Imagine being a young girl and going to bible study or youth group. The conversation veers, as it often does, towards purity – the "claim that women’s bodies and clothing can cause men to 'stumble' with lust." Imagine, after hearing this often-repeated caution suddenly feeling horror and shame well up inside you. Through no fault of your own, you're no longer what is considered pure. But you know it's not your fault, so you tell your youth pastor about this horrifying incident.
Now imagine after everything you've been through, your youth pastor telling you to repent for your "role in what happened."
At a friend’s youth group, in response to a talk on purity and modesty, l went with tears in my eyes to a female vo… https://t.co/o5LtAIsvWF— Shannon Dingle (@Shannon Dingle)1511305802.0
I've been told by church leaders to forgive abuse. To focus on my "anger problem" instead of the injustice I was fa… https://t.co/ENsQqUhpKx— Courtney Christine (@Courtney Christine)1513883076.0
"Any appropriate response to #ChurchToo and the problem of sexual assault and abuse in religious communities necess… https://t.co/0YKUDhlsCG— Emily Joy (@Emily Joy)1513722626.0
The statement, released Wednesday (Dec. 20), is accompanied by the hashtag #SilenceIsNotSpiritual and... was signed by pastors, professors, heads of parachurch organizations and popular authors and speakers such as Jen Hatmaker, Rachel Held Evans, Ann Voskamp, Amena Brown and Helen Lee.
Fundamentally, we understand violence against any individual, regardless of their ethnicity, creed or gender, to be a matter of our Christian faith. Genesis 1: 26 declares that all people are made in the image of God, both men and women. Women are equally called and created with the full potential and capacity to steward the world. All abuse disfigures human dignity and distorts the image of God. Therefore, violence against her is violence against God.
Call churches and faith communities to break silence on gender-based violence. #SilenceIsNotSpiritual #ChurchToo… https://t.co/ENtkF23eeg— Emily Joy (@Emily Joy)1513782003.0
At the intersection of racial and gender violence women of color bear the disproportionate burden. 43.7 percent of African American/black women, 37.1 percent of Hispanic/Latina women, and 19.6 percent of Asian and Pacific Islander women have experienced rape, physical, violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner. Native American women are most likely of all women to experience violence in their lifetime (84 percent) and on some reservations they are murdered at 10x the national average. Finally, when disability, gender identification and social stigma is considered, rates of violence increase dramatically for all people.
Stand with women who experience violence.
Stand up for women who experience violence.You can read this powerful call to action here.