Archbishop Kanishka Raffel has commended the work of Anglicare as the world marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls on November 25.
"As those serving in our churches, schools and agencies, you know first hand that there is no room for complacency in this area, or for thinking that such abhorrent acts will not happen in our midst," the Archbishop wrote to church leaders and workers. "Sadly, in this world marred by human sin and wickedness, we have seen such violence in every community and strata of society, including our own."
"I invite you to reflect on this day as it is marked publicly and to consider how you and your congregation may respond prayerfully and in a preventative way to the pernicious evil of all forms of violence and abuse perpetrated especially against women and girls.”
The Archbishop commended the ministry of Anglicare Counselling and the publication Renew: An Australian Guide for Christian Women Survivors of Domestic Abuse which was launched on November 25 last year.
Other services from Anglicare include food and financial assistance, financial counselling, a no-interest loan scheme and other practical assistance for survivors of domestic abuse.
Apart from the Renew guide Anglicare offers Rebuild - an accredited men’s behaviour change program offered at Parramatta and Nowra.
There is also Before It Starts, a youth primary prevention program aimed at building healthy relationships and preventing domestic abuse.
Anglicare's Family and Domestic Violence Advisor, Lynda Dunstan, who edited the Renew guide, says domestic violence continues to be a significant issue in the Australian community, with younger women (18-34 yrs) at greatest risk.
“Domestic violence can have devastating impacts on a woman's physical and emotional health, and it is the leading cause of injury and death for younger women,” she said. “When a woman is subjected to coercive control, she can feel she has lost her independence and her sense of herself. Survivors need to know they are not to blame, they are not the cause of the abuse, and help is available.”
Anglicare's Domestic abuse resources can be accessed here.
Anyone who is in a situation of domestic abuse is encouraged to reach out, with help and support available through your church or Anglicare Counselling (1300 651 7280. You can also contact a domestic violence service such as 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732).
Mother's Union Sydney has also made a prayer guide available in connection with the 16 days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign.