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She crouched in the corner of the room. No place to go. No place that was safe, anyway. Last month, the slapping; last week, the fists. Today? She didn’t know, but there was no place to go from her husband. All her safe places were closed, or locked. COVID-locked. So she and so many like her in Hamilton, in San Pedro, in Makukoto, in Jumapat, were feeling the impact of a rage fueled by COVID-deepened poverty.

This is the story of a 14-year-old girl in Kenya, pregnant. By a close family member. Her parents took her from the city to live with family in the countryside during COVID. She is one of almost 4000 girls in Kenya alone who have experienced sexual abuse in the last 5 months—a reality exacerbated by COVID. 

Before COVID, 243 million women and girls (aged 15 to 49) across the world had been subjected to sexual or physical violence by an intimate partner. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, this number will continue to grow, impacting women’s wellbeing, their sexual and reproductive health, their mental health, and their ability to participate and lead in the recovery of our societies and economy.

A group of CRCNA agencies is collaborating to expose this hidden crisis of gender-based violence (GVB), this horror and pain inflicted on women and girls around the world for the “crime” of being female. Together, we have joined in the UN Women’s initiative, 16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM (Nov. 25 to Dec. 10), to raise awareness of the causes and impacts of GBV and how Christians can make an impact on families’ lives and bring hope for the future.

Resources include:

  • A Bible study from Bonnie Nicholas and Safe Church on the Rape of Tamar, shared through The Network.

  • A Do Justice podcast episode, hosted by World Renew and OSJ, to be released on December 1.

  • An education and awareness video on gender-based violence, available on World Renew's website later this month.

  • A "Twitter Takeover" November 25 to December 10, with input coming from OSJ, DMC, World Renew, and others. Follow along and share at #16DaysofActivism2020. 

  • Two webinars hosted by Safe Church and World Renew: 

  • A Banner article addressing GBV in an Asian country to be published in the December issue.

  • Advent Devotional content shared from OSJ, Resonate, and World Renew. Sign up for the full devotional set here.

We pray that you join in all or parts of this cross-agency initiative, and we pray that God will give strength and resilience to women and girls, give men the desire to build places of safety, and all communities be havens of care, respect and dignity.

Do join us for any or all of during the 16 Days of Activism.

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