Young girls being raped, women facing domestic violence, child brides… abuse against women takes many forms. Anyone who takes even a few moments to study what is happening around the world can’t help but be moved. But what do we do? How are we to respond to these issues? Sadly there aren’t easy answers. The issues are complex but there are a few first steps that we can make as we seek to make a difference.
In many ways abuse against women is a hidden issue. It either happens over there – in nations far removed or it’s secret. Women don’t want to admit that they are a victim, shame and secrecy shroud the issue. But that doesn’t mean it’s not real and it doesn’t mean that there aren’t hundreds of millions of women suffering. The onus is on us to learn and understand. A great book to get you started is Half the Sky. If you haven’t read it, it’s a must read. Stunningly positive for a book that challenges such a painful topic. That book and website link to a number of other resources that you may find helpful.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12
Much of the abuse against women roots in worldview issues. A belief that women are property, that women are servants to men, that women are worthless, existing merely to have children and for men’s sexual pleasure. Worldviews are rarely changed by clever programs, it takes God. The battle against abuse, is a battle that in part we need to fight on our knees. We need to plead for mercy for our sisters, for men’s hearts and minds to be changed. We need to raise an army of prayer warriors.
In addition to asking God to bring change to beliefs, be asking God to show how you can respond – what does He require of you? While we don’t have hundreds of answers and opportunities, God does. He may surprise you with the things that he lays on your heart to do.
We need to be actively raising more prayer support. It’s one of the biggest issues of our time – encompassing many of today’s hot topics such as sex trafficking, child brides and gendercide. It’s time for us to lay aside differences on the role of women in the church or even in the home and unite around speaking out on the need to end abuse. It’s an issue we can all agree on.
The end of the slave trade in the 1800s speaks into the power of awareness. For most people slavery was out of sight. They had no idea what happened on the slave boats. As people become aware, pressure fell on politicians to address this horror. Today, international pressure is starting to bring change to the issue of abuse against women, but it needs to be kept high on the agenda. With so much happening, it’s easy to focus on the concerns that are seen. Without voices being raised, without politicians being reminded that status quo isn’t okay, it’s easy to ignore the invisible issue.
We are commanded to be generous and this is another area where finances do make a difference. So who can you give to?
Our Ending Gendercide program. As we engage churches and students in this issue, raising up an army of volunteers to work with women and advocate for female babies, we do need your support. Film showings, promotional packs, counsellor training etc all cost money. We’d love it if you can join us in making a difference.
Your Local Abuse Shelter – Most communities have one. Look up yours and go find out what they need. While we rarely promote handouts as an effective way to help people, for a woman and children, reestablishing their lives after escaping an abusive situation – basic home contents are needed.
Programs focused on girl’s education – again and again girls education has been shown to have a powerful effect against abuse. As women become more educated, they are less willing to put up with abuse, they marry later, they are able to bring income to the home (bringing them at least a little respect.) Many organisations have programs focusing on girl’s education. Food for the Hungry offers child sponsorship for girls – whereby not only are girls educated but whole families are helped.
The issue of abuse against women is an issue of our day. Hundreds of millions of women are impacted. It’s over to us to stand up for our sisters, to learn, pray and give. We do need to see change.