November 25, 2012 – International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
Brought to you by WeWillSpeakOut.US
Mark your calendar and start
The United Nations has designated Sunday, November 25 as the “International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.” All around the world, people will be taking action and raising awareness about the global epidemic of violence that affects all of us. This Sunday will also be this month’s Orange Day: read more about that here.
What better day to engage your church to SPEAK OUT against rape and gender based violence in all its forms?
As a church and as individuals, we cannot keep silent while this violence continues all around and among us. We Will Speak Out (US) is currently a campaign of IMA World Health. We are actively working to form a coalition of faith-based organizations and individuals who are dedicated to changing the culture of violence both in our own communities and around the world. We are working together with the We Will Speak Out (Global) coalition to unite the faith community with practical action plans in the countries where we work.
We’re calling all congregations across the world, across faiths and denominations, to dedicate SPEAK OUT SUNDAY to dialogue, teaching, and praying about sexual and gender based violence.
The church is, or should be, a place of love, acceptance, healing, and forgiveness. Though the topic may be sensitive for some, if we don’t raise our voices against rape, sexual violence, abuse, and oppression, who will?
Please SPEAK OUT with us Sunday, November 25!
Additional tips and suggestions to do:
Tip: This important day also coincides with the UN’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, observed from November 25 through December 11. If you do not worship on Sundays, please feel free to host a “SPEAK OUT SABBATH” or “SPEAK OUT SERVICE” on a nearby date during the 16 Days!
WHAT YOU CAN DO
1. Ask your pastor to preach a special message.WWSO members have joined forces to write a set of thoughtful, Scripture-based sermons to help pastors and other faith leaders engage their congregations about this delicate but critical issue. Download NOW!
2. Post Speak Out Sunday flyers around your church.Entrances, bathroom stalls, and water foundations are a great place to get attention! Post the message about Speak Out Sunday around your church to help raise awareness and sensitivity. Download NOW!
3. Wear your words.Download one of our stencils, carefully cut out the design, and spray paint a t-shirt to make your message known. Download coming soon!
4. Start a support group or counseling service.Many churches have qualified counselors available for those who need a caring, listening ear. If your church has counseling services, promote it in your bulletin and explore ways to take away the stigma of counseling. If counseling is not currently available, talk to your church leadership about this need.
5. Engage your Youth.This is not too mature a topic for teens and tweens—many have lived through abuse or date rape. And learning how to respect and treat one another must start early.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said, “Violence against women and girls takes many forms and is widespread throughout the globe. […] On this International Day, I urge governments and partners around the world to harness the energy, ideas and leadership of young people to help us to end this pandemic of violence. Only then will we have a more just, peaceful and equitable world.”
6. Sign our pledge.Please add your voice to our call to end Sexual and Gender Based Violence!
7. Join the faith movement.IMA World Health is asking churches affiliated with our member agencies to participate. Please join the movement! Our member include: Adventist Development & Relief; American Baptist Churches; Church of the Brethren; Church World Service; Episcopal Relief & Development; Lutheran World Relief; Mennonite Central Committee; Methodist Committee on Relief & Development; Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.); United Church of Christ; Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Week of Compassion.
8. Visit the UN’s 16 Days of Activism website for more great ideas and to join the effort.This is a global effort. Join in!
- Tens of thousands rally for girl shot by Taliban (toledoblade.com)
- April Jones: Special Service In Her Honour (news.sky.com)
- Confessions With a Women’s Eyes (ecumenicalwomen.org)
- Dear House…. (unitednationsdelegate.com)