Catholics urged to help eradicate domestic violence
Australian Church leaders are backing Pope Francis’ condemnation of domestic violence and are encouraging Catholics to help eradicate violence against women – which has claimed dozens of lives this year.
The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women will be marked on Sunday, and the Church is joining other parts of the community to highlight the need for action.
“I am appalled by the impact of domestic violence on so many women’s lives and on the lives of their families,” said Dr Patricia Madigan OP, chair of the Council for Australian Catholic Women (CACW).
“I grieve the loss of life and call on all Australians, especially Catholic men, to take the lead in creating a culture of nonviolence.”
Australian statistics show that, on average, at least one woman dies a violent death at the hands of a current or former partner each week.
Geraldton Bishop Michael Morrissey attended a recent meeting of the CACW and added his voice to those sickened by the epidemic of violence against women.
“Domestic violence is a blight on our society and there are signs it’s getting worse,” Bishop Morrissey said.
“Police respond to approximately 5000 domestic violence matters every week. Everyone needs to stand up and hold disrespect, abuse and violence against women and children in all its forms to account, without exception.”
The CACW has been sharing the words of Pope Francis to underline the Church’s strong stance: “Violence against women cannot be treated as ‘normal’. It is not right for us to look the other way and let the dignity of so many women, especially young women, be trampled upon.”
Women who have been exposed to violence have a greater risk of developing a range of health problems. They experience poorer overall physical health overall and are more likely to engage in practices that are harmful to their health and experience difficulties in accessing health services.
Homelessness is another major issue for women escaping family violence.
The CACW pointed to a number of resources that have been created by Catholic agencies related to domestic violence, including A Catholic Response to Domestic Violence from the Diocese of Broken Bay and the resources developed by Catholic Social Service Victoria.
Source: ACBC Media Blog