Gender-based violence is a term that is used to describe crimes that are overwhelmingly but not exclusively carried out by men against women. It is a symptom of the historic and current inequalities of power that exist between men and women.
Some examples of gender-based violence include:
- Rape or other sexual crimes
- Domestic violence
- Forced marriage
- ‘Honour' crimes
- Sexual harassment
These crimes may happen in public or private life.
The Church of Scotland's Violence Against Women Task Group, Integrity, supports the national Church to tackle violence against women, girls, and children and to develop resources and tools for local churches, congregations, and communities. You can find out more information about their work and sign up to the Violence Against Women Charter by visiting their webpage.
We are committed to making the Church a safe place for everyone and prioritising those within our fellowship who are at risk of harm and abuse.
Domestic abuse not only affects the person who is the subject of the abuse: the ripple effect impacts children and the wider circle of family and friends.
Someone who is being abused in a domestic setting may have experienced this for many years before a disclosure is made and it is very important that we, as a Church, respond appropriately. The Church must therefore ensure that anyone who discloses this type of abuse is supported sensitively and not further diminished by the organisation responsible for their spiritual growth and pastoral care.
These guidelines have been developed as a resource to support Church of Scotland congregations, presbyteries, forums and CrossReach to address and respond effectively to domestic abuse both within its own community and wider society.
By using pastoral and practical strategies we hope to enable you to create local pathways to professional support services who can assist people who are in an abusive relationship.