Churches Worldwide to Address Violence against Women and Children

The 16-day, WCC-sponsored campaign will address the various forms of domestic, political, and social violence that continue to oppress women and children around the world
( [email protected] ) Oct 25, 2004 02:10 PM EDT

Hundreds of churches worldwide set aside Nov 25 – Dec 10 as a time to address violence against women and children within the framework of the World Council of Churches (WCC) “On the wings of a dove” campaign. Throughout the sixteen day period, churches and church-related organizations will attempt to raise public awareness on the issue and to help bring justice and healing to the victims of violence.

According to the WCC, “the campaign is designed to encourage the churches to develop pastoral and practical responses to various forms of violence by providing a safe space for women to tell their stories, by offering counseling both to survivors and perpetrators of violence, and by linking with other groups and movements working on overcoming violence.”

Such groups include the Sudan Council of Churches and the Community Development Association (Khartoum); both groups will be present at the campaign’s launch at the Ecumenical Center in Geneva to share their experiences.

Around the world, other churches will hold worships and prayer vigils, discussions and exhibitions on the topic throughout the campaign period.

In particular, the churches and organizations will focus on “violence in the family, sexual violence, violence against women and children in war areas, children's work, female genital mutilation or discriminatory laws” in their reflections of the ongoing violence against the weak.

The sixteen day campaign also coincides with the “16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence” effort; the Days of Activism campaign was launched worldwide in 1991 by humanitarian and human rights groups. The WCC’s campaign also begins with the UN International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women – on Nov. 25 – and ends with the International Human Rights Day – Dec. 10. The 16 day campaign is also a part of the larger “Decade to Overcome Violence (2001-2010)” effort of the WCC.

For more information on how to join or to receive liturgical materials, bible studies and reflections on books, films, articles and exhibits related to the campaign, visit the Decade to Overcome Violence website at: