Church of Scotland speaks out against gender based violence

Zambian women
The United Church of Zambia contributed to the World Mission Council's report on gender-based violence.

Across the globe one in every three women will experience physical or sexual violence at some point in their lives. Today, on International Human Rights Day, we reach the final day of a 16-day international campaign to raise awareness that gender-based violence is a human rights issue.

Earlier this year, the Church of Scotland's World Mission Council published a report called 'Gender-Based Violence – An International Perspective'. The report highlights the voices and experiences of people in our partner churches who are taking practical steps towards creating aworld where everyone can live life in fullness regardless of gender.

Their stories reveal the deep gender inequality that women around the world must contend with. That inequality is inseparable from issues of class, caste, colonialism, religion and race.

Here is the story of Ann, a woman from Zambia:

Myhusband and I were very happy when we were first married, but after our second child he started drinking heavily.

One day I went out and he came back home to find that I was not there. When I got back he started beating me in front of my three kids.

It was so bad that the next day I went to the clinicfor treatment because I was so swollen.

I never reported to the police because I was so shy, especially because I am a counsellor who deals with these cases. I was leading a double life.

The end finally came when my husband, in an alcohol-fuelled rage, told me I was going to die. I decided to separatefrom him and take the children. Now I am trying to rebuild my life without living in fear.

The Church of Scotland is committed to gender justice and to stopping gender-based violence. Working through the church-wide Violence Against Women Task Group, we are challenging local, national and global manifestationsof gender injustice.

If we believe in a world were all are equal then we must hear the voices of women around the world, so that we can learn from one another and work together to ensure that all women and men are recognised and treated as equal, just as they are in the eyes of God.

Workingtogether with international partners to address gender based violence, the Church of Scotland supports projects run by our partner churches in a variety of ways: through financial support, through the support of Mission Partners, with advocacy, and with input from twinning relationships, as wellas by offering prayerful accompaniment.

Find out more about our world and speak out against gender based violence at the links below.

Read the report on 'Gender-Based Violence – An International Perspective'.

Find more stories from our partner churches on the World MissionCouncil's Facebook page.

Read about the work of the Church and SocietyCouncil in challenging violence against women.