Kirk joins 16 Days of Activism

Churches across Scotland and beyond are taking part in a United Nations-backed campaign against domestic violence, which will also highlight women's rights, from today until December 10.

Right Rev Dr Derek Browning is backing the campaign
Right Rev Dr Derek Browning is backing the campaign

During the annual 16 Days of Gender Activism campaign, Church of Scotland congregations will be encouraged to install posters in their toilets with the numbers of phone helplines for those who are experiencing gender-based violence.

Showing support

The Kirk's Violence against Women group, which created the posters, notes that one in three women will experience some form of abuse in their lifetime.

The group is asking as many churches as possible to tweet their support using the hashtag #Kirk16days, along with a photo of the poster being installed.

Known as 'Integrity', the group promotes gender justice within the Church of Scotland by providing training and resources, as well as campaigning for change.

Brightons Parish Church putting the poster up
Brightons Parish Church member Jean Meek putting the poster up

Rev Dr Valerie Allen, convener of the group said:

"Violence against women is endemic throughout our society.

"It is detrimental to the health and well-being of women, children and men.

"Recent news headlines about alleged harassment and abuse underline the systemic nature of this problem.

"The recently launched toilet poster, when placed on the inside door of toilets in churches, will enable women to access safely services they might need if they have experienced domestic abuse or sexual violence.

"We hope every church in our denomination will display the poster and send a clear message to women that the church is a place where they will be listened to and supported.

"Our desire is for our church and our society to be places where all people can flourish and 'enjoy the abundant life of which Jesus speaks'."

A fundamental right

Right Rev Dr Derek Browning, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland said he was "delighted" to offer his support to the campaign.

"The right to live in a safe, inclusive and welcoming society is one of the fundamentals for all human beings.

"The right to have homes where we can live in safety, and work in places where there is mutual respect is fundamental to every civilised society.

"The physical, emotional and spiritual damage that is sometimes perpetrated against women leaves a scar across the lives of too many people.

"All of us should not only be working towards but also living out every day the principles and the practice of understanding and kindliness that will unite our world and provide a safe and affirming environment in which we live fulfilling and loving lives."

Dr Browning will also be backing a Christian Aid campaign to end gender based violence (GBV) during the 16 Days of Activism.

Tweet your poster pictures to @churchscotland using the hashtag #Kirk16Days or send them in to mediarelations@churchofscotland.org.uk and we'll put them on social media.

Download a poster