An initiative of the Diocese of Melbourne to support and equip church leaders and communities to respond to and help to prevent violence against women.
The Program is run in partnership with Anglicare Victoria, the Brotherhood of St Laurence, and Lifeworks. The Program Manager is Robyn Boosey and the chair of the Program’s Committee of Management is Bishop Genieve Blackwell.
We believe that:
• All people are created in the image of God,
• All are precious, equally loved, and
• All should have the opportunity to thrive according to their God-given potential.
Yet too many people – especially women and their children – are denied this opportunity because of the impact of violence.
Violence against women is a widespread and serious issue in Australia. The statistics are staggeringly high:
• One in five women have experienced at least one incident of sexual violence.
• One in three women has experienced physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by a man they know.
• One in four women has experienced emotional abuse by a partner.
This violence has deep and long-lasting impacts for those who experience it. Such violence is in stark contrast to the abundant life that God intends for us in Christ.
As Christians, and together as the Church, we are compelled by Christ’s love to challenge the attitudes, behaviours and structures that underpin violence and to work towards a future in which women and girls can live lives free from violence – and the fear of violence.
Realising our vision will depend on all of us working together, with God’s help, to play our part.
As such, the activities of the Program reflect a whole-of-Church approach to preventing violence against women. They include:
• Providing training and mentoring for church leaders,
• Developing resources and tools for church communities,
• Developing best practice policy and governance procedures, and
• Connecting churches with specialist and local service providers.
Read more about the program
University of Melbourne’s Evaluation of the Program
The University of Melbourne has evaluated the Diocese of Melbourne’s Preventing Violence Against Women Program to assess its impact in creating change. Find out more and read the report here.
Shocking stories and statistics – as well as a way forward for local churches.
TMA speaks with the diocese’s new Prevention of Violence Against Women program manager.
Where to get help
If you would like to speak to someone about family violence or sexual assault, you can contact 1800 RESPECT – 1800 737 732 (National sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling and information referral service, available 24 hours a day, every day of the year).
If you are in immediate danger, please call for the police or an ambulance on 000.