Church of England to combat gender-based violence

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nigerian-churchTHE General Synod has today approved a motion moved by Mr Philip Fletcher, Chair of the Mission and Public Affairs Council to act further to combat gender-based violence.

The motion was preceded by a presentation to the Synod by Mandy Marshall, Co-Director of Restored, a coalition of organizations committed to ending gender-based violence.

In the presentation, Mandy Marshall called on Synod to urging the church to take seriously “the devastating issue of gender based violence.”

In her presentation, Mandy Marshall presented statistics to show the extent of gender-based violence on communities, including that “one in four women in the UK will suffer abuse in their lifetime”, and that “two women a week are killed by their partner or former partner in the UK”. She then presented the context in which she called the church to act in addressing gender-based violence, including recent UN legislation and a heightened recognition of all forms of abuse.

Finally, she stated that ending “GBV is all of our responsibility” as she ran through a range of ways in which the church can practically respond to the issue of ending gender-based violence.

Mr Philip Fletcher then moved the motion, inviting Synod “to take this opportunity for the Church of England to stand with the Provinces of the Anglican Communion, recognising our common life in Christ and our urgent desire to work towards a world free of gender-based violence.”

The full motion, which was overwhelmingly approved, moved:
‘That this Synod, believing that all people are made in the image of God and that all forms of violence based on gender represent an abuse and violation of that image:
(a)    Affirm work already undertaken in dioceses, deaneries, parishes and Church of England schools in raising awareness and caring for survivors of gender-based violence in all our diverse communities;
(b)    Support measures to bring perpetrators to account and provide support for changed lifestyles;
(c)    Encourage boys and men to stand against gender-based violence;
(d)    Commend Anglican Consultative Council Resolution 15:7 on preventing and eliminating gender-based violence to dioceses, deaneries and parishes and urge them to seek practical approaches to its implementation.’ Press Release

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