December 6th, National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women (Canada)
Home should be a sanctuary; a place to rest and be restored. (Read Proverbs 17:1, 24:3-4.) Yet, for many women, home is a place of fear and abuse. In Canada and many other countries, domestic violence has consistently been reported as one of the most common forms of violence against women.
While statistics show a decline in marital abuse since 1994, due to the rise in women’s economic independence, instances of abuse between common-law partners is increasing. Indigenous women and younger women aged 15-34 are at a higher risk of abuse. Unfortunately, due to fear of retaliation and death, only 30% of domestic violence cases are reported to authorities. Creating a world and communities without violence against women begins with working to end violence in the home.
Over 2000 years ago, Jesus’ last commandment to his disciples was to “love one another” (John 13:34-35, NRSV). As followers of Christ, we can start by having a conversation about love in our families, congregations, and communities. We can donate to local women’s shelters to support women who have courageously left abusive relationships. For information on addressing domestic violence and responding to survivors, you can access WICC’s online resource /(Restore: Ending Violence against Women” at wicc.org/restore/.
Loving God, help us to love one another and stand together, as your people, to end domestic violence in our homes and in our world. Help us to love and support women in abusive relationships and those who are in shelters. Help us to pray and work every day for a world where women are safe, loved and cherished for who they are. Amen.
Valerie Hobson, London, ON.