground-breaking research undertaken with the Universities of Coventry and Leicester looking at the incidence of domestic abuse in church communities in Cumbria.
Restored is developing a network for Christian women survivors of violence. We also lead a campaign, ‘First Man Standing’, to encourage men to respect women and to challenge attitudes and behaviour in themselves and other men that might promote violence against women. It is vital, if domestic abuse is to end, that men do not regard it as a ‘women’s issue’ but a ‘human issue’ that involves them too.
“I commend the work that Restored and its partners are doing, highlighting gender-based violence in our society, and seeking to tackle it through positive, practical measures. Through the continuing work of Restored and other organisations, it is now our responsibility as people of faith to speak out and end it.” – The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.
Ending Domestic Abuse: A Pack for Churches
This pack, available in 5 different languages, provides churches with the tools necessary to tackle and effectively respond to domestic abuse. Download the pack for free, or via a donation, here.
Living as a First Standing Man
This resource gives men to look at the ways in which they can live as a First Standing Man in different areas of their lives. It looks at the ways men can use action to tackle violence against women and how they can actively build good relationships and show respect for the women, children and other men in their lives. Download the pack here.
Take a look at the other resources provided by Restored.
13th March: Slide event at the United Nations Commission on the Status Women in New York, discussing the role of faith in ending violence against women.
21st March: Launch event of the exclusive baseline study of domestic abuse in church communities in Cumbria (in partnership with the Universities of Coventry and Leicester).
All other events held in partnership with Restored can be accessed here.
Interested in becoming a partner of UK SAYS NO MORE?
We’d love to here from you! Drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.