How can we work to end violence against women and girls?
That was the question of the day at one of the adult education classes at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church. Four members of the Presbyterian delegation made a panel presentation on the Commission on the Status of Women and this year’s theme: the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls.
Each participant shared her story reflecting on why she chose to attend the Commission and what her experiences had been. The participants also reflected on their ministries working to eliminate and prevent violence against women and girls: ministries that were a part of their lives before they came to the Commission and ministries to which they will return with new insights and deepened convictions.
A lively conversation followed. Among the questions: “How can we work to end violence against women and girls?”
- Participate in Orange Days. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign proclaims every 25th of the month as Orange Day – a day to witness and work for an end to violence against women. The campaign is designed so that each individual, congregation, or group can participate as they are called.
- Learn about the Presbyterians against Domestic Violence Network (PADVN) and use their resources.was named during the discussion.
Use other resources from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) including the Congregational Domestic Violence Training Plan from Black Mountain Presbyterian Church.
- Explore policies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and ponder what policies a congregation might adopt.
- Find ways to involve men and boys. The Ring the Bell campaign is one example. Start young to break the cycle.
- Draw on the resources of New York City.
- Pray for guidance that will lead to action.
Additional ideas are more than welcome!
Thanks to Lillian Oats, Annanda Barclay, Ann Rhee Menzie, and Mary Ann Pedde for serving on the panel. Thanks to Amanda Ashcraft, Kate Dunn, and Charlene Han Powell of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church for making the arrangements to host the panel.
Thanks to the approximately 70 individuals who took the time to come and engage in the discussion.
Thanks to all who work to end violence against women and girls.
As Scott Black Johnston reminded us during his sermon, we are all God’s children – freed in Christ to treat one another with love and respect and dignity. May it be so.