Four weeks ago, I attended a funeral of Abuk Akek, a beautiful young women and mother of a 2 year old, at the prime of her life. Her boyfriend currently faces murder charges. She is one of the 28 women that have been killed by violence in Australia this year (Counting Dead Women Australia 2016). In the aftermath of Abuk's death, it has emerged that warning signs aplenty were ignored, for example, the perpetrator's record of domestic violence, family and neighbours’ calls to police.
As the shock of this heartbreaking crime subsides, people begin asking why such things occur. Was it God's will that Abuk should die? Was her number up? Let's be clear about one thing, God didn't kill Abuk; it is the actions of the perpetrator, period.
With such religious platitudes the truth about domestic violence is not told. The veil of secrecy and silence delivers a 'hands off message' to victims, perpetrators and bystanders. To victims, it says it is also God's will for you to endure domestic violence ; to perpetrators it says that faith communities do not hold you accountable for your actions; to bystanders, it is ok for you to stand on the sidelines and watch a sometimes deadly game.
One faith response may be this: I will speak out about the sin of domestic violence as everybody’s problem. We all need to look at this issue - not look away; what better way than from a pulpit.
Unsure how to intervene? Our training helps people to effectively and safely call each other out; to confront abuses when they occur. Our workshops offer skill-building opportunities – helping men and women to a point of having many options for action with only one wrong answer – and that is 'to do nothing.’
To find our more about TP events visit our website or book TP by completing our online inquiry form
Reminder of training events coming up:
3 May - Karen leadership forum - St Thomas Werribee Congregation (invite only)
4 May - Active Bystander Workshop II - 10.30 am - 1.00 pm - St Luke's Frankston. Click to register on FB
21 May - PD for Leadership 10.30 am -1.30 pm - St John's Footscray. Click to register
26 May - Active Bystander Workshop I, 7.00pm - 10.00pm - St Paul's Anglican Church Geelong. Click to register on FB
28 May - Presentation, 2.00 pm - 4.00pm - Community of the Holy Name (invite only)
If you would like to show case the violence prevention work of your community or submit any success (or partial success) that you've had as an active bystander click here
Think Prevent is edited by Rosemary McCoy and Jill Graham; information is issued by Kempster Consultants. The inclusion of information about events, links, and reports within the e-Newsletter is not necessarily endorsed or supported by the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne, its program partners Brotherhood of St Laurence or Anglicare Victoria
For further information contact: Dr Ree Boddé (M) 0450039288. Email: email@example.com