action day 2022
The International Day to End Violence Against Women 2022
CNEDA members took part in the UN’s International Day to End Domestic Abuse.
Last month, thousands of people in community squares, offices, schools and churches came across red chairs – giving a strong visual reminder of the thousands of women around the world who die each year because of domestic violence.
The red chair was their place, now empty.
CNEDA members organised over 30 creative events from a beautiful shop window display in Teddington England organised by Restored UK (BEKAH) to a rally in the central square of Madrid organised by women connected to the Evangelical Alliance led by Asun Morales. At the rally, a manifesto for churches was read out.
There was an online seminar in Guyana attended by over 100 pastors, counsellors and academics. The organiser, Joy Wilson had gathered a powerful line-up of experts and there was lively discussion as many realised the extent of the violence.
There were beautiful prayers written by folk in Pakistan, the UK, France and Guyana, which were used in many churches over the last weeks.
A school assembly in British Columbia, Canada, highlighted the danger if controlling behaviour in teenage relationships. A 16 year old girl approached the speaker, Heather King, to tell her about the behaviour of her boyfriend. For the first time, the teenager realised that his behaviour was abusive.
In Cameroon, a pastor’s wife, who counsels victims of abuse, arranged for churches to join together dressed in orange to raise awareness in their city.
At the office of the Anglican Communion in London, everyone walking through the entrance lobby passed a red chair, with statistics about domestic abuse. The Anglican Communion has worked on a comprehensive safeguarding policy for churches which includes advice on how to support victims of abuse.
The actions are not merely an abstract idea. At a small coffee shop – Christian bookstore in Hungary, the chair was a tragic reminder that one of their employees was killed by her boyfriend earlier this year. The perpetrator was also employed at the bookstore. The shop’s director comes from a family affected by abuse so she was happy to be involved. In giving out leaflets about domestic violence.
In France where the red chair campaign was launched, leaders of the French protestant Federation and the National Council of French Evangelicals showed their support of the campaign. Outside, there was action on local community streets. In Switzerland, the red chair popped up again at a training day for pastors.
A team from a Christian NGO, Ashray, in India organised events in 3 cities for more than 200 women from diverse backgrounds. Using the empty red chair as a powerful symbol with Bible teaching and personal stories of survival, the events helped women and men understand the devastating results of domestic violence and to ensure that the victims are not forgotten.
This was the first year that CNEDA has organised action to raise awareness and next year we hope to build more advocacy into our events. Because if we know the truth about abuse, we cannot turn aside.
If you want to get involved in CNEDA, email [email protected]
Globally, every 11 minutes a woman or girl dies at the hands of an intimate partner or family member.
November 25th is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and this day gives us the chance to speak out, pray and take action in our church, community or organisation.
All you need is a chair and a sign.
The goal of the global action day is to individually and collectively speak out for the women and girls who have lost their lives to violence. God wants us to have loving secure relationships, yet sadly, abuse and violence happens inside the Church. The vast majority of victims are women and girls.
 United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (2021)