25th November is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
One tragic consequence of the Covid19 pandemic has been the dramatic rise in domestic abuse cases across the world. Lockdown has meant that perpetrators have 24 hour a day access to their victims; and the victims – mainly women and children – have no way out.
The surge in cases and reporting on the topic has opened discussion in churches communities as never before.
A new global network, Christian Network to End Domestic Abuse (CNEDA) aims to provide a Biblical framework on healthy relationships so that churches can respond with care and wise sensitivity to abuse and pain in families.
“Families need the right tools to understand the sin of abuse in families and they need to be able to counsel women and men caught in a relationship with an abuser,” says one of the founders of the network, Bekah Legg, CEO of Restored Relationships. “Sometimes we have been guilty of turning a blind eye to abuse because we don’t want to think that Christians might be perpetrators, but that puts victims at greater risk.”
Millions of women and children experience physical or sexual violence, mostly perpetrated in the home. But abuse can also be controlling behaviour, emotional, financial or spiritual abuse, or cultural practices such as forced marriage.
The new network, with practitioners and academics from nine nations, wants to help groups and churches to understand what the Bible says about healthy relationships and how to prevent abuse. It aims to equip local church leaders to identify the issues and to respond with care to victims and those who abuse.
As a first step, the network has produced a booklet, A Biblical View of Relationships to End Domestic Abuse. Full of sound bible teaching and practical advice, the booklet is available online from today, so that churches and any Christian organisation can be equipped spiritually as well as practically to show communities that God transforms lives.
For more information on CNEDA, contact the head of the network, Amanda Jackson – [email protected]
CNEDA has been formed by representatives of various evangelical churches and NGOs under the auspices of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA).