16 Days

16 Days? What 16 Days? – to do with Advent?, Christmas? No, but it’s a bit like Christmas, because it’s something we should be thinking about all the time, not just on one particular day or days. 

This is “The ”, an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day. It was started by activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and continues to be coordinated each year by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. It is used as an organizing strategy by individuals and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.

In support of this civil society initiative, under the leadership of the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, the  (UNiTE campaign) calls for global actions to increase awareness, galvanize advocacy efforts, and share knowledge and innovations.

I copied that from the website: , but I first heard about “The 16 Days - -” through Mothers Union who, as you may imagine from a world-wide organisation concerned with families, are firm supporters.

As you know, concern about Domestic Violence has increased in this country over the past months with reports of an increase in this kind of abuse during ‘lock-down’. I wonder if you also know that the World Health Organisation reports the disturbing figure that “1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced domestic or sexual abuse”.

Mothers’ Union as a leading women’s organisation believe this to be unacceptable. I could go on to give you more facts and figures, but much better than re-inventing the wheel, I point you to our website: mothersunion.org, full of information: disturbing information, but information we need to know, information which can fuel our actions and our prayers.

We pray for all to follow Christ’s example of treating children, women and men with equality and respect:

We pray for all who live
in fear of violence and despair that life will ever change.
Bring to an end their suffering, restore their sense of worth.
We pray for those who perpetrate abuse with no sense
of guilt or shame.
Bring to justice their actions, change their inner hearts.
We pray against regimes that endorse violence.
Shatter their influence, initiate peace.
Loving Lord,
we pray for a better world
where love, justice and peace may flourish.