Posted on November 26th, 2012
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On the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which this year fell in Interfaith Week, we launched our multi-faith poster ‘Standing Together Against Domestic Abuse’. The need for the poster was identified by members of SWA’s faith network group, who also helped with the design. It has two aims – to highlight that different faith groups in Scotland are standing together against domestic abuse and to provide information about help available to those affected. Currently, the poster shows the United Reform church logo as a key supporter of the initiative but faith groups from across Scotland are currently sending us their logos and these will be uploaded to the poster in the next few weeks.
The poster will offer a powerful message of support to people experiencing domestic abuse. Faith centres displaying the poster will be encouraged to undertake training on domestic abuse to enable them to respond effectively to disclosures. We recognise that it is really important not to raise expectations of an effective response without helping skill folks up to deliver on that expectation.
The poster was launched at a special service at the Augustine Reform Church in Edinburgh. Theological historian, researcher and activist Lesley Orr delivered a powerful sermon. This highlighted the stories of several women of faith she had interviewed about their experiences of domestic abuse. They talked about feeling utterly trapped, isolated and crushed by the abuse and the fear it generated within them. The stories showed the strength women can gain through their faith but also the way in which faith institutions can further entrap women.
Preaching that women should be obedient to their husbands or that marriage is always for life were given as examples of the ‘tyranny of respectability’ that some women of faith experience. Lesley highlighted the importance of campaigns like Together We Can Stop It in helping individuals and organisations to move from being ‘careless colluders and indifferent bystanders’ to activists. Fiona Bennett, Minister of the Augustine Church said “The service was very meaningful and helpful to the community and an exciting mile stone in Interfaith Work.” And so say all of us – standing together against domestic abuse.
If you’d like to find out more; email Nel on firstname.lastname@example.org