On November 24th, 2013, faith communities across the country joined in the campaign of IMA World Health, “We Will Speak Out” to teach, preach and reach out on “SPEAK OUT” Sunday. Using the materials available on-line at www.wewillspeakout.us, churches and synagogues and other communities of faith engaged in taking a pledge to end sexual and gender-based violence. SAIV is proud to be a collaborative coalition member with WWSO and to lift up their fine work through SAIV’s partner agencies and community partnerships. In Salem Oregon, the UCC congregation of First Congregational Church organized a three part series of adult education classes focusing on various aspects of intimate violence: UCC Flier – We Will Speak Out. Here is a short, introductory “You Tube” clip to inspire your community to be involved in 2014. Plan now! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UID6FwY-0uw The momentum is building to end intimate violence. Be part of the 2014 campaign or share with others your experience of Speaking Out in 2013.
Speak Out Sunday! (see above) is timed each year to segue directly into the period between International Day to End Violence Against Women (11/25/13) and International Human Rights Day (12/10/2013) recognized internationally by many groups as “16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women.” Here are the origins and mission of that campaign:
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is an international campaign originating from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute sponsored by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991.
The 16 Days Campaign has been used as an organizing strategy by individuals and groups around the world to call for the elimination of all forms of violence against women by:
* raising awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at the local, national, regional and international levels
* strengthening local work around violence against women
* establishing a clear link between local and international work to end violence against women
* providing a forum in which organizers can develop and share new and effective strategies
* demonstrating the solidarity of women around the world organizing against violence against women
* creating tools to pressure governments to implement promises made to eliminate violence against women
Faith Trust Institute (one of SAIV’s National Leader/Partners) engages every year with a series of video clips presenting speakers who offer inspiration and education for faith communities about how to take on the peace and justice work of ending intimate violence. You may see these via the Faith Trust Website (www.faithtrustinstitute.org) or via their facebook page. This short, powerful video focuses on religious perspectives on Domestic Violence and would make a beautiful introductory training video for any faith community: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bR45maMwabQ It is but one of the many educational and inspirational resources available through Dr. Marie Fortune’s Faith Trust Institute. Here is another about the “Sacred Trust” inherent in the “intimate” (close, honest, trusting and sacred) relationships a faith leader should establish with her/his community: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bZ9FCCS674 = “SACRED TRUST.” Trust and intimacy should never be abused, especially in faith communities by those who hold a high moral responsibility to be faithful and compassionate and to bring healing into the lives of those who give them their sacred trust.
You will find links to such actions as “We Will Speak Out” and Eve Ensler’s global “ONE BILLION RISING” movement (for Justice – the theme of the February 14th 2014 action to Strike! Rise! Dance! – coming to your community and your world! Why not to your faith community as well?