Gender-based violence is physical, sexual, psychological, emotional, or other personal harm inflicted on someone for gender-based reasons.
Let us address this difficult topic first in prayer…
Great Healer, we pray for courage and guidance. Heal us with your peace and make us new. Open the eyes of our heart to see you in the faces of victims and survivors of gender-based violence. Help us be with one another in precious places of healing. Give all strength for the journey. Amen.
This past Sunday, we continued our forum which is participating in the ELCA’s study on Faith, Sexism, and Justice. In Module 5, we explored the difficult reality of gender-based violence. Creating a safe place in which to share and honoring the confidentiality of our participants limit how much we can share in this week’s blog post. However, I will say that personally, I was deeply moved by stories and experiences shared, I was alarmed at the statistics offered in the lesson, and I am moved to a greater awareness of the impact gender-based violence has on the people in my life. The lesson makes the claim and I would agree that gender violence has touched the lives, if not directly impacted the lives of everyone. The reality for many of us is that because of the shame and guilt too often associated with this reality, personal experiences are kept secret and are not shared. Because of the prevalence of gender-based violence within our society, too often we don’t recognize it, we ignore it, or we are complicit in it.
I ask that as you read this post, you take the time to look over the entire Module. Explore the stories and statistics shared, ask yourself the questions posed, and honestly assess the impact and influence of gender-based violence in your life and the lives of your family, friends, colleagues, and those within your community. With a new understanding and a greater awareness, I pray that we all may seek to support those impacted, that we speak up and speak out when we encounter incidences of violence, and that we intentionally work to empower one another in fighting against the reality of gender-based violence in our culture and world.