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Faith Communities unite to say NO to family violence and violence against women

The Faith Communities Council of Victoria opposes family violence and violence against women in all its forms, and call upon people of faith to play a role in its elimination.

In Australia, one woman is killed on average each week by a current or former partner, and one in four children witness their mother being abused. Violence is not just physical, it can be psychological, emotional, sexual, financial or spiritual. The roots are abuse of power and the control of one person over another.

Violence against women takes a profound and long-term toll on women and children’s health and wellbeing, on families and communities, and on society as a whole. It is a violation of basic human rights that affects people in all social, economic, racial, religious and ethnic groups.

Across our faith traditions, we declare:
• Sacred texts, scriptures and cultural traditions should not be used as a way to justify or excuse violence against women.
• We commit ourselves to changing community attitudes that accept violence toward women. We undertake a journey together to raise awareness in our communities and to stop violence against women before it occurs.
• We stand against all forms of violence and discrimination. We see preventing family violence and violence against women as a key entry point for addressing all forms of violence and promoting human rights.
• Every human being should be seen as valued, important and equal. To live in a world where our families and communities are free and safe from violence, we must treat all individuals – women, men, girls and boys – with dignity, equality and respect.
• Promoting equality and respect in our communities benefits us all and strengthens our communities. A strong community is one where we can all contribute and participate equally.
• Our faiths affirm that love, respect, equality and living well together are goals to aim for.

In Victoria we have benefitted from the insight of the Royal Commission into Family Violence which tabled its findings with a 1900 page report and 227 recommendations. The report includes a ten-page section on ‘Faith Communities’, highlighting the important role faith-based communities and organisations can play in the lives of Victorians affected by family violence - read recommendations 163-165.

The Faith Communities Council of Victoria welcomes this report, and the Victorian Government’s prompt and positive response to its recommendations. Our hope is that the implementation of these recommendations brings about positive changes within the Victorian community, and we are pleased to join as faith communities to be part of that change.

Read FCCV's Statement of Commitment >>.

 

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Faith communities supporting healthy family relationships

'Faith Communities Supporting Healthy Family Relationships' is a Participatory Action Research project established by the Multifaith Advisory Group (MAG) based on recommendations 163 and 165 of the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence. It is funded by Multicultural Affairs (MA) within the Department of Premier and Cabinet and is being implemented in partnership between University of Melbourne and MCWH.

The project involves two phases:

Phase I - A review of literature and consultations with stakeholders and leaders from different religious communities. This resulted in the development of a Technical Paper that provides evidence about best, promising and emerging practices to build the capacity of faith-based organisations, faith communities and, especially, faith leaders to effectively prevent and respond to family violence and violence against women.

The Evidence Guide and Tip Sheet distills the key principles of effective work in faith settings for prevention and response to violence against women.

Phase II – MAG nominated five faith communities to be supported to develop, implement and evaluate a leadership capacity building initiative. This 18-month phase of the project will generate evidence about what works (and what does not) to build capacity of faith leaders to respond to and prevent violence against women and family violence. The faith communities approaches for this phase are the:

  • Anglican Diocese
  • Uniting Church
  • Buddhist community
  • Sikh community
  • Faith Communities Council of Victoria (multifaith approach)

For more information on this project click here >>

 

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