Note: #16daysofactivism took place November 25 to December 10th, 2020. While our campaign is now over, the conversation is far from done. Included in this article are numerous resources to access related to gender based violence.
Everyone has experienced challenges as our world took action to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in March. However, not everyone experienced these challenges the same, while isolation, stress and economic hardship increased, the ability for many to connect with vital social services decreased. Sources show that domestic violence rates spiked throughout the world:
- Intrafamily violence against women ages 29 to 59 spiked 94% between March and May in Colombia
- The Venezuelan state of Táchira said it responded to 840 cases of abuse from March through May. In 2019, they responded to just 150 cases during the same period.
- Buenos Aires saw a 48% increase in hotline calls
- Paraguay saw a 35% increase in abuse reports in March
Domestic violence, intimate partner violence, and gender-based violence cause incredible devastation for so many. These issues are not simply going away. The church can make a difference.
Many ministries connected to the Christian Reformed Church in North America have joined forces to bring focus to the issues related to Gender-Based Violence (GBV). Collectively, we will work together to not only make sure that people are aware of this issue, but to consider together ways to reverse the staggering statistics related to gender based violence within our global community.
Safe Church Ministry along with the Office of Social Justice, Center for Public Dialogue, Diaconal Ministries Canada, the Christian Reformed Church Denomination and World Renew collaborated to raise awareness along with the United Nations, to raise our voices and be moved to act against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) across the globe.
To learn more about this global initiative:
“The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day. It was started by activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and continues to be coordinated each year by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. It is used as an organizing strategy by individuals and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.”
Below is a list of events that took place over the 16 days that you can still access:
November 19th - A webinar on Gender-Based Violence in North America: How it Impacts Indigenous Peoples, Immigrants, and other Vulnerable Communities
Hosts: Cindy Stover and Kris Van Engen, Justice Mobilizers for the CRC and World Renew
Panelists: Janice Moro (Restorations Canada); Michelle Nievadomy (Edmonton Native Healing Centre); Sarah Yore-Van Oosterhout (Lighthouse Immigrant Advocates); Eric Kas (Safe Church)
November 24th - Gender Justice with Muturia and Cindy Stover | Season 2 Ep. 5
Do Justice started a podcast series this summer. Do Justice is a conversation starter for justice in the Christian Reformed Church. Together we're finding new ideas and perspectives, sharing better ways to engage in justice work, remembering our motivation, and growing our faith. Subscribe to their podcast to hear ongoing conversations and to find out more, visit their anchor site.
November 24th - Gender Justice (a part of the 16 Days Campaign)
Julian Maturia and Cindy Stover join hosts Chris Orme and Vanessa Alvarez discussed gender based violence. What is our role as Christians, as church communities, as development and advocacy agencies in responding to this issue?
Note: This episode references female genital mutilation and may not be suitable for younger listeners.
Throughout the Campaign - and beyond!
An education and awareness video on gender-based violence is available on World Renew's website
Safe Church Devotions
On December 1, Safe Church Ministry lead staff of the CRCNA in devotions. This is a theological perspective on gender-based violence and how it is being addressed within the CRCNA (domestically).This conversation will took place internally amongst staff on December 1, but this recording is available to the CRCNA community. The devotions are based on the devastating story of rape that is found in 2 Samuel 13. Please care for your soul accordingly.
To access resources related to this narrative, see the links below:
- Bible Story Discussion: The Rape of Tamar
- Bethesda: Come to the Water (Download), A Bible Study for Women
December 3: The Global Shadow Pandemic: The Impacts of Gender-Based Violence on women and girls, and on whole societies
This excerpt from the webinar will help you understand how COVID-19 has made gender-based violence an even darker and more pervasive phenomenon than before the onset of the pandemic. Women and girls have been victimized more than they were prior to March of this year; they are often bearing the heaviest burdens of lock-downs, rage and hopelessness. The impact can be society-wide. Learn how you and World Renew are addressing this in the long term.
with: Ruairidh Waddell, Regional Director @World Renew Asia Ministry Team
Want to be a part of the Solution?
If you would like to take an active stand against GBV, the Office of Social Justice has developed action alerts so you can be a positive part of systemic change. Find out more by accessing 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence: Advocacy.
Additional resources from Safe Church Ministry:
- Responding to Abuse: A Toolkit for Churches
- Safe Church Amid COVID-19: Resources for Youth Ministry, Social Media, and Online Streaming
- Violence against Women – It’s a Men’s Issue
- The Disturbing Dark Side of COVID-19
- It's All About Power
- April 2020 Safe Church Webinar With Ruth Everhart, Author of #MeToo Reckoning