The Uniting Church’s Tasmania and Victoria combined branch this week vowed to strengthen its actions against domestic violence, shining a spotlight on an issue that needs constant attention.
It voted to “acknowledge and lament with sorrow and humility" that Christian communities had “sometimes failed to acknowledge” domestic abuse.
Tasmanian Uniting Church moderator Reverend Sharon Hollis said the church would participate in 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence in November.
It serves as a reminder that everyone – groups and individuals, have a responsibility to acknowledge and address domestic violence within their communities.
During the past few years, there have been more conversations around the issue Australia-wide.
This is an extremely important step in addressing the problem.
By talking about it more, people experiencing domestic violence may feel a little bit more confident to seek help.
These are continuous steps in the right direction, but domestic violence is, shamefully, still a reality for far too many Tasmanians, and we need to keep momentum on highlighting the issue.
Following the pledge from Uniting Church, White Ribbon Australia said religious groups had a duty to protect victims of domestic violence.
“White Ribbon has zero tolerance for violence of any kind. It doesn’t matter what part of the community or organisation you are from, perpetrators of domestic violence must be held to account.”
The Anglican Diocese of Tasmania made domestic violence resources and information available to clergy and parishioners in 2016, and the Catholic Church provides early intervention and support services to people suffering from domestic abuse via the government-funded Safe Choices program.
This week’s approved motion by the Uniting Church comes after media reports in August suggested domestic violence was systemically overlooked in all Australian Christian denominations.
No matter what religion, group or community you belong to, domestic violence should never be tolerated or swept under the rug.
- If you need support, contact SHE on 0428 162 216