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Prevention of family violence and violence against women

Statement on the prevention of family violence and violence against women

Faith Communities unite to say NO to family violence and violence against women (02/05/2024)

The Faith Communities Council of Victoria (FCCV) has issued the following statement on the prevention of family violence and violence against women:

As faith community leaders, we oppose family violence and violence against women in all its forms, and call upon people of faith to play a role in its elimination.

In 2024, one woman every 4 days is violently killed in Australia. Violence is not just physical, it can be psychological, emotional, sexual, financial or spiritual. The roots are abuse of power and the control of one person over another.

Violence against women and their children takes a profound and long-term toll on women and children’s health and wellbeing, on families and communities, and on society as a whole. It is a violation of basic human rights that affects people in all social, economic, racial, religious and ethnic groups.

Across our faith traditions, we declare:
• Sacred texts, scriptures and cultural traditions should not be used as a way to justify or excuse violence against women.
• We commit ourselves to changing community attitudes that accept violence toward women. We undertake a journey together to raise awareness in our communities and to stop violence against women before it occurs.
• We stand against all forms of violence and discrimination. We see preventing family violence and violence against women as a key entry point for addressing all forms of violence and promoting human rights.
• Every human being should be seen as valued, important and equal. To live in a world where our families and communities are free and safe from violence, we must treat all individuals – women, men, girls and boys – with dignity, equality and respect.
• Promoting equality and respect in our communities benefits us all and strengthens our communities. A strong community is one where we can all contribute and participate equally.
• Our faiths affirm that love, respect, equality and living well together are goals to aim for.

We strongly advocate for a time when every religious and spiritual community can fully embrace their unique and vital role to provide prevention education, to speak out with moral authority against all forms of violence and provide a safe space for those seeking support when impacted by family violence.

For guidance on how to support families and victim survivors go to

Faith Communities Council of Victoria (FCCV) is comprised of the following peak bodies: Baha’i Community of Victoria, Brahma Kumaris Australia, Buddhist Council of Victoria, Hindu Council of Australia (Victoria), Islamic Council of Victoria, Jain Council of Victoria, Jewish Community Council of Victoria, Sikh Interfaith Council of Victoria and Victorian Council of Churches.

Prayer written by Lynda Dunstan for Domestic Violence Prevention Month, May 2024
(on Common Grace website)

Loving God, creator and sustainer of all.
You bring light into darkness, and darkness cannot overcome the light of your love. During this month of raising awareness of domestic violence we ask that the light of your love will reveal that which is so often hidden – the suffering of many of your daughters who are subjected to abuse, control, emotional and psychological injury, physical and sexual violence at the hands of someone they have loved or trusted. Pour out your love into the hearts of those who continue to suffer: remind them that you are the God who sees, and you know every detail of their experiences; remind them that you are their strength and refuge, they are not to blame; remind them that you are their Shepherd, and you long to tenderly care for them and restore their dignity and joy.

For those who have further suffered when your word has been used against them to dominate and destroy, or when those who should have offered care and hope within the church community have only added to guilt and shame- we ask that you would hold them until they can trust you again.

For those who continue on their journey of recovery, remind them daily of their strength to survive, and when they grow weary, be their strength and their fortress, a resting place in times of struggle.

Lord you are the one who works righteousness and justice for the oppressed, you stretch out your hand against our foes, with your right hand you save: we ask for deep repentance from those who have chosen abuse and violence in their relationships. We ask that we as your church would deeply repent of words and actions that have not condemned abuse, but simply turned a blind eye. We ask for a deeper understanding and willingness to challenge our beliefs and attitudes that allow abuse to flourish. We ask that we might live up to our call to be light in the world, standing with you for justice. We ask that our churches would be places where women and men live and serve together in true dignity, equality and respect; where each one’s giftings are acknowledged and given space to flourish as your Spirit leads.

Lord we long for that day when there will be no more tears or crying or pain, when your glory will cover the earth, and our hope peace will be completed in you.

Come Lord Jesus, come.