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Australia: Landmark report paves way to violence prevention

Posted on: May 1, 2014 11:30 AM
Related Categories: Australia, gender violence, iawn, melbourne

By ACNS staff

Anglican leaders in Australia are praising a new report which looks at how church communities can address the causes as well as the result of domestic violence. 

The report Nudging Anglican Parishes to Prevent Violence Against Women is expected to provoke a 'paradigm shift' in the way Anglicans address gender violence.

Dr Ree Boddé, Program Director of Melbourne Diocese's Anglicans Promoting Equal and Respectful Relationships for Preventing Violence Against Women initiative, said, “What the report shows is that there are effective ways of moving towards helping prevent violence against women and girls.

"The challenge is for more Anglican communities to shift their paradigm to that of helping prevent violence in the first place, not just responding to the people damaged by violence.”

In Australia, one in three women have experienced violence, and one woman dies each week as a result of violence in the home. The majority of their tormentors are not strangers lurking on busy streets, but their friends, acquaintances, husbands, brothers and fathers. The rest of the data on violence against women is equally disturbing.

The Revd Dr Stephen Ames, Chair of the initiative, said that respect for the God-given dignity of each person and the common good of communities is a "fundamental principle of Christian social teaching".

"Jesus Christ gives us the example and vision as well as the grace for living with peace not violence in our hearts, our homes, our neighbourhoods, our institutions and our wider culture," he said. "We all need to learn and relearn this, including the Churches.”

The report is to be launched on Friday 23 May by Archbishop of Melbourne Philip Freier, and Andrea Coote, the Parliamentary Secretary for Families and Community Service.

For more information contact Dr Bodde at bodde@bigpond.com